4 rules for managing subcontractors from Jake Bruton

Want to scale your business and deliver more to your clients? With good subcontractors you can do both according to high-performance builder Jake Bruton of Aarow Construction.  
Two men install a window in an under-construction home.
Bruton tells us there’s a lot to be gained by working with subcontractors. “A guy who only does drywall 40 or 50 hours — chances are he’s going to be better at drywall than you are when you only do it one week out of every 10,” he said. Collaborating with highly skilled subs is how he’s grown his business while also delivering more for his clients. To ensure successful relationships with his subcontractors, he’s developed these four rules.

Here are Bruton’s four rules for successfully managing subcontractors:

  1. Engage in daily supervision of repeat crews
    When a site supervisor is checking in every day with a crew, it helps keep the work on track and decreases the potential for mistakes. Working with the same crews over and over again means they get to know your expectations and can learn from past experiences.

  2. Create an excellent scope of work
    Contracts that clearly outline expectations will smooth the way to a good outcome. This leads to more accurate bidding, while also making it easier for subs to meet your aesthetic and other preferences — and helping to avoid conflict over the quality of work.

  3. Provide onsite training
    Taking the time to show subcontractors how you want things done will pay off. High-caliber work that aligns with manufacturers’ instructions helps you maintain warranties and makes sure your expectations related to durability, energy efficiency, and overall quality are met.

  4. Cultivate long-term connections
    The goal is to create relationships that are mutually beneficial so you can rely on your subcontractors, and they can rely on you. If they know you can provide a steady stream of work and good pay, they’re going to pick up the phone when you call.