I'm a homeowner who's serving as my own general contractor and administrator. I know that it would be wise to include some General Notes with my construction documents outlining the obligations and expectations of the various subcontractors. Does anyone have any suggestions, or better yet any models or samples that might show what I should include in such General Notes?
Request a detailed estimate from your subcontractors. If they do not address some areas that are concerns of yours, then start with their paperwork and have a meeting to add what you want in there. This way it doesn't come off as you making a lot of demands, more of clarifying the working relationship.
You are treading a narrow path with this. While it is fairly normal for a professional contractor to set some rules and expectations with subs (and in fact doesn't really need to as the GC and subs likely have had a working relationship for years) these same things will be viewed quite differently when they are coming from a homeowner who is not a professional in the field. Some subs may not care, some subs may need the work and may choose to humor you and some will just walk away. Sadly for you, you could loose what would have been a good subcontractor if your 'concerns' are presented as demands.
I think this has to be worked out in the initial meetings with the contractor, and has to be in the documents. everything else is a change-order, usually meaning repeat visits from subs, returning things like the wrong tub or appliances and taking the hit on restocking charges and transportation, and all of which means extra charges to the homeowner.
a professional architect will spec out the exact items they want, and the contractors don't whine. there is formal language in the description of every sort and manner of device and equipment meant to go in the bidding documents, to the general tune of, "The duplex outlets will be of the rectangular 'decora" style, almond color, meeting NEMA (whatever) and having non-brittle fronts with extra-tension contacts. the (manufacturer) model (whatever) is formally specified." same for tubs, faucets, dishwasher, etc.
if you come along after the walls are closed in and want something changed, dig for that wallet, friend, they're going to empty several of the card pockets for you.
in the case of subcontract work, there are trim expectations that would be relayed through your GC, and should be in writing to the subs.
on a little bitty remodelling job, this would be a pre-meeting and contractor discussion with the subs' lead or site manager. quality of trim work is probably something the GC manages by hiring the subs they can trust, and there is a buddy-buddy discussion that probably occurs such as "hey, I want George to do that tile, Henry sets as crooked as his teeth."This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
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