Why Can’t I Use My Own Subcontractors?

Photo of Pierpont Hill in North Haven

You Ask, We Answer: Why Can’t I Use My Own Subcontractors for My New Construction Home?

Congratulations! You’ve just purchased the house of your dreams: A new construction home in the ideal Connecticut location—and you can’t wait to get started in making it yours. In the process, you figure you’ll save some money by hiring Uncle Joe to help with the electrical, and your friend Angela from college who makes cabinets as her “side hustle.” You’ll just notify the builder, call your uncle and your friend, and get started on crafting your new house! Except…your builder may not be as excited as you are about using your own subcontractors. Read on for the top reasons builders with Calcagni Real Estate rely strictly on their own subcontractors to get the job of building your home done—and done well (and on time!).

Why do Calcagni builders work with their own subcontractors?

Most builders work very hard to assemble a trusted team that works well within the policies and procedures the builder adheres to, ensuring their new construction homes are delivered on time and within the allocated budget. “Builders recognize that homebuyers need to be able to move in by the agreed-upon date. Having a trusted and dedicated team in place means this timeline will be met, as will the builder’s standard for excellence,” explains Ken Mita, Project Manager at Pierpont Hill at North Haven and owner of Central Connecticut Construction Management, LLC.

But I have a friend/family member/childhood classmate who says they can get it done for cheaper. Why won’t my builder let me use them?

Builders who work with Calcagni Real Estate have assembled teams of subcontractors with proven track records of quality and responsiveness. “From a builder’s perspective, Uncle Joe may be a great guy with a lot of talent, but at the end of the day, he’s not a part of my team,” says Mita. “As a builder, I need to know the person, their work experience, that they have the proper insurance, and know what I expect of them.” Mita continues, “If Uncle Joe needs ten days to finish a job, I may have a crew of subcontractors that can get it done in 5 days. Uncle Joe may not have room in his schedule to keep up with my deliverables.” He explains that leads to delays—which becomes a major stressor for the builder and you, the homebuyer.

In addition, Mita shares, “When problems arise, it becomes the builder’s issue. If I’m working with a sub-contractor the homebuyer wanted to use, I have no control over the work they do or the time frame in which they do it. But if a conflict arises with someone on my team, I can address it directly and keep things moving along as they should.”

Lastly, Mita notes that subcontractors who work on a builder’s team go through extensive safety vetting. “All the subs on my team go through OSHA training, job safety meetings, job site safety training. Safety is a huge priority. I won’t know if Uncle Joe follows the same safety practices or if he’ll do the work to my high safety standards.”

How do I know if my builder’s subcontractors are reputable?

Builders who work with Calcagni Real Estate will be able to share with you the trade organizations their subcontractors belong to and showcase the work they’ve done together in the past.

“I am always able to see my contractor’s work,” Mita says. “I have houses in various stages of construction, so if a homebuyer has questions, we can take a walk and look at the framing; and look at finished models. Being able to see and touch the craftsmanship behind these houses translates even to a novice homebuyer.” Also, homebuyers can research subcontractors on the Better Business Bureau or the Department of Consumer Protection.

At the end of the day, using a friend or family member as a sub-contractor will probably not save you money. In fact, even if it doesn’t cost you in cash, it may cost you in time, stress, and frustration. From a builder’s standpoint, there is little or no upside to having a stranger come in and work on the new construction house that reflects their craftsmanship and reputation. However, if you have your heart set on using your own subcontractors in your new construction home, there is always the option of hiring them to work after you close on the house. That way, you can proceed at your leisure—and enjoy overseeing the project at hand.

Ken Mita is the Project Manager at Pierpont Hill at North Haven and the owner of Central Connecticut Construction Management, LLC. He can be reached at (203) 627-0008 or via email: ken@cccmllc.com.

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