On top of concerns about dwindling backlogs and an uncertain economic outlook, slow payment for work already performed is now sapping the strength of many industry firms. Across the industry, executives report pay cycles for general contractors have stretched to an average of 45 to 60 days from 30 days a year ago. Subcontractors report pay cycles in the 90-day range, roughly twice the average from a year ago. Related Links: Razor-Thin Margins As Contractors Fight For Stimulus Projects Costs Post Rare Quarterly Decline Firms Hold the Line on Raises, But Salaries Remain Competitive A Strong Market Still Has High
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.