So you’ve decided it’s time to replace the garage door. You got a number off the side of a van you saw drive past the house and had the owner of the garage door installation company over for a chat. They explained everything and seemed to know their stuff so you signed on the dotted line. They then promised to be back in the morning to get to work. The next day a van drives up to your house alright, except the guy you spoke with is nowhere to be seen. In fact, the name on the side of this van is different than the name of the company you thought would be doing the work. What’s going on? What’s going on is that the company you signed the contract with has subcontracted the job out to someone else. And you have every right and reason to be concerned.
What to do When Garage Door Installers use Subcontractors
If you’ve hired someone to install your new garage door and a subcontractor shows up to do the work instead you have good reason to be concerned and here’s why:
They’ve Essentially Tricked You - Business transactions only work when there is trust between both sides. That’s not to say you have to be best friends with the contractor, but you need to feel confident the person you’re doing business with is being straight with you. If a garage door installation company planned all along to use subcontractors but didn’t inform you they’ve demonstrated a propensity for deceptive behavior and you have every right to call them on it. After all, if they’re willing to deceive you about something so fundamental, what else are they hiding?
You don’t know who is doing the work - While using subcontractors is common in the building trades many homeowners are not aware of it and when strangers show up to do work they are justifiably concerned. “Where is the person I talked with?” “Who are these guys?” You may have signed on for the installation because you felt comfortable with the guy you talked to. But when strangers show up that comfort level is gone. In addition, you have no idea if these strangers are qualified or trustworthy? Are you letting someone into your home who has violent criminal history? Are family members and your belongings at risk?
They may not be properly insured - The garage door installers you signed on with showed proof of insurance when you asked. But are these subcontractors insured? If they’re not and one of them gets hurt or causes damage to your home do you know who is responsible? If you guessed the original contractor, guess again. It’s you. That’s right. If one of these strangers falls off a ladder and is seriously injured while working without insurance you will be held financially accountable. The amount of money you are sued for could fundamentally change the course of your life. Don’t ever let a subcontractor lift a finger on your property until they can prove they are fully insured.
The contractor’s guarantee may not extend to them - The contractor may have assured you that any work he did was fully guaranteed. But does that guarantee extend to these strangers who showed up? Before you let them do any work you should look carefully at the contract you signed to see if it says anything about the guarantee on workmanship being valid regardless of who does the work. If it doesn’t you need to call the original contractor and get them to spell it out in writing. If they hesitate you shouldn’t hesitate to send the subcontractors packing.
They may (and probably will) use cheap parts - Often times in business things come down to the fine points, such as with the guarantee we just mentioned. This concept also extends to parts. The person you originally talked to may have stated flatly that “I always use the highest quality parts.” And that might be true. However, since he didn’t show up to do the work it may also be true that the subcontractor installs used or reconditioned parts that are not under warranty and will quickly break down. Again, you need to look over the details of the contract and see if it mentions anything about using new parts or if there is a stipulation hiding in the fine print that allows for the installation of old or reconditioned parts.
If the contractor doesn’t pay them they can come after you - That’s right. If you pay the contractor as per your agreement and the contractor then doesn’t pay the subcontractor who actually did the garage door installation the subcontractor can come after you for their money. You may in fact wake up one day to discover a lien has been put on your house by the subcontractor because he didn’t get paid. The net result is that you will have paid the original contractor for the work and then you’ll also have to pay the subcontractor before you can sue the original contractor to get your money back.
When your garage door installation gets unexpectedly subcontracted out to someone you never met there are all kinds of things that could go wrong. Don’t take the chance. When it comes time to hire a garage door installation company make sure you choose one with a proven track record who will do the installation themselves without any games or legal trickery. Choose A Better Garage Door and rest easy.