Tips for Hiring Subcontractors for Florida Construction Projects
Based upon the way licensing works in Florida construction and the skilled tradesmen that work on these projects, general contractors will work with numerous subcontractors to complete the job. Under regulations established by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), a Division I license is for general, building, and residential contractors. A Division II license is the specialty area, such as plumbing, HVAC, electrical, roofing, and more. Your subcontractors with Division II licenses perform specific tasks as part of the overall project.
Though the GC is in charge of managing and supervising the entire project, subcontractors work with some amount of independence because of their skills. Therefore, it is important to select your team wisely. Seasoned contractors may have a long list of subs to draw from, but you can always use a reminder on the factors to consider when hiring. A Florida construction law attorney will explain legal requirements, and some additional points are useful.
Get Input from Your Network: You have access to valuable resources through your peers, other general contractors who regularly work with subs and have experience with them. Talk to your network about companies that work in different skilled trades. Find out the good and the bad, keeping in mind the needs of your project.
Consult with Sub and Crew: During introductions, you want to explain the specific project or types of construction you handle. Make sure the subcontractor has the team members, resources, and availability to complete the tasks you assign. Request to review paperwork on insurance matters and workers’ compensation.
Also, take time to meet the subcontractor’s workers. You want to know that they will get along with your team as they perform job tasks side by side.
Check Licensing and Credentials: Division II licenses are issued by DBPR, so make sure your subcontractor has all credentials from the state. There are distinctions between certified licenses that can work anywhere in Florida, as opposed to registered licenses that are only valid in certain areas.
Insert Proper Clauses in Contract: When it comes time to put your agreement in writing, make sure you include the right language to protect the interests of all parties. Important clauses are:
- Indemnification of the general contractor if the sub causes harm through violation of safety regulations;
- All parties must follow OSHA safety guidelines and reporting requirements for accidents, injuries, and illnesses;
- Clarification about independent contractor status, in which the sub’s workers are not considered employees of the GC;
- Provisions stating that the subcontractor is liable for faulty work and must remedy defects according to the contract.
Count on a South Florida Construction Lawyer for Advice
These tips on choosing subcontractors are helpful, but you cannot overlook the importance of working with a solid contract for their services. For more information on the essential provisions, please contact Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. at our offices in Jupiter, FL. You can call 561-626-8880 or visit our website to set up a case review with an experienced construction law attorney.