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Sub Contractors – “Subbies”

Sub-Contractors & Commercial Construction.

(Buildcom Construction’s concrete sub-contractors hard at it digging footings at our Wangara project.)

Subbies, Tradies, and Contractors – however you wish to address this group, play a vital part in a Commercial Construction company. Now you may ask “If they are so vital why are they not full-time employees?” Well believe it or not, there are very few companies these days, in any field of work, who function completely independently. Outsourcing contractors and suppliers allows companies to be more efficient and work more effectively.

Here’s a quick scenario. Let’s just imagine for a minute, you had a company and decided it was time to update your logo and rebrand your image. This is something that you will need done by perhaps a Graphic Designer, if your company does not have a Graphic Designer – you will need to contract one to do the designing for you. It would make no sense to employ someone for the task at hand as it is just as easy to outsource for that time period in which it takes to rebrand your company. Once your logo is done, you pay the account and move on. Simple.

In commercial construction we use sub-contractors in the same way. Sub-contractors are businesses in their own right and we work with them to design and construct our projects.

How does it all work?

In Commercial Construction we tender on tilt up panel construction projects that our clients want built. These might be anywhere from Office/Warehouses to Medical Centres. The client requires a cost to construct their premise, and we as the building company need to give them a figure to do this. The way in which we reach this monetary figure is to “tender” the project to our Sub-Contractors.

What is a Tender?

Just a heads up – nothing to do with chicken & KFC.

Tendering is a process in which we “seek offers to carry out work at a stated fixed price”. This is done by issuing Sub-Contractors with architectural drawings, engineering drawings & specifications on the project. A Sub-Contractor is then given time to review, ask any questions they may have and then issue a quote should they wish to be considered for the job.

Not quite the way it’s done!

How is a Sub-Contractor chosen?

You may think price is the deciding factor on why a particular contractor was chosen over another, but it isn’t. Whilst cost is important, experience, being able to start the project and finish the project in the required time, having all required insurances in order, having a good safety record, honest, reliable and finishing to a high standard is a must.

Once a Sub-Contractor meets these requirements, (and the price is right) a Purchase Order is issued.

Purchase Order? Huh?

Exactly as it sounds. An order to “purchase” or to “engage” with a supplier or sub-contractor. It is issued by the Construction Company and it states the works to be carried out, the price agreed on, start works date, the time of completion and terms and conditions.

The Purchase Order is a contract between the Company and the Sub- Contractor. It is binding and should be taken seriously by both parties. It is an agreement which needs to be adhered to. The reality is that too many subbies do not take it seriously and start works without one. It really is an important step in the whole relationship. A tip here – No purchase order? No work.

Show me the money!

Sub- Contractors generally get paid at the completion of the job. In some cases for example, roofing, where the project is quite large and a lot of material is needed, the Sub-Contractor can invoice during the job (progress payments) to allow for the purchase of more material. A progress claim can be submitted once that portion of works is complete.

(Bird’s eye view. Buildcom Construction’s roofing contractor.)

Buildcom Construction & Sub-Contractors.

Our Tradies are our mates. Without them we don’t have a construction company. Buildcom has a great team of local Sub-Contractors that we engage for our projects. Experienced, loyal, hard-working, honest, always ON TIME. ON BUDGET & ON POINT. We also take pride in supporting local trades and suppliers, which is important to the growth of our industry within Western Australia.

When you outsource the best, you create the best. Our finished projects speak for themselves and our clients, past and present can attest to that.


Did you know?

Even though Buildcom has the most hard-working trades on our list, we love networking with new suppliers and trades within the construction industry. If you would like to be a part of our database of sub-contractors you can register your interest right here on our website! Head over to the main page and check it out!