Choosing and paying a specialty contractor can be a painful experience. Owners want value for their construction dollars and specialists want a reasonable profit. Can they both be satisfied?


Before hiring a specialty contractor, find out whether or not the company has: technical know-how; practical experience; financial strength; equipment and skilled people; and a successful work history.


Next, decide on which basis to hire the specialty contractor. There are three ways construction contractors are hired: fixed fee contract; bid contract; time and materials contract. The fixed fee contract pays the specialty contractor a set amount of money as profit. The owner then pays all direct or out-of-pocket expenses. The bid contract allows the specialty contractor to quote a price including profit, labor, and materials for the specified job. The time and materials contract lets the general contractor get the job performed well and on time, and it lets the specialty contractor get paid with profit for all the work done.