How We Approach Subcontractors Here In Lancaster County
The Basics Of How We Approach Working
With Subcontractors Here In
Something You Should Always Know
About Your Remodeler
Today’s article will be short and sweet. We’re going to cover an essential topic homeowners in Lancaster County should be aware of: the use of subcontractors in home improvement or remodeling projects.
When you hire a general contractor (GC), it is common practice for them to use a subcontractor when they come in, for example, and remodel your master bathroom. Question is, how much are they actually tackling and how much are they handing off to the subcontractor?
Are they basically taking your money and acting as a project manager who goes out and hires a team of subcontractors to handle the different “trades,” so to speak? These trades can include the following:
- The wet area; this area alone (bath/shower space) could have 1-3 different subcontractors.
- Tile specialists.
- Demo team.
- Cabinetry and carpentry, etc.
There are pros and cons to going this route, like anything else. But homeowners shouldn’t think “subcontractor” is a negative word. It’s not. At MBC Remodeling, we use subcontractors because it makes financial sense and fills in a few skill gaps (we’re a small, long-standing family company).
That being said, we largely work with the SAME subcontractors for years and years on end. Some “subcontractors” are such in name only (i.e., for financial purposes) but work for only ONE company.
We actually used the same electrician for 20 YEARS until he recently retired. Then, rather than trying to take on someone completely new, we stuck with the person he chose to sell his company to so that we could continue building the relationship.
This is why you have to ask any contractor you’re considering what’s going on.
So, for homeowners unsure about subcontractors, what are the concerns?
Potential Issues With Subcontractors
- You’ll need to know if all these people are appropriately vetted, licensed, and insured. And yes, truly KNOW; don’t just accept a quick “Oh, for sure!” and a nod from your GC.
- Who answers for any mistakes made by these subcontractors, and how can you be sure the next one bought in to fix the issue will do the job any better?
- Logistically, it can get troublesome if the team isn’t used to working together. People show up late. People don’t show. People get timelines mixed up. There are communication issues.
The Trades We Use
Let’s use this photo from our Bathroom Remodeling Gallery as an example.
As you can probably tell, it was a complete top-to-bottom bathroom overhaul. And because our in-house team has decades of experience under our belts, we know one thing through and through:
For certain things, you want specialists.
We subcontract for electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. The first two we run into in almost every project in some capacity. Then there’s finished, polished tile work. It’s worth the expense to hire teams who ONLY do tile every single day, year after year.
We don’t want to use a huge company; we like independent smaller local contractors who have proven themselves. This is also because the big companies lack the flexibility our residential customers often need.
Quick FYI: You can learn more about us and our process via quick little videos on our Videos page.
How Do We Maintain Standards?
It’s simple: we’re NOT afraid to lose someone if they fail to meet our standards, especially in these areas:
- The work.
- Communication with homeowners.
- Cleanliness (this is HUGE for us).
If we’re speaking your language here, you’ve got nothing to lose by reaching out and contacting MBC Remodeling. Let’s answer your initial questions. Let’s address any concerns causing you to stall. Let’s chat about pricing and potential styling options. We love this stuff. Thanks for your time today, and we hope to hear from you soon. And remember, always pester your contractor with lots of questions!