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#12980 - 10/02/07 11:06 AM Considering using itinerants
brad_bb Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/07
Posts: 603
Loc: Joliet, IL.
I will be an owner/builder. I will be my own GC. I have been thinking that I may need to hire one or two itinerants to help with the two frames I'll be cutting, one for a raising next fall, and one to be raised the following summer. I had wondered how the heck insurance would be handled and how much liability there is? Additionally, how do people typically select itinerants? Do they have portfolios and references that they send? Living conditions would be in spare rooms in the house for the first frame, and in a loft apartment in the first frame for the cutting of the second frame.

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#12981 - 10/02/07 03:54 PM Re: Considering using itinerants [Re: brad_bb]
Pegs 1 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/17/07
Posts: 122
I think it depends on the state you live in.....In Minnesota those guys would be considered employees and we would have to carry a work comp policy on them....It becomes really important should one of them gets seriously hurt...then the lawyers will decide what you SHOULD have done. It doesn't matter what the guy that got hurt thinks.....Unless he says he fell off his OWN porch you will probably be liable.
_________________________
Mike and Karl
Timber Frame Builders, LLC
Up North Minnesota
http://www.timberframe.bz

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#12984 - 10/02/07 05:34 PM Re: Considering using itinerants [Re: Pegs 1]
Gabel Offline

Member

Registered: 11/18/03
Posts: 687
Loc: Georgia
Brad,

I think it helps to think of itinerant timber framing contractors the same way you will think about any of your other sub-contractors on the projects. Make sure they carry a general liability policy (all legitimate contractors do). In Georgia and a lot of other states, sole proprietors can not get a workers comp policy. Definitely check with your lawyer about your state's requirements and your exposure as an owner builder, bearing in mind you will face the same thing with roofers, plumbers, drywallers, painters, graders, or any other subs you hire.

As far as employee vs sub-contractor, I have always hired itinerants as subs, and when working as an itinerant I was always hired as a sub. I would think that would be the case here -- owner hires a timber framing contractor to provide expertise, tooling, and labor on their project.

As far as how to choose one -- it should be the same as hiring anybody. References, portfolio , and trust. I would not look for a bargain -- most legitimate, fully tooled, fully insured, skilled, personable itinerants I know charge in the same ballpark and earn their money.

Each guy also has different preferences/requirements relating to lodging, travel costs, per diem expenses, etc. And not all of them work for owner builders.

good luck,

gabel

Pegs,
I am curious. Why is it illegal to sub out work? If a sub we hire doesn't carry workers comp, our policy covers them and we pay for the privilege, but they are still sub-contractors.

_________________________
Gabel

www.holderbros.com

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#12987 - 10/03/07 12:03 PM Re: Considering using itinerants [Re: Gabel]
brad_bb Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/07
Posts: 603
Loc: Joliet, IL.
Originally Posted By: Gabel

As far as employee vs sub-contractor, I have always hired itinerants as subs, and when working as an itinerant I was always hired as a sub. I would think that would be the case here -- owner hires a timber framing contractor to provide expertise, tooling, and labor on their project.

Yes that is what I would like to do. How does their living in a house on the property affect liability? What kind of insurance do I need as the GC/owner builder for subs on site, and for subs living in the house? Of course I will end up talking to a good lawyer before beginning, to make sure I am properly covered, but any knowledge now is helpful homework before I start paying a lawyer.

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#12990 - 10/03/07 03:28 PM Re: Considering using itinerants [Re: brad_bb]
Pegs 1 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/17/07
Posts: 122
Gabel

Its not illegal to sub out work...The state claims its illegal to call someone a subcontractor when they really aren't....

Microsoft got hammered a while back for the same thing....They were calling the people temps but the attorney proved they were employees....

Thats how this stuff gets screwed up ....its the attorneys
_________________________
Mike and Karl
Timber Frame Builders, LLC
Up North Minnesota
http://www.timberframe.bz

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#13004 - 10/04/07 03:10 PM Re: Considering using itinerants [Re: Pegs 1]
DKR Offline
Member

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 103
Loc: kansas city, MO
Us attorneys were merely protecting the rights of those employees to get the benefits Microsoft promised to provide to its employees. smile Microsoft tried to classify those workers as independent contractors so as to avoid having to pay for their benefits, even though these employees sat in cubicles beside other employees doing almost the same job.

IMHO, the lesson to take from Microsoft, one of the biggest corporations in the US, is that if they can screw it up, an Owner Builder can screw it up and be liable. Pegs is right, if someone gets hurt you need (1) insurance (including WC), and (2) a contract. In that contract, you can require the sub to carry insurance, add you as an additional insured, and give you a copy of the policy binder. This is especially true with WC. WC judges, laws, etc. take a very broad view of who is an "employee" and often sweep in folks the IRS and others would classify as "independent contractors." If you hire an Itinerant who can't get workers comp because he is self-employed, I suggest you buy it yourself. If the Itinerant gets hurt (as y'all know these are heavy timbers and gnarley tools) and you don't have WC, a lawyer is going to sue you and get your new house. If you've got WC, your liability for the Itinerant's injuries will be covered by the WC, and you don't have to worry about legal fees, potential liabiilty, etc. Well worth it.

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#13006 - 10/05/07 08:24 AM Re: Considering using itinerants [Re: DKR]
Mark Davidson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/12/03
Posts: 1116
Loc: Keene,Ontario, Canada
what I was told here in Ontario is that as long as someone is working outside of your "shop"(on site is fine) and using thier own tools, then they can be considered a sub.

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#13007 - 10/05/07 11:00 AM Re: Considering using itinerants [Re: Mark Davidson]
brad_bb Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/07
Posts: 603
Loc: Joliet, IL.
Well that's not good for me. I currently have a workshop on our farm and I was considering having them at the end of the winter, which means working in a my heated shop(40X50 pole barn).
Who has done this, gotten the correct insurance, and what will it cost me? It's sounding expensive.
In trying to understand the logic here, if you are an owner/GC, and the cubcontracted plumber is working in your house, then is he considered an employee?
Who should I start with to ask about the kind of insurance I need around here - attorney?

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#13011 - 10/05/07 05:39 PM Re: Considering using itinerants [Re: brad_bb]
Mark Davidson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/12/03
Posts: 1116
Loc: Keene,Ontario, Canada
WC for employees is not that high here, I think less than 10% of wages.

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#13015 - 10/06/07 12:08 AM Re: Considering using itinerants [Re: brad_bb]
Tom Cundiff Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/99
Posts: 245
Loc: Grafton, IL. USA
As a self employed itinerant based in Illinois I have been told by my insurance agent that I can buy Workmans Comp Insurance, but it is very expensive and because of the laws in Illinois I can not file a claim because I'm self employed. I am usually covered by whoever hires me by their workmans comp when I work in their shop.
In order to be considered a sub contractor and not an employee, I do however carry a 2 million dollar liability insurance policy, provide all my own tools, I must work for more than one contractor or business in any given year and I don't get paid overtime. I also do not qualify for unemployment insurance.
My advice would be to talk to your insurance agent, find one who knows about small business insurance. I use Country Mutual Insurance based in Bloomington IL.

Tom
_________________________
Not all who wander are lost.

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#13019 - 10/06/07 08:33 PM Re: Considering using itinerants [Re: Tom Cundiff]
Pegs 1 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/17/07
Posts: 122
Not all insurance companies will rate timber framing the same or shop work vs site work at different rates

Nor will all insurance companies rate labor the same on an apples to apples basis...You need to check around and see who will give you the best deal..

We get a really low rate when the guys are in the shop....We pay over 3 times that rate for everything else....10% might not seem like much....but if your total payroll is 80,000.00 a year then it can add up fast
_________________________
Mike and Karl
Timber Frame Builders, LLC
Up North Minnesota
http://www.timberframe.bz

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#13029 - 10/07/07 02:18 AM Re: Considering using itinerants [Re: Pegs 1]
brad_bb Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/07
Posts: 603
Loc: Joliet, IL.
Thinking about this, perhaps it makes a difference if the itinerant is a legal company, for example and LLC. Tom, are you a legally registered company? Perhaps that would be the difference between being a sub versus being considered an employee. When you hire the plumbing sub, they should be a liscensed bonded company. I wouldn't think it would cost much to be a liscensed registered company provided you purchased the required insurance.

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#13030 - 10/07/07 10:38 AM Re: Considering using itinerants [Re: brad_bb]
Tom Cundiff Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/99
Posts: 245
Loc: Grafton, IL. USA
I'm legally registered, dba; The Edge Woodworks. I also have a state sales tax number and file ST-1 with the IL Dept. of Revenue, but I only have to file once a year.
Being bonded is something different and is expensive. Tom
_________________________
Not all who wander are lost.

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#13476 - 12/09/07 05:59 PM Re: Considering using itinerants [Re: brad_bb]
eddymatt84 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 36
hi brad, i am currently looking for some filler work. I have worked as an independent framer before and carry general liability insurance. basiclly covering me. however i am not covered nationally yet. still working on that. if you want help let me no. I have resume' and pics. I have worked on 50+ barns and raised over 60. I would love to talk with you sometime. my info is on here but call anytime
207-350-0267 or email me eddymatt84@yahoo.com
thanks matt

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#26632 - 06/14/11 01:12 AM Re: Considering using itinerants
shameem007 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/14/11
Posts: 4
Gabel

Its not illegal to sub out work...The state claims its illegal to call someone a subcontractor when they really aren't....

Microsoft got hammered a while back for the same thing....They were calling the people temps but the attorney proved they were employees....

Thats how this stuff gets screwed up ....its the attorneys
_________________________
Antique hardware

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