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Using GC are we liable for subs


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By John in Clover, SC on 2/8/2005


Reposting in correct forum.

My wife and I just purchased a partially-built house (framing, rough-in done) that we are going to finish out. This will be our first experience building so we are planning on going with a general contractor to finish out the house. I just finished reading The Owner-Builder Book and was unsure on general contractor liability for subs.

If I choose a general is he responsible for making sure all subs have workers comp, and liability insurance, or do I need to verify this with all his subs? If the general is responsible for this what do I need to do to protect myself...do I just need to make sure the general contractor has (get evidence of)

- builders risk
- workmen's comp
- performance and completion bondability (not sure what this is but its in the book)
- errors and omissions (not sure what this is either)


thanks


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By Don in Baldwin, MD on 2/21/2005


John, you and your wife are responsible for the subs. Even though the GC should take care of all this, it is your responsibility to make sure he does. It won't be automatic. If he doesn't pay one of the subs - you must pay. Even if you already paid the GC. You make darn sure that he gets insurance certificates from all subs and that he gives them to you. Also lien waivers for every penny paid to all subs.

On insurance - the errors and omissions is for the design professionals. I think you are probably past that part. Talk with your homeowner insurance rep about what you should get to protect your investment. The GC will get something to cover his losses, but that may not cover you since your house was partly finished before he got involved.

Good luck and best wishes for your dream house.


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By John in Clover, SC on 2/23/2005


Thanks for the info. I'll ask the GC for certificate of workmen's comp, and liability for all subs to make sure I'm covered.
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By Danny in Livermore, CA on 2/24/2005


Just to be sure, call the State Contractor License Board and give them your GC's license number. They will give you all the info you need regarding the GC, i.e., workmen's comp., bonds, who really owns the company, and if his/her license were ever suspended. Also, you can check the website and input the GC license number.
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