ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
ShoutChat Box
Recent Posts
15 amp outlets removed due to cell phones
by BigB - 02/20/20 07:23 PM
Square D "All-In-One" Panelboard
by gfretwell - 02/18/20 07:38 PM
2020 code
by shortcircuit - 02/11/20 04:30 PM
Anyone use rubber amalgamating tape?
by gfretwell - 02/06/20 11:17 PM
New in the Gallery:
Facebook follies, bad wiring
FPE in Germany pt.2
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 170 guests, and 9 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Page 2 of 5 1 2 3 4 5
Re: The GC / Sub Relationship [Re: NORCAL] #178305 05/27/08 07:26 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 421
togol Offline

Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:
Re: The GC / Sub Relationship [Re: togol] #178390 05/29/08 12:11 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 265
Sixer Offline
I would say it depends on how the job was done when it was subbed out. I'm assuming that the sub billed the GC, and the GC took a markup on the sub's bill. That's normal, but if I'm working for a GC and billing him and he's taking a markup on my invoice, I shouldn't have to deal with the HO at all.
That doesn't normally happen as most GC's are out to lunch when it comes to electrical, so it's easier for me to discuss wiring with the HO directly. If he's getting a cut on my invoice but not doing any of the legwork, I'd say it's fine to go back later and work directly for the HO.


"Will it be cheaper if I drill the holes for you?"
Re: The GC / Sub Relationship [Re: Sixer] #178429 05/30/08 01:27 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 169
ChicoC10 Offline
I see BIB, Petey_C and Sixer as all having strong points.

I'm going to lean towards the "It's not the GC's business after closing/final" position with a couple of notable exceptions.

1)If you have a good relationship going with the GC and your getting a lot of work it would be foolish to do anything that could be construed as disrespectful to said GC whether you see it that way or not.
Of course if it turns out that the GC wants to mark up your work at that point the owner might just find another electrician. Now you have somebody else hacking into your work that you're expected to warranty.

That brings me to:

2)Warranty issues. Lets say the drywallers didn't do a very good job of getting the lid hung. You go crawling up there and shake something loose. Cracks start to form soon thereafter. Homeowner contacts GC about warranty. GC claims you caused cracking by scuttling about in the attic and won't even consider the possibility that the lid was improperly installed.
It could take a long messy conflict to get that situation resolved.

It doesn't seem worth the trouble either way if the GC is going to be that way about it.
Fortunately, my "hanyman" GC's (a few to a few dozen homes a year) wouldn't take that position in the first place. They would put the owner in touch with me and be done with it.

Re: The GC / Sub Relationship [Re: NORCAL] #179404 07/11/08 03:35 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 27
Rich R Offline
Quote from original post

"Because after I finished a job I used him on, he went back and did more work for the h.o. without asking me."

He finished the Job, why should have the Electrical Contractor asked him for permission ?

As far as I'm concerned the Original Job was completed, the GC marked up the Electrical Contractors bill ( after beating him down in price I'm sure). The case is closed, deal is done.

Why some people think the Electrical contractor is somehow Indebted to the GC I don't know.

This is the problem with this trade, This so called Me..Me generation inherited a trade where everything that actually makes money I.E. Fire Alarms, Burglar Alarms, Motor repair etc.. is now done by others. You have older contracting companies still charging what they did in 1975 because they have paid off shops, tools etc.. (since they actually made a profit back then )and can because of low overhead.

Believe me, That GC or Builder covers his "large Overhead" in his pricing for the work, he doesn't need to reach into the pocket of the Electrical Contractor after the Job is done.

I have to go through my Job list and make sure I send a check to all GC's I have done work for in the past and still have "They're Customer" as a client. Since the function of an Electrical Contractor is now to make sure the GC covers his overhead

Re: The GC / Sub Relationship [Re: Rich R] #179406 07/11/08 08:31 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline OP
Cat Servant
One thing has always bothered me about the original thread ... I just couldn't identify what that 'thing' was. I think I have ...

One of the keystones to the GC's attitude seems to be "if the sub won't behave, he'll never see any more work from me?"

The logic / merits of that argument aside .... I have NEVER received any future business from anyone who has dangled the "future business" carrot. That promise seems to be empty cant, used solely for some immediate advantage. Usually it's in the form of 'give me a good price today, and I'll bring you a lot more work.' There have been plenty of times, though, that there have been similar variations.

This has even been the case where the job is going smoothly, there are no issues, and the promise comes 'out of thin air.' The work never materializes.

Re: The GC / Sub Relationship [Re: renosteinke] #179441 07/14/08 03:17 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 27
Rich R Offline
Originally Posted by renosteinke

This has even been the case where the job is going smoothly, there are no issues, and the promise comes 'out of thin air.' The work never materializes.

This is because the day before, the GC realized his profits were still at 50% not the usual 40% and was wondering if you forgot to hit him with a change order or something. He was doing a "Just in case" carrot dangle.

This technique is spelled out clearly on page 857 of the GC/cheapskate handbook (Mcgraw Hill 1978)

Last edited by Rich R; 07/14/08 03:22 AM.
Re: The GC / Sub Relationship [Re: NORCAL] #180377 08/23/08 05:24 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 30
Watt_Work Offline
Hey Guys,

I'm a General Contractor and this happens all the time in Commercial construction, Everyone on the jobs should know NOT to step on toes! Subs should never take work directly from the client that was introduced by a general, period. even months after a project is finished I expect my subs to Atleast call me and tell me the client wants more work, 99% of the time I'll say it's cool, but I'm kept in the loop That's all that matters.

'Sides the relationship between General and specialty contractors should be like the relationship between company owner and Worker, Side jobs with the owners clients are off limits, always.

Know who you hire,I've been working with the same bunch for over 15 years, I know who I can trust and who I Need anyway.

Common sense, General rules.

Re: The GC / Sub Relationship [Re: Watt_Work] #180378 08/23/08 05:27 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 30
Watt_Work Offline
Go Easy on me fellas, I'm new Here.

Re: The GC / Sub Relationship [Re: Watt_Work] #180382 08/23/08 08:31 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline OP
Cat Servant
That's all fine and good ... but I suspect that you'll find a fair amount of disagreement on the point.

Simply put, as independent contractors, you have absolutely no business telling them how to run their businesses. Not even indirectly, with the implied threat of refusing to deal with them again. Subs are not your serfs, nor your employees, and you have absolutely no claim to any profit from work that does not involve your trade - which is general contracting.

It's no different than if a plumber wanted a say, just because I helped him put in a water heater last year.

In a similar manner, you have no business objecting if I work with another general on a job - even if he's your main competitor.

You want me to become other than an independent contractor, feel free to get your own EC license, and then buy me out.

Re: The GC / Sub Relationship [Re: renosteinke] #180384 08/23/08 09:50 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,277
Trumpy Offline
Originally Posted by renosteinke

"Because after I finished a job I used him on, he went back and did more work for the h.o. without asking me. I was mad at the h.o. for hiring my sub behind my back, but madder at the sub for doing it. I let him know, and he apologized and said he wasn't thinking.

So, now with this GC, it's a situation of yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir?
Being a subbie doesn't mean you must work in absolute servitude to a GC.
I read a story over here, where the GC went bust during a contract and was found to be using his subbies credit to get things like materials, to get the job finished, when the recievers came in, the subbies were not even allowed to collect their own tools and materials from the site, it was guarded by security guards.
One guy I knew, lost NZ$40k in tools and materials, he tried to sue the company, but, as usually happens, he never did get his money back, it nearly sent his company to the wall.

Page 2 of 5 1 2 3 4 5


2020 National Electrical Code
2020 National Electrical
Code (NEC)

* * * * * * *

2017 Master Electrician Exam Preparation Combos
2017 NEC Electrician
Exam Prep Combos:
Master / Journeyman


Member Spotlight
Kansas City, KS
Posts: 30
Joined: January 2013
Show All Member Profiles 
Top Posters(30 Days)
dsk 11
djk 5
Admin 3
Popular Topics(Views)
263,508 Are you busy
198,587 Re: Forum
187,498 Need opinion
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3