This note came in recently from a specialty contractor and I wanted to share it with you. There are always at least two sides to any scenario, but if you want to stay in business, consider it a lesson on how not to treat a subcontractor.
I have a scenario where the contractor is trying to get me to work that was not included in the original scope of work for free and getting hostile when I told him I cannot do that but I am willing to put together a proposal. Then I found out the superintendent of the job was trying to hire my guy behind my back to do this extra work. I was wondering if there was an article you guys have or any advice to handle this. See a lot of stuff regarding s**tty subs not too many on the GC side.
I suggested he get done and off that job as soon as possible. He was right to refuse to do work that wasn't not in the original scope of work without getting paid for it, and right to be upset about their approaching his employee behind his back.
He needs to get their attention, and the sooner the better. He also needs to start taking pictures, now, of everything he's done and is doing on the job so they can't start the "you didn't complete", or "you didn't do it right" argument.
If, by chance, they change their mind and agree to pay him for the changes, he should get paid before doing the change and make sure the general contractor signs the agreement, not the job superintendent. He can't be too careful, because this general contractor and/or job superintendent aren't to be trusted.
Dishonesty doesn't work. In this situation, neither the general contractor or his job superintendent realize that exploiting another contractor to put money in their own pocket won't pay in the long run. Word will get around; eventually they'll run out of specialty contractors to use.
We try to cover both sides of the general / sub relationship on our website. A few other articles on the general and specialty contractor relationship: