When may a subcontractor refuse to continue performance?

Subcontractors may refuse to complete a construction project when certain circumstances arise. As noted by Construction Dive, even after you start working, you may stop if a general contractor fails to pay you. 

A contract, however, may include a clause that requires you to provide a contractor with a formal notice before quitting the job. Terms of an agreement may also determine whether a contractor who fails to pay must compensate you for lost time, materials and other expenses. 

How may a change order affect a subcontractor?

When a project developer or building owner hires a general contractor, a purchase order details the scope of work. In some cases, an owner may request a minor change after the construction work has started. A contractor may then sign a change order, which binds subcontractors to perform as agreed. 

You may stop performing, however, if a drastic or cardinal change alters the scope of the work. If a modification significantly changes the terms of an agreement that you entered into with the general contractor, you may need to renegotiate the payment or the project’s completion date. 

How may a subcontractor reduce the risk of a bad contractor?

Before agreeing to work for a general contractor, you may need to perform some due diligence. Running a background or credit check may provide information regarding the risks of working with a particular contractor. Publicly available sources such as court filings or subcontractor liens may reveal how a contractor handles unpaid invoices. 

Disputes may arise from a change order, a mistake or an error made while on the construction site. If a contractor fails to provide clarity or cannot communicate the job’s requirements, you may have cause to stop performing.