Being a builder is not the easiest job; there are unique risks involved that are unavoidable in this industry. From ensuring safety on the job-site to managing your finances, we have worked with many builders who experience the same issues over and over again. Here we will help you avoid these common mistakes and make sure that your business avoids a devastating blow.
Material Theft and Vandalism
Theft of materials, tools, and equipment at construction sites is a historic issue. Even in the current age of technological advances (24/7 security cameras), the fear of theft on the job-site continues to give builders everywhere a headache. Material theft contributes to about $1 billion in losses each year. In addition to the financial burden of replacing stolen items, you risk losing valuable time working on your projects. Construction sites are targeted for the following reasons:
- Jobsites are often unsecured
- Easy access to tools and materials (unlocked systems overnight or on weekends)
- Dishonest employees
- Multiple keys for storage areas/equipment
Vandalism is also another concern for builders. Non-employees entering your worksite not only poses a risk to your job-site, but could also present a potential liability issue should someone get injured. Here are our top tips for preventing trespassers and vandalism:
- Keep your job-site well lit during off hours: Well lit and secure job-sites on weekends and overnight will make the area less appealing to those attempting to trespass.
- Do not store many materials on site: Order materials on an ‘as needed’ basis and, if possible, store them away from the job-site. Though cheaper to buy products in large quantities, a smaller inventory is easier to manage and track theft.
- Get Builder’s Risk Insurance to cover you in the event of theft: Builders Risk Insurance covers all of your building materials and, if requested, tools as well. If you are working with a lot of stock and on a big project, we highly recommend insuring your job-site and product inventory. Builder’s Risk Insurance can be affordable and easy to purchase. Here is a link where you can get an online quote in minutes: Free Builders Risk Quote
2. Unreliable or Dishonest Sub-Contractors
As a general contractor, you are legally obliged to complete the project you were hired to do. If you are considering hiring subcontractors, you must be selective with whom you employ. It is important to verify that they are fully qualified and have adequate coverage. Not only could they soil your reputation, but they could also pose a possible liability issue. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you hire subcontractors:
- Credentials: Ask the subcontractor to prove his skill level and license to you. Examine their work history and make at least one phone call to their references. You could look up their business online to read reviews from past employers/clients for an idea of what kind of worker they are.
- Commercial General Liability and Performance Bonds: Verify that your prospective subcontractor has their own commercial general liability; if he has employees you might also require him to have a worker’s compensation policy. For bigger projects, you can also request that they have a performance bond
- Require a Certificate of Insurance: Ask your subcontractors to provide proof of their insurance. A certificate is issued from their carrier, but do call and validate the certificate if you have doubts.
- Get a Contract: Once you have decided to hire a subcontractor, be sure to have a written contract that clearly outlines the subcontractor’s expectations. Do your research and get a subcontractor’s agreement.
It is not easy to find a reliable supplier who can deliver high quality materials in a timely manner. A late delivery of materials could slow-down your progress or even halt your project altogether. Below are a few tips on how to prevent risks and problems with your suppliers:
- Establish a Good Relationship: If you find a supplier that is consistently on time and with accurate orders, try to use them continuously. They may not be the cheapest option you can find, but you get what you pay for.
- Always Have a Backup: Have a reliable secondary source where you can get your supplies from in case of a mishap, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.
- Go Local: Working with local suppliers can not only be cheaper but finding one who is known in the local industry will ensure you are buying from a reputable company.
As a builder or a general contractor, you need to have your own insurance! Protect yourself and your business and get the right coverage. Click here to get a free quote today!