Everyone involved with a construction project hopes to avoid challenges or hiccups along the way. This series of blogs describes the red flags you should look out for if “smooth sailing” doesn’t seem to be the direction your project is going. Here are red flags #4 through #6:
4. Slow submittals. In general, subcontractors will not begin work until they have an executed contract from the contractor. If you do not have a flurry of submittals in the first month, it may indicate your contractor is unable to get subcontractors to commit for their proposed bid amount—a tell-tale sign their bid may not cover the cost of the work.
5. Changing subcontractors. Once contract(s) have been executed, the construction team (contractor, subcontractors and suppliers) should be fixed, barring bankruptcy, legal action or other unforeseen catastrophic event. Changing subcontractors for other reasons usually indicates your contractor is “shopping the job” — attempting to reduce costs and pocketing the difference.
6. Installation proceeding without being previously approved. Contractors propose submittals (product data, shop drawings, etc.) indicating what products they intend to furnish and how they intend to install those materials. If products are delivered to the site and (even worse) installed without being properly submitted and reviewed by the architect, this may indicate your contractor is worried about the progress of the schedule and attempting to cut corners. The architect’s review of submittals is a critical quality-control measure that should not be omitted.
To be continued in a future blog.