Take a look at your nearest city skyline, and chances are you’ll spot several cranes in between office buildings and skyscrapers. It’s a testament to the unprecedented construction boom currently underway.
Image by bridgesward from Pixabay
The ongoing commercial construction boom is expected to carry over into 2023. As a result, it remains a lucrative opportunity for all parties involved, from architects to developers to realtors to suppliers.
Enter the subcontractor. A subcontractor is someone who works on behalf of general contractors. As the name suggests, subcontractors are subcontracted in order to handle specialized aspects of the construction process. Examples include carpenters, electricians, excavators, plumbers, and roofers.
If you’re someone with specialized construction skills, becoming a subcontractor could be in the cards. However, it requires more than skills and expertise. As self-employed professionals or small business owners, subcontractors are responsible for securing contracts, maintaining safety, and doing an outstanding job in order to establish a reputation of excellence.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at seven essential tools and resources for subcontractors:
Subcontractor bidding sites
New construction projects are getting greenlit all the time. But since there are no laws against having an insider advantage, those in the know have the advantage. For a construction subcontractor trying to find work, chasing projects can be a daunting task in which they’re perpetually playing catch up. The solution – for many – is to utilize subcontractor bidding sites that let them search for new projects and place bids in order to secure contracts. While networking may eventually be enough to find your next job, bidding sites are great for getting your foot in the door.
Construction management software
While the principles of construction have remained relatively unchanged for centuries, technology continues to improve the process. In addition to advanced machinery and tools, state-of-the-art software has become a game-changing piece of tech for those working in construction. In particular, construction management software is essential for subcontractors who wish to stay organized as well as on budget. By using construction management software, subcontractors can take the guesswork and hassle out of many processes and procedures, allowing them to focus on their work.
The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website is a treasure trove of regulatory information regarding all things related to health and safety in the workplace. Due to the high risk of injury on active construction sites, subcontractors are encouraged to study the law and regulations sources available at OSHA.gov. Doing so puts you and your crew in a position to operate as safely as possible in dangerous situations.
Subcontractors are often expected to manage their own operations within the larger construction project. That means having your own equipment. Given the reliance on power tools to get the job done in most situations, subcontractors will need to have a collection of power generators ready to use in order to get the job done regardless of the overall power supply situation.
Every subcontractor specialist has their own array of necessary tools and equipment. These include common power tools such as circular saws, cordless drills, grinders, and sanders, as well as specialized equipment involving hydraulics and pneumatics. Having all essential power tools available at all times is critical to ensuring you do a safe and satisfactory job.
Subcontractors need a way to transport their equipment to and from the worksite. While any motor vehicle could theoretically do the job, the best option remains the proverbial work truck. The truck bed provides plenty of space to keep virtually every piece of tool and equipment safely stored as you travel. Just make sure to have durable lockers installed if planning on leaving equipment stored overnight.
When it comes to becoming a successful subcontractor, safety is the name of the game. Hard hats, steel-toe boots, high-visibility vests, safety goggles, and respirators are just some of the safety equipment you and your crew will need to get the job done with minimal risk to life and limb.
Construction projects continue to crop up in cities and towns across the world. For those planning on finding work as subcontractors, specific tools and resources will prove essential for ensuring they get the contract, do a great job, and maintain a safe environment for themselves as well as their workers.
Julie Steinbeck is a freelance writer from Florida. She enjoys writing about business, finance, health, and travel.