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Licensed General Contractor, Painting Contractor, Christmas Light Installer
2,821 Posts
Let's see, why I prefer residential exteriors to working with GC's on new construction interiors...

-Scheduling: On resi, we schedule, I work, but on NC, we schedule, I get pushed back by all the delays before me, then we reschedule again, (at least once, with less notice each time).

-Payment: On resi, 1/3 deposit at the time of signed contract with remainder due upon completion. For NC, often it's chasing down the GC to get your share of his progress payment before you have to wait til the next round, and I can count on 1 hand how many times I've been paid in full by GC's at the completion of the job.

-Scope: On resi, scope is defined, reduced to writing, work is done per scope, then I get paid and move on. With NC, scope changes almost always from the initial contract, change orders are continuously having to be drafted and then making sure to chase down the GC so they sign off, rinse, repeat.

-Punch Lists: Can't stand em. Doesn't matter what I put in writing. Doesn't matter that I'm getting paid to return because other subs beat the tar out of all my perfect finishes. At some point, it gets depressing to have to return repeatedly to repair everything, and it's not fun to have to set aside days to return after I've already finished and had already returned to fix damages. That's NC for ya though.

-Working around other subs: We are typically at the mercy of nearly every other subs schedule with NC and often have to work around and on top of other subs, even though my contract states something to the contrary. Electricians showing back up and poking holes in drywall as I'm preparing to tack & vac before spraying the final coat on trim...Plumbers installing toilets in bathrooms which were empty the day before, finish carpenters deciding to return and install full MDF shelves in closets after I've primed and painted, etc,etc,etc.

-We are the bottom of the barrel on NC: Let's face it, we are relegated to janitorial work to clean up after every other sub who steps foot in the house. They don't care they track mud in after you've cleaned the floors to prepare for covering them. They don't care about damages, since they don't have to fix em. They don't understand that when it comes time to spray the wood pack that a dust-free environment means not letting the stone guy cut his pieces in the garage cuz it's raining, 10 feet away from 30k in cabinets & doors trying to dry & cure. It isn't a matter of not getting paid again for all of these things even when it's clearly explained in the contract. It's the idea of it all. I've grown to loathe working NC for all but a select few GC's. There are a few whose subs are respectful, diligent, and thoughtful. There are a few who pay ASAP and do everything in their power to make sure each sub knows when they can & can't get their work done. There are a few.

With the exception of having to work around the weather, there's absolutely nothing I dislike about residential exteriors, (except a-hole wasps and stepping in dog poo).
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