Every general contractor knows reliable subcontractors who can deliver work on time are vital for keeping any project on budget and on schedule. Alternatively, choosing the wrong subcontractor introduces risk to your project that grows exponentially as the project moves forward.   

It’s clear that picking the right subcontractor is one of the most important jobs a general contractor has, but it’s also one of the most difficult. Slow, manual processes can impede your ability to find the right subcontractors, choose the best bid, and effectively communicate with your subcontractors when the project starts.   

Why Choosing the Best Subcontractor Can Be So Difficult 

General contractors all differ in size, but many experience the same universal problems. You’ve probably experienced the stress of trying to find qualified subcontractors while flipping through a rolodex rife with outdated contact information. And, once you have the bids, you’ve likely had some long nights translating all your bids to one format so you can actually compare them side by side. And when the project actually starts? It’s rework and change orders galore if your subcontractor isn’t able to deliver on what they promised.   

Pro Tips for Identifying the Best Bid Every Time 

Determining the right bid every time can be challenging, but it can be much easier by following some simple tips and tricks we’ve compiled from estimating experts:  

  1. Get your bids to match as much as possible  
  1. Diversify your bids  
  1. Choose the best bid, not the lowest bid  
  1. Communicate openly with stakeholders  
  1. Build trusting relationships with your subcontractors  

To learn more about our pro tips and to see how they can help you find the right subcontractors, check out our ebook, “5 Best Practices for Identifying the Best Bid.”   


Author Bio

Dustin DeVan is Construction Industry Strategist and Evangelist at Autodesk Construction Solutions and Co-Founder of BuildingConnected. 

Founded in 2012, BuildingConnected has built a network of more than 900,000 construction professionals, helping real estate owners and general contractors find and hire qualified contractors for their projects. BuildingConnected joined Autodesk in 2018, adding bid management, risk analysis, and other preconstruction solutions to Autodesk’s construction portfolio.  

Prior to founding BuildingConnected, Dustin worked as an engineer, scheduler, estimator, and project manager for 6 years in commercial construction. He has held roles at some of the largest construction companies in the country.  

Dustin's construction experience includes large-scale, complex projects such as the $80 million medical office building for Kaiser Permanente, the $6 billion Las Vegas City Center, HP's headquarters in Palo Alto, Western Digital’s Class 10 clean room expansion, and a $700 million coal-fired power plant in Texas.   

Dustin holds two Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of California, Davis, in Mechanical Engineering, and Aeronautical Science and Engineering.