Is Your Contractor Working Multiple Jobs?

contractor on phoneWhen you interview, then hire a construction contractor, you are generally given a schedule that includes both costs and a time frame for completion. This schedule may also include milestones along the way. But things aren’t going according to schedule. You start to wonder…is your contractor working multiple projects?

While it is not unheard of, or illegal, for a contractor to be working on multiple jobs at once, there are things you should look out for.

How to Suspect Your Contractor is Working Multiple Jobs

The job is taking much longer than promised

There are times when jobs that are quoted take longer than you were expecting. This may be because unexpected issues popped up during the construction job, or materials were running late. When a job needs to take longer than promised, it is the responsibility of the contractor to both inform you of the new timelines and create a change order. But if they quoted you a 3-week turnaround and you are now at week 11, with no explanation from the contractor, you should be asking questions. In fact, don’t even wait this long.

The contractor isn’t showing up

If your contractor told you that the project would take two weeks, but they haven’t shown up for days at a time and the project is nowhere near being done, they may be working on multiple jobs at the same time they are working on yours.

The contractor spends a lot of time on the phone

If you see your contractor stepping away from the job an inordinate amount of time to handle job-related questions on other projects, they may be trying to work on multiple projects simultaneously, but billing you for the hours they are on your jobsite. Monitoring and documenting the time a contractor actually works on your job might be wise.

You’re being charged for time not worked

Normally, you will receive bills at certain milestones throughout the project that include time, labor and materials. Check to make sure that the contractor actually worked the times listed. If they are listing days that they were not present, or charging you for an 8-hour day when they were only there four hours, they might be working multiple jobs and double billing each client. They profit when the client doesn’t either notice the charges, or doesn’t question them. You might want to keep a log of when contractors come and go, and track their hours worked, comparing it to the invoices at each interval.

Related: How To Deal With a Bad Contractor

What can you do?

Your backup is your contract documents. These outline the parameters and costs of your job, and you should reference them when questioning a contractor’s job. Whenever a change in the scope of the work, whether it’s the timeframe, cost, materials, or labor, a change order must be created and signed by both parties. This is the only type of enforceable agreement between the contractor and you. Verbal agreements will not hold up.

Knowing ahead of time the items to look out for can help you to have a smoother construction experience.

Having problems with your contractor? Call Först Consulting Group.

If you are having problems with your contractor, there is a place to turn for neutral, third-party help: Först Consulting Group.

As a construction advocate, Först has a number of ways we can help, including:

  • Consulting, to help you choose and vet a contractor, or to answer your questions before, during and after a construction project.
  • Construction Contract Review, looking over your contracts to protect you from unwanted surprises.
  • Construction Advocate, serving as your personal project manager to prevent construction problems or address items you may question.
  • Construction Project Management, checking your contractor’s work at various points throughout the construction project, either during or after work hours.
  • Construction Defect Inspection, checking a contractor’s work if a defect is spotted in order to document and remediate problems early.
  • Contractor Negotiations, stepping in to represent you in order to resolve a contractor dispute.
  • Expert Witness and Litigation Support, when negotiations break down and legal action is required.

Contact Först Consulting Group.

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