Deficiencies? No Problem!

We have all been there in one form or another. Taking on a project, and leaving bits and pieces that seem to be minuscule to the last minute. We dive in deep to then realize that sometimes the smaller things become the biggest problems.

This is no stranger to construction. No subcontractor company wants to say no or can say no to more work because without a full calendar their business would sink. A lot of these companies can promise to deliver everything, but end up being chased down to finish what was originally expected of the job.

It’s like cooking a big dinner, the planning, the shopping, the preparation, and then the actual cooking starts. Not to mention the mess and dishes that start to build, and those don’t want to be done, then you realize what a mess it is going to be to clean it up. Typically no one wants to do the messy part. No one likes to clean up! I have witnessed this so many times, for clients and on my own job sites. Everything is okay until it’s not.

Getting workers back on a job site to finish the final touches and details is sometimes next to impossible. When working with tight timelines, and balancing multiple schedules, the amount of room for error is really really slim. It doesn’t matter if it is a house reno or a large commercial project, deficiencies can be a huge killer. No owner wants to push deadlines back to accommodate work that isn’t completed by another sub, and I mean no one. One day over and this can end up costing a lot of money.

Accountability is one of the single most important things to track, every last piece of documentation is the holy grail. When it’s crunch time on a job site, it is a lot easier to pull out a document to back up what was said then going off someone’s word. The guys that keep the job sites in line, site supervisors, spend a lot of time on the phone and making notes concerning those discussions. Often a sub is called on Friday and expected to come back Monday to finish 10 small things on a list. If they get stuck on another job site and only show up Monday for a few hours, they may only knock 2 things off the list and then don’t return until Wednesday. It is the same story time and time again. This sometimes ends in an angry phone call stating “you said you would get it done!” These sorts of conversations can end a relationship or really tarnish one because the headaches and broken trust just aren’t worth it anymore. We all know that these subs are sometimes making these same promises and spreading themselves too thin, to accommodate a lot of people.

Unfortunately, I have worked with the same subs after bad experiences. These experiences don’t always reflect the quality of work they do, but sometimes the extra work to keep tracking them down and stressful situations aren’t worth it. I often wonder are better or equal trades out there that will give the job all that it needs, and clean up everything on time? Or should we all stick to who and what we know? At least you can plan for all the delays and problems you know that subcontractor is going to cause you ahead of time. Sadly, that is really unfortunate and true. Let’s build a better solution by tracking who is on-site, what happened while they were there while keeping your office up-to-date.

Here’s to building good relationships with subcontractors!

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