Because the devil is in the details, and a good drywall subcontractor is very detailed oriented. This is evident in the quality of their work and their ability to proactively manage a project. How does one go about finding a good drywall subcontractor?
Ask around to your fellow general contractors for referrals for drywall contractors. Don’t be surprised if they are hesitant to share that information. They fear of losing them to you! If that’s the case, then ask your other subcontractors. Ask your electricians, painters, floorers who they would recommend. Believe it or not, many drywall subcontractors do not have a website. That is because they don’t need a website to win business. They view their services as relationship-based and receive a lot of work through repeat customers and referrals.
Although a drywall subcontractor may receive a glowing referral from a trusted colleague, it helps to do your own research. There are several websites or review platforms where you can see if there are any negative reviews. Additionally, you can search to see if there are any complaints filed in the Better Business Bureau against the drywall subcontractor. Remember that there are always two sides to a story. Therefore, it is important that you can take these negative reviews or complaints and talk with the drywall subcontractor about them.
Professionalism and Organization
It’s one thing to be adept at your trade, it’s another thing to be an adept business person. Insurance, bonding, licenses are a lot to maintain. A good drywall subcontractor has updated documents that they can easily furnish to their clients. The ability to furnish paperwork as requested demonstrates a high level of professionalism on the drywall subcontractor. And it’s not just those paperwork requirements. Professional-looking daily reports, purchase orders, submittal packages go a long way. When these documents are stored in a cloud-based document control solution, a drywall subcontractor can quickly retrieve them when communicating to vendors or general contractors. The level of efficiency showcase a level of professionalism of the drywall subcontractor.
Team member mentality
When looking for a drywall subcontractor, you are looking for an extended member of your team. They are performing the work on your behalf to the client, so it is important that you are both fully aligned in terms of scope, quality, and expectations. When a drywall subcontractor has the team member mentality, there becomes less finger pointing and more collaboration.
You found a good drywall subcontractor, now what?
Lucky for you that you have found a diamond in the rough. A good drywall subcontractor is hard to find! It’s important for your business to keep them on your trusty roster of subcontractors. Here are some suggestions how to set yourself and them up for success:
Team member mentality
The team member mentality goes both ways. It’s important that you treat them with respect as a valued and critical member of your project team. A good drywall subcontractor is probably very busy with many clients and projects. They can easily refuse to work on certain projects with general contractors who do not treat their teams with respect.
If you know you are going to work with them on many projects going forward, bring them on earlier in the project. Collaborate with them on the scope, design, schedule to help make sure your entire proposal is tighter. They are the experts and have insight into trends in building. Invite them into conversations with the designer or owner to hear first hand on different items that they can incorporate into the project. Any collaboration on the project earlier on in the design phase is much better than during the construction phase.
It’s important to pay them on time…for everything. Drywall subcontractors front load payments to their workers and suppliers before they themselves have received payment. You need to be accountable to pay them for the work they have completed.
Just as you likely found them via a referral, do the same and refer them to others. The greatest compliment you can give a drywall subcontractor is a referral. Construction is a competitive market, so any referrals will help them grow their business.
In essence, finding a good drywall subcontractor is all about building a sense of trust and fostering a good communication. Hopefully, it becomes the start of a long-term and financially successful relationship for both companies.