How are you handling the situations when a subcontractor performs so poorly that the work needs to be redone? The checklist below set forth some steps you can take to minimize the poor performers claim.


  • Tell the contractor about the poor workmanship. This may seem obvious, but in some situations, it may seem easier to simply fix the problem. There may also be a provision in the contract that requires notice of problems along with an opportunity to cure.

  • Allow for opportunity to cure. Unless the owner or upstream contractor removed the contractor from the job, allow the contractor the opportunity fix the problem. This too may be required by the contract. While this may be frustrating, there is no question the contractor, at some point, will claim he should have been allowed to fix the problem. If he prevails on that claim, you will not recover the cost of the replacement contractor.

  • Take pictures of the bad work. You will need to document the bad work the contractor has done. And, make sure the pictures actually show the problem. A judge may be looking at these later on and if they don’t show the problems, your claim will be more difficult to prove.

  • Document any replacement work.  If you have to bring in a replacement contractor, keep all records for the work, such as work orders, time sheets, pay requests, and the like.

  • Be on the look out for liens.  The contractor may file a lien, even though he poorly performed.

  • Talk to your construction attorney. Sometimes these situations get heated and it is often best to get a new set of eyes on the problem to discuss resolution.

Ultimately, you are trying to avoid a situation where the contractor demands payment for the sub-quality work and you have no documentation of the poor workmanship or the replacement costs. You could find yourself in the difficult situation of having to pay both the original contractor and the replacement contractor.