By Dan Monk, P.Eng. / Red Seal Carpenter Owner – MONK Renovations I get asked regularly, do you have your own crew or do you use subtrades and the answer is “yes.” Speaking from experience, most renovation contractors have a combination of their own staff and subtrades. It is important to note, that subtrades are often independent businesses with no direct connection to the renovation contractor other than relationship, however the relationship is critically important. Subtrades who have a great working relationship with the renovator will ensure they are looking out for each other and the client to ensure the project is completed according to the National Building Code, and no corners are cut. Subtrades could be plumbers, elec- tricians, insulators, roofers, siders, drywallers, tile setters, floorers, painters, etc. all playing a roll in the completion of the renovation. Many commercial or new home construction projects are completed by a General Contractor, who manages the logistics of the project and scheduling of materials and subtrades. Typically, a General Contractor does not have many or any trades as employees. However, a high percent- age of residential renovations and additions are completed by a Renovation Contractor who has a combination of their own staff and trusted subtrades. The renovator looks after the logistics, which includes their staff and subtrade sched- uling, materials, as well as communications with the client.
skill/talent in a given professional field. Commonly, trades people start with a basic education in the trade of choice, with college or “on the job” training, which allows them to be called an “apprentice.” As an apprentice completes more hours of experience and becomes more knowledgeable and capable in the various aspects of their trade they become a “journey person.” The next step in a trades persons progress is to achieve the expe- rience necessary to allow them to write their Interprovincial Red Seal Exam, which demonstrates a level of knowledge and experience which has been tested and demonstrated to allow them to use the “Red Seal” designation. Regardless, if the work is completed by employees/staff trades or subtrades, all good companies maintain a consis- tent and detailed communication with the client, to ensure they are well informed and to maintain an open and honest dialogue. This will typically be handled by the owner or one of their project managers to ensure clients remain fully informed of the progress of the project, who will be on the site, and the future schedule of events to see their project to completion. the renovation functions, including demolition, framing, insulation, drywall, trim, possibly tile and painting as well. However, these well-rounded trades people are becoming fewer as our work force changes. We are noticing that there are more specialists and fewer generalists, therefore more subtrades are required to complete projects. The key to using more subtrades is to ensure each trade is competent, professional, and communication (written and verbal) is clear and accurate so everyone knows what is to be done. Often a Renovation Contractor will have a staff of carpen- ters who are capable of completing most of
Both styles of operation work depending on the scope of work and the skills of project manager responsible for the project.
To add explanation to this topic, trades are made up of various progressive levels of knowledge and
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • JULY 2018
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