Subbing work to a 16 year old

Discussion in 'Employment' started by brichter14, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Koehn's Lawn Service

    Koehn's Lawn Service LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    If he is what you are saying he is I would jump at him like a fly on stink. It is so hard to find anyone that is reliable and willing to work now days its just sad. Like valk said you don't know till you try and take that chance. But it is worth the chance if he has been raised right and it sounds like he comes from a good hard working background. Like TP has said with you providing him with the work he can take care of his own insurance than you don't have the worries he has a wonderful opportunity to start his own thing at 16 who knows where it could go from there. Sounds like could be a great opportunity for you and him with what you are wanting to do.
  2. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 5,709

    Is this kid still in school? Will he have the time to stay on top of school work and your work? Is he on any teams? Will that interfere with him completing your work? Summer sports camps? After school practice won't leave much day light for work.

    Odds are during school time he will be limited to part time ( weekends). Will you be able to pick up the slack? Are his parents on board with this idea?
  3. rclawn

    rclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 750

    Maybe you could sub the work out to his dad, then have him working with/ for his dad? Promote a bonding experience for father and son while providing an extra layer of protection for liability on your end
  4. Matthews Lawn Care

    Matthews Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,527

    If the kid has his own business and is merely a sub to the OP, why does any of your questions matter to the general contractor?

    All that matters, is the work gets done. If the sub isn’t up to par, the sub risks getting replaced. 16 years old or 30 years old, doesn’t matter.
  5. Matthews Lawn Care

    Matthews Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,527

    What extra layer of protection are you talking about? I doubt the insurance co cares if this kids dad is there or not.
  6. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 5,709

    Well when I hire a sub I want them able to complete the work and have it done in a timely manner.

    Would you hire a sub to complete work you know he doesn't have the time to complete?

    If or when this subs fails to hold his end of the deal does the OP have another sub he can get to fill in? Does he have the time to do it or even find a new sub before his clients get upset the work isn't done?

    Remember the client is hiring the OP his rep is on the line not the subs. So when the sub backs outs or parents force him to focus on school cause his grades drop who looks bad to the client if the work isnt done.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  7. Matthews Lawn Care

    Matthews Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,527

    It’s an existing client. Also, what’s the difference of being in school and having an established biz? Both have prior commitments. As a general contractor, you can’t control everything they do. If they don’t cut the mustard, they are out, done.

    The only free time I have currently is on the weekends. Maxed out during the season M-F. If he was wanting to sub it out to me, he’d be in the same boat as if he subbed to the 16 year old. I’ll get to it after my customers are taken care of or on the weekends. Not much difference unless it’s dark when school gets out or he goes to school on the weekends all day too.

    It’s a sub. You vet them and monitor the work they do for you. You don’t get to tell them what day/time they have to service it. If the kid was an employee then that’d be a diff story. Your questions would be valid in that situation.

    If we didn’t know the kids age I bet the reaponses would be mich diff. What say you?
  8. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,019

    Someone hired me at 16, because Ive been doing "this" since then.
    Of course i grew up on a tree farm/orchard and have been doing landscaping/tree work since i was take that with a grain of salt.
  9. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 5,709

    True on some of your points. Age isn't the factor time is. As I stated you don't hire a sub to complete work they don't have time to do. In your example of yourself. It would be unwise to sub you more then 2 days of work.

    My question where more in line of should I hire this sub. What are the odds he can complete the work and do it in a professional manner. His age is what brings the questions I raised. If he was 40 I would still have similar questions.
    You do have some control on when the work gets done. You have deadlines like say this job must be completed by xx day and time.
  10. Matthews Lawn Care

    Matthews Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,527

    Sure you get to control the deadline but that’s it.

    As far as the sub having time, that’s the subs issue to figure out. If he wants/needs the job, then he’ll figure out how to make it work. As the GC, the subs time mgt isn’t your problem unless the sub misses the deadline. So, if you subbed me 2 days of weekly work, that needed to be performed every Sat/Sun and it rains Friday, Saturday, Sunday. It’d be Tuesday at the earliest that I’d get the job done. Therefore, missing the deadline. That’s when the GC comes in and has to sell it to the customer. That’s the GC’s job, put out fires as they arise. No matter what, there will be an issue the GC has to step in on. That’s part of being a GC.

    Subbing work is just a trade off. You trade your physical health for your mental health.

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