SoCal Remodeling Poll: Are subcontractors or employees better?

Written By: Kathy Price-Robinson - May• 23•07

What kind of remodeling company is best: One that uses most or all its own employees? Or one that uses mostly subcontractors, like plastering or electrical subcontractors?

In nearly two decades of studying the remodeling industry, I can’t really say which is best. Some homeowners want only company employees working on their remodel, while others insist on the most talented, artful subcontractors in the business.

If you’re a company owner, having employees is good because you have more control over when and on which job they work, and you can invest in their training. But using mostly subcontractors gives an owner more flexibility: when there’s a lot of work, you call in more subcontractors, and when there’s less work, you call in fewer. And subcontractors such as finish carpenters or masons, who may have spent decades honing their craft, could have much higher-level skills than the average company employee.

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