9 Tips for Getting Your Contracting Business Through COVID-19

Contracting Business

The National Law Review offers this piece of advice for your contracting business: Get it in writing!¹ That’s especially true during the coronavirus pandemic that is threatening our nation’s population and economic health.

Coronavirus vs. Your Contracting Business

This situation is here and now. It changes every day, so if you had an optimistic 5-year plan for your organization, toss it away and get ready to move quickly. 

Here are 9 tips to get your contracting business through COVID-19:

  1. Be proactive – If you’re silent, clients and employees become extra-nervous. Communicate with emails and online how you’re managing this event. Share due diligence efforts and business recovery plans.
  2. Communicate early – By now you should have reached out to all project stakeholders to review terms of performance, timelines and costs. Strive to keep projects alive and get everything in writing.
  3. Consider mobility implementations – If administrative and back-office personnel can work from home, consider making the move to a mobile workforce.
  4. Contract modifications – Every project contract you have in the works needs to return to the table. Try to recover or offset rising costs.
  5. Coronavirus impact – The time to “wait and see” is past. Your contracts should have included “excusable delays” or “force majeure” clauses. Provide notice to all contract-holders how coronavirus has impacted contract deliverables, including supply chain issues. Cite all time/performance delays, real and predicted.
  6. Cybersecurity – If administrative people will be working from home, you may need to upgrade cybersecurity and educate them about not compromising confidential information.
  7. Prepare for new workplace safety requirements – Your employees will need masks and/or gloves to reduce virus cross-contamination.
  8. Put it in writing – Document every communication, every delay, every challenge… If you weren’t the kind of person to keep a “diary,” you need to start. Others are depending on you to show diligence in trying to salvage work.
  9. Update policies for paid days off/sick days – This is going to be a tricky area. Employees must not be “punished” for staying home when sick, but your guidelines must also be reasonable. Consult with HR and/or legal professionals to revise employment terms.

Construction Monitor is Here for You

What’s happening now is temporary, but it will change the way we do business forever. Your contracting business can prepare for growth, even while time seemingly stands still. Call 800-925-6085 or contact us to learn more about using construction data reports.

We wish continued good health for you and your company.

Pitfalls to Avoid When Hiring Subcontractors

The skill and reliability of your subcontractors can make the difference between a profitable, trouble-free job and a major headache. By knowing how to hire good subcontractors, you can ensure you get more of the former.

How to Hire Good SubcontractorsSpotting Quality Subcontractors

Don’t rely on internet searches to find subcontractors. While that may be the fastest way to find specific types of tradespeople in your area, websites tell you little about what it’s like to work with those individuals.

Instead, tap into the construction community for references. If you need a drywall installer or a plumber, ask drywall suppliers and plumbing wholesalers if they can recommend someone. If you see construction work or renovations underway, introduce yourself to the person in charge to find out who’s doing the work and how it’s going. It’s also worth contacting your former clients to find out if they can recommend subcontractors.

Aim to collect at least three names for each trade to encourage competitive bids, and avoid depending on one subcontractor who may not always be available. Establish a pre-qualification process to speed up hiring for future projects.

Controlling Your Costs

Before you invite bids, develop a clear scope of work. This helps you avoid receiving widely divergent bids. Even so, never assume the bids you receive cover the same scope. Read each bid carefully so you know exactly what the subcontractor is offering. For instance, one bid might be cheaper than others because it doesn’t include the cost of clean up.

Low bids can be tempting, but realizing when something sounds too good to be true is an important part of knowing how to hire good subcontractors. Some subcontractors keep their bids low by cutting corners and using low-quality material, while others bid low, but find ways to raise the price later.

Be wary of subcontractors who expect a large deposit. Anything more than 10 percent upfront is worth questioning. Also, avoid those who won’t provide everything, including guarantees and payment schedules, in writing.

For more tips on how to hire good subcontractors, contact Construction Monitor.

4 Tips for Protecting Your Construction Lien

Construction liens, sometimes called mechanics liens, are important legal protections that ensure a construction company is paid for the work it performs. Dealing with construction liens can be complex, with variations in each state. In most cases, they should be handled by your company’s attorney. Here are four tips for protecting your constriction lien and ensuring that your financial interests in a construction project are protected.

dealing with construction liens1. Verify Property Ownership

Make sure to verify the owners of the property where the construction project is to take place. A good place to start is in the county’s public records department. Look for a deed that identifies the owners and clearly describes the property where you expect to be working. Double-check the contract you executed for the construction work to make sure the person you contracted with is truly the owner of the property.

2. File Appropriate Documents

File all the necessary documents for the lien, including all preliminary documents and other material required by state and local authorities. Skipping this step or missing one of these critical documents can deprive you of the protections you’re seeking and could have legal repercussions later in the process.

3. Maintain Timely Communication and Responses

When a response document is required, such as lists of suppliers and subcontractors, ensure that the response is delivered within the timeframe specified by the contract, agreement, or regulation. If the owners or other stakeholders have questions or want to contact you, get back with them as quickly as possible, or ensure that your attorney responds in a timely manner.

4. Close out the Project Properly

When construction is completed, take all the necessary actions to close out the project. This can include final agreements, inspections, indicators of satisfactory performance, and related legal documents.

Construction Monitor is a leading source for advice and industry insight to help construction companies succeed with their business. Contact us today for more information on dealing with construction liens and for suggestions on other important business protections.

Plans for Arizona’s Sun Devil Stadium Renovation Now Underway

Sun Devil Stadium RenovationRenovation on Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium has reached an early milestone with the selection of the architectural design and construction firms that will be responsible for the project.

Design services will be handled by HNTB Corporation and Gould, while Hunt Construction Group and Sundt Construction will perform the construction work, according to Construction Global.
Continue reading Plans for Arizona’s Sun Devil Stadium Renovation Now Underway