No More ‘Mr. Nice Guy’
The old days of working with your customer are over. In the old days, most contractors had a group of loyal customers with whom they worked and often negotiated the final terms and price for construction contracts. When work was busy, construction customers used to have to beg contractors to bid their projects and, often, just received one or two bids for each trade or scope of work. Therefore, price was not the determining factor in a majority of jobs awarded.
Most general contracts and subcontracts now are awarded based solely on the lowest price. Customers have gotten greedy and taken advantage of the situation and extreme competition. The typical scenario now is for developers and construction project owners to solicit as many bids as they can get, and then work the low bidders for even more blood out of their proposals. The trickle-down effect then permeates from the general contractor to the subcontractors, ruining the process for every business involved in building projects.
An eye for an eye
If the plans are wrong, you deserve more money, no questions asked. (Besides, the project owner probably hired the lowest priced architect and engineers, and, therefore, the quality of the working drawings likely reflects the fee he got as well.) If you don’t get paid per the contract, you should pull off the job per your contract terms. If you don’t get answers to field questions and conflicts in a timely manner, you should document the situation per your contract and stop work until you get answers you need to move on with your work.
If your customer expedites the schedule to make up for other slow, non-performing contractors, you should document the claim and get overtime pay or additional time to complete your project. If your customer or another contractor damages your work product, you should put him on notice per the contract and get paid to repair the damage, or don’t do the extra work. If you submit a claim and don’t receive a prompt answer that meets with your approval, you should proceed under protest and demand mediation or arbitration per the contract.
Stop being a second-class contractor
Manage every contract per the contract
Pay the man, or get taken to the cleaners
Don’t be afraid to stand up for what’s right. Remember, if you do what your contract says, you have the power. So go out and make more money than ever by doing the right thing to get what you deserve.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 15 March 2012 12:12|