Friday, July 11, 2014

Hiring your own trades will cost you money and time

I recently worked for a professional who was moving his business up to the Collingwood area, they bought an old building and wanted to renovate it, we were hired to do some of the early work on the building.

Once we were established in our work doing demolition and re-framing the client asked us for other quotes for heating, insulation, flooring, painting and concrete work. There were a couple of things that they didn’t ask us to do and one of them was the electrical. They were bringing an electrical contractor from their former city to do the work. Their former area was over two hours away.

As soon as we heard this we knew what would happen and it did. We finished our work, the clients were in a big hurry to get the place up and running and then the project sat there with nobody working on it for weeks which turned into months.

The client would call me and ask me how I was doing and what was happening up in Collingwood on his project, I would tell him basically nothing. Without electricians nothing can proceed, there were wires in the way, a sub-panel that had to be removed before we could frame any farther and so as far as we were concerned we had left and gone to another job until the electricians arrived to do their work. Since the homeowner had hired the electricians himself from his former town I had no way to talk to them or any pull with them to get them there quicker. It was up to the homeowner.

This is a typical story in the residential construction industry, a contractor is brought in to do some work and is asked to organize certain aspects of the job, the client thinking that they can save some money and keep control of their own project hires one or two trades themselves. Those one or two trades hold up the whole job and end up in the end costing the homeowner more time and money in the long run.

When you don’t have the appropriate trades on the site at the correct time things are done slower and a lot of things end up being done twice because the other trades when they show up late end up having to remove other peoples work to do theirs. This all costs money and time and time is money.

One year later we have completed our part and the place hasn’t opened yet. We haven’t worked there in 10 months and driving by you notice nothing happening for weeks at a time. More and more trades and companies have been brought in from the owner’s former city. There is no general contractor for the project just the owner who has his own work to do.

The moral of this story is that for the little bit of money that you think you are going to save by hiring a trade or two yourself will be wasted in the time and re-work that will have to be done. Let the professionals handle it; let a general contractor do ALL the hiring and organizing for you. In the end you will be happen you did.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

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