Main ‘Con’-tractors… October 2, 2019

More and more times we are finding main contractors trying to screw us over on contract details.

They are becoming con-artists not con-tractors.

They try to find ‘legal’ ways to make the sub-contractor take ‘all risks’ on a project – and then try and wriggle out of paying the bill by quoting terms and clauses within their contract that are dubious to say the least.

Recently we have had pre-start minutes described as being ‘non-contractual’ and ‘not part of the contract’.

So why have the meeting in the first place then?

Pre-start minutes are a way of ensuring all elements of the works are agreed to everyone’s satisfaction. Any grievances are aired and agreement made as to how the project should proceed.

If these are not ‘contractual’ then surely there is no point having the meeting in the first place?

You say – that’s not what we agreed in the pre-start…. and they say…. ‘pre-start minutes are not contractual’ ….duuuuuh

We’ve also had contract documents sent over for signing that have no copy of our quotation or the agreed details of what has been included. They just try and say ‘lump sum agreed price’ when in our priced document it clearly states ‘classification of waste and any additional tax due at higher rate is the client’s risk’ ….

Why on earth would we take the risk of discovering asbestos or high organic content or any other number of contamination problems when we have no idea what’s beneath the ground when we start to excavate ….?

Yes, we can do trial holes – but this does not remove all risk of finding pockets of contaminated material – this is the risk when working on brownfield sites.

It is unreasonable to expect a sub-contractor to absorb all these risks within what is already a tightly priced project.

Main con-tractors know this – but still try and push it into your package of works.

We at JKSL are NOT out to ‘con’ anybody – we just want to do a good job at the right price and make a profit.

Far too many main ‘con-tractors’ work to little or no margin and rely on battering their subbies into lower and lower prices.

This I why we get these large companies (like Carillion) failing and causing huge financial losses to their small sub-contract team, resulting in job losses and failed businesses.

Let’s all try working in a more honest manner with an honest profit at the end of the project.

Nobody wins when we work for nothing.

Mike C