It is commonplace for clients to ask their builder to use a trade contractor with whom they have an established relationship, and to allow that trade contractor to purchase his or her own materials, supplies, and surface protection. Homeowners commonly do this to establish an apparent environment of accountability and trust. However, this is oft a detriment to the building process. Builders purchase from their suppliers and select subcontractors based upon positive lessons learned through prior experience, as a builder’s reputation is vital to maintaining ongoing success. Allowing the builder to use familiar subcontractors and suppliers is in the best interest of the homeowner.
Purchasing from Experienced and Reliable Suppliers
Allowing a builder to purchase from previously tried and tested suppliers provides assurance that all products are reliable, consistent, dependable, and pose no threat of damage to a client’s home. Builders use established suppliers precisely because they can stand behind the reliability and dependability of the purchased products, and because they truly feel that using these products is in the best interests of the homeowner. What good is protecting a newly installed carpet with cut-rate temporary carpet film when it leaves a residue on the new carpet. The extra cost spent cleaning the carpet is significantly more than the price savings of five or ten dollars.
In an effort to save on material costs, homeowners will frequently look online and look towards multiple suppliers to provide necessary fixtures for their homes. People are frequently unaware of the intricacies and the risks involved through sourcing their own products. It is commonplace that small parts of plumbing fixtures, lighting arrangements, etc… need to be ordered separately. In addition to creating time delays, this may pose the risk that the ordered products ultimately fail to meet the needs of the project, resulting in breakage and tremendous damage to a home. If in an attempt to save a little bit on a remodel, a homeowner may inadvertently order a sink that fails to meet the water pressure limits of a home. This can result in flooding damage to a home that cannot be covered by any warranties. The best way to minimize any risk in a home remodel is to allow the builder to purchase from proven suppliers.
There are even more compelling reasons for using regular subcontractors. Builders depend on subcontractors as much as they depend on employees-trade partners are an integral part of the builder’s team. Thus, builders tend to award major contracts (the wiring of a custom home, for instance) only to subcontractors that have proven themselves. With proven trades, accurate bids can be assembled quickly, and the builder understands and trusts the quality promised by those bids.
Builders often evaluate subcontractors over the course of years. Subcontractors are initially placed to complete small jobs to evaluate their abilities. Yet even once a subcontractor has demonstrated great ability, they are still evaluated on metrics such as how available for contact they are, how accurate their bids are, how well they work with the customer and the builder, and how their work hold together over a period of years. Further, allowing the builder to choose subcontractors allows both the sub and the builder to coordinate on efforts such as using temporary surface protection to protect the home from dust and damage.
Ultimately, it is in a subcontractor’s best interest to complete the work as best as possible. Completing projects in a professional and attentive manner ensures future work for the subcontractor. A builder that uses an undemonstrated subcontractor risks losing his or her control over the quality of the building. As such, any problems caused by painters, contractors, and products bought by the customer cannot be prevented by the builder’s due diligence. Perhaps the painter suggested by the homeowner failed to protect the newly installed wood floor from paint splatter resulting in costly resurfacing. Any of these problems will reflect poorly on a builder’s reputation, and a builder’s reputation is the basis for earning future work.
Builders prefer purchasing from certain suppliers and use specific subcontractors because they believe it is in the best interest of the homeowner. If builders fail to do as best a job as possible, they’ll soon be out of work.