In our last two blogs, we’ve shared valuable information to help companies determine which bid is the best for a project. Soon, we will release a resourceful e-book on the subject; one that you and your team can refer to again and again. In the meantime, we have valuable information to assist in choosing a provider for any job. Whether you’re collecting bids for a large multi-family apartment project, a hotel, senior living development or building a house, it’s a good idea to understand your potential electrical subcontractor’s relationship status.
Determining the relationship status of a contractor is not as simple as checking a Facebook page. The subcontractor needs to be willing to provide examples of their previous work, references, and all certifications with local, state, and national organizations.
There are several entities with which a subcontractor should be “in a relationship with.”
- Authorities Having Jurisdiction: It is important that an electrical subcontractor has a good working relationship with the powers that be, specifically those governing codes and those responsible for issuing permits. Different geographic areas and municipalities have different standards. Hiring a contractor who is unfamiliar with local codes and requirements is a recipe for work stoppage and additional expense.
- Electrical Inspector: Nothing stops a job faster than a failed inspection. When the contractor is familiar with the inspector and the inspector respects the quality of work provided by the contractor, the entire inspection process will happen smoothly. Never be afraid to ask questions and request references for previous work.
- Utility provider: The utility provider plays an important role, and must be part of the process before construction begins. Electrical subcontractors familiar with and who have worked with the utility provider will save time and expense.
- Other crews/subcontractors: A project with multiple subcontractors is like a large machine with many working parts. Any one part can stop the entire machine from working; all parts must work together to make the machine run well. Subcontractors who have a history of working together well are more likely to turn out a project on time and on budget.
Be aware of subcontractors making big promises from far away places; they may not be who they say they are. Even if they are honest and reputable, they may not be able to deliver, as they have not formed the necessary relationships to move a project forward on time and one budget. Before you jump on the lowest bid, consider the long term so that you can assure a successful return on your electrical investment.