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Old 12-25-2018, 01:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Sedona, Arizona
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How to use my competition as subcontractors

I am a licensed landscape contractor and heavy into designing all of my projects. I have been using unlicensed landscapers who can do pretty much do all aspects of a landscape project and I provide all the materials.

I do not have any actual direct employees and don't intend to in the future. Things are not working out so smoothly since everyone is so busy. I am thinking of a way I can work with my competition by asking them if they will consider being a subcontractor for me. I would sell the job under my license and hand over the whole thing to them to install.

I'm not sure how to approach them as I wonder if they would be concerned that I would be privy to everyone's pricing and use that info to leverage the best quote but that's what GCs do anyway. I think I would have to convey to them that I am no longer doing business the same way I have in the past ?

Any thoughts or advice about how to transition into a new business model?
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:34 PM
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UNL UNL is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pahrump, NV
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Unlicensed Contractors

Originally Posted by jleslie View Post
I have been using unlicensed landscapers who can do pretty much do all aspects of a landscape project
This is the problem I and I am sure many others here will have an issue with. We do not condone unlicensed people as they in most cases do not have the experience or ethics to do the job correctly. Add to that they have no real obligation to do any of the work properly. I had been on many jobs performed by such people... not a pretty site.
In Nevada licensed contractors have to pay into a state fund to reimburse home owners that are taken advantage of by unlicensed contractors, punish the legal.
Due to medical reasons I am no longer running a design/build company. My work is now educating the home owner. To that end I do advise them on contractors and sub contractors.
Your sub contractors are part of your crew liability wise unless you have separate contract with them. Since they have no license I doubt you have such contract.

To your main question, are you selling the competition your design? So that they can make a proposal on the install to your customer? Or are you really looking at using them as subs and they report to you? Sounds like you might want to keep a hand in the cooking jar as far as the build since you said using them as subs.

I worked for a few designers and architects doing their installs but they were only designers and architects. No work past that was in their forte.
The largest number of designers/architects on one project was 6. All specialist in their field as we were working on a healing garden for a cancer center. The final word on the way the project is built came down to my company as we knew the practicality in the entire aspect of the build and including maintenance.
We (designers/architects and I) would meet the customer in a group meeting to discuss the details but when we did our final design presentation with cost it was usually just us and the customer.

Many designers who never do installs create wonderful work, then that is tapered to reality and budget by the installer.
If you don't have time to do it right how will you ever find time to do it over?

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