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3 Things You Must Have to be a Great Subcontractor

A career as a subcontractor in the construction industry offers many benefits. You get to run your own small business as you see fit, and once you have established yourself as a reliable, competent professional, you can earn a very good living.

However, the competition for the best subcontracting jobs in Pennsylvania can be fierce. As with every industry, the best subcontractors tend to land the most lucrative jobs with the top general contractors. And once they have built solid relationships with these contractors, the work typically keeps coming their way.

In many cases, being a good subcontractor is not enough to sustain a lengthy career. You must be willing to go the extra mile to differentiate yourself as a great contractor. Here is a list of what contractors look for in subcontractors:

1. Build a Strong Project Portfolio

Relevant experience is critical if you hope to snag the best subcontracting jobs in Pennsylvania. The top general contractors exercise extreme caution when hiring. If you have never worked for the GC before, they will likely ask you to supply a listing of strong references as part of the evaluation process. Like most professions, you will need to start small and build your portfolio over time.

One mistake many newbies make is taking any job that comes along, even if it is not a good fit based on their current skill and experience level. This can result in a poor job performance that will reduce the likelihood of getting more work in the future.

The best approach for building a portfolio is to seek out jobs that match your competencies. Also, keep in mind that you are a small business operator and the GC is your client. Your mission is to do whatever it takes to meet, and if possible, exceed the expectations of the contractor.

2. Complete Insurance Documentation is Critical for Obtaining New Business as Subcontractor

Reputable contractors will not hire subcontractors that cannot provide documentation of insurance coverage. The GC will likely list the specific insurance requirements in the contract. The types of insurance subcontractors should carry include:

  • General Liability

    A GCs general liability insurance policy may not provide coverage for damage or injuries caused by subcontractors while on the job. You will need to supply a Certificate of Insurance that you have your own general liability coverage. The GC may also request that you list it as an Additional Insured on the policy so that the coverage extends to the contractor.
  • Workers Compensation

    A general contractor may require you to show proof that you carry workers compensation insurance, especially if the company policy does not provide this coverage for subcontractors. The GC will request this to avoid the possibility of being held financially responsible for any on-the-job injuries.
  • Errors & Omissions

    Even the most capable, conscientious subcontractor can make a mistake that could create an additional expense for the contractor. E&O coverage provides liability protection in the event you are sued for an on-the-job mishap.


3. A Track Record of Safety

Safety is paramount in the construction industry. Safe job site practices protect the subcontractor and other workers against injuries and are essential for ensuring compliance with increasingly stringent OSHA regulations.

Subcontractors who make safety a top priority stand out from the crowd and are more likely to get rehired by a GC for future jobs. Along with following all safety regulations while on the job, keeping a watch for potential hazards and bringing them to the attention of supervisors can help you earn points with the GC. You should also consider enrolling in construction industry-related safety programs and adding the certificates of completion to your portfolio.

Clark Contractors Has Great Subcontracting Jobs in Pennsylvania

If you are looking for commercial or industrial construction subcontracting jobs in Pennsylvania and meet all the criteria listed above, Clark Contractors, Inc. would love to hear from you. To learn more about how to become a subcontractor in Pennsylvania, fill out and submit our online contact form today.

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