My wife and I hired a roofing company, but I think the person we contracted with just put the work onto his crews back. He only came out to the job site twice: once to provide an estimate, and once to deliver a warranty.

I did not think he would pocket the money and make the subcontractors do all the work. How can I tell what happened here?

  • 2
    Its pretty common to have a salesperson do paperwork and explain things, estimate, etc. Do you expect each crew foreman to estimate and do paperwork for their own jobs?
    – JPhi1618
    Sep 7 at 20:52
  • 2
    It usually does not matter much, you pay him/company for job, and they pay the workers, and guaranteed the job. Depending on how company is set up, might have boss and two helpers, a crew that works for boss or subs that boss hires. Boss guarantees the work(you hope).
    – crip659
    Sep 7 at 20:54
  • 3
    Company owners don’t drive nails usually.
    – Kris
    Sep 7 at 21:34
  • 1
    How are tasks distributed in the company that you work for? The principle is the same here.
    – Chenmunka
    Sep 8 at 8:44
  • 1
    You got negative votes for this question, not from me but I think you'd do well to clarify what you are asking. Your question is unclear and loaded with implied accusations. Do you want to know the formal relationship between your contractor and his workers? IE, are they employees, contractors, cash workers ("using subcontractors")? Do you want to know if he is stiffing or paying them ("pocket the money")? Do you want to know if he is providing adequate care or supervision of his job ("only came out twice")? Was there something obviously wrong with the crew or the result they provided?
    – jay613
    Sep 8 at 11:31

First, if you have a contract with someone, and a question/suspicion arises about the work specified in that contract, you should just ask the person you are contracting with, rather than go online looking for guesses. We have no idea what happened in your scenario unless you tell us.

Second, what do you mean by "his crews"? I assume you spoke with and made a deal with one person... that's pretty normal. However, did you expect or specify in your contract that only this one person was allowed to build/install your roof? That's highly impractical and would no doubt be far more expensive, because it would be far more dangerous and take far more time to complete (read: hourly rates + hazard pay). It sounds like you hired a "company" so I don't see any issue with "the company crew" doing the work?

Third, this is part of the benefit of using a contractor; they have connections with other contractors they can "sub" work out to based on their expertise. If a general contractor has a good business and customer service acumen, it makes perfect sense (and is more efficient) to sub out the parts of building construction to smaller crews who may be really good at doing the building, but not so good at getting work for themselves from homeowners/people "outside" the construction industry. Painters want to paint, framers want to frame, and roofers want to roof. They don't want to haggle with first-time homeowners Bill and Pam about price and materials and deadlines... let somebody else do that.

  • Maybe he is subbing out the work to uncaring third parties and absconding with the money.
  • Maybe he has great crews who he trusts to do a good job, and they trust him to do his job that is to find customers, hire good people, procure good materials economically, and make sure everybody does what they should .. pay, get paid, do a good job, etc. Maybe the techniques he uses to accomplish this are not obvious to you, and do not involve climbing on roofs.
  • Maybe he has great crews etc etc but he really ought to show face a little more on his job sites and is taking too much risk by not doing so.
  • Maybe he has great crews, etc etc but he had a family emergency or a problem on another job site on the day(s) he did your work, so rather than make it your problem, he got the job done. Did they do a good job? Did you get what you want?
  • Maybe his crews all work for him full time.
  • Maybe he can't keep employees happy so he always has to scrounge for subcontractors.
  • Maybe he has a good reputation in the community and a good network of subcontractors who prefer to work through him because he is so good at his part of the operation and they prefer to just practice their craft.

The Internet can't help you figure this out.


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