Abstract: Golf course construction projects often get chopped. Owners and managers trying to save money will pull out portions of a contract and give the work to a cheaper subcontractor.
Chopped golf course construction contracts lead to confusion and bad feelings between owners and contractors. Here is how it works:
- The owner sends out a detailed description of the work processes to capable golf course contractors.
- After line item bidding, the owner will recall that a subcontractor offered to perform the work for a lower price.
- The owner will award the job, but he will give portions of the work to out to subcontractors.
Sounds like a great way to save money, but it isn’t. The golf course contractor based his bid on the original scope, and their bid reflect costs and overhead needed to perform the work in its entirety. When an owner reduces the scope, contractor costs change. Renegotiation of contracts never work, so the contractor and owner relationship begins on a bad note.
Two or more contractors on one golf course project rarely works. I know it happens on big golf course blow-outs, but the smaller the job, the less chance contract chopping will succeed. One contractor will always think that the subcontractor conspired to steal work from them.
Before bidding, owners should decide if they want to subcontract specialty items like cart path paving outside the main golf course bid. Clear specifications with a written promise that items won’t be chopped will deliver honest contractor pricing and work site harmony.