Scoring a bid on a project with a general contractor like Clark Construction almost always means your company is doing something right. That’s because big general contractors won’t contract with just any company—they’re looking for professionals who do great work and get things done right the first time.
If you’re ready to work with Clark Construction, the best thing you can do is make sure you know what to expect. This subcontractor’s guide to Clark helps you make informed decisions while working with them and secure payment in full and on time. Additionally, general contractors of all sizes love to work with subcontractors and suppliers who can follow their processes closely. That’s because following the GC’s processes as closely as you can significantly decreases the chances of a payment dispute over the course of the construction project.
You can use this guide as a primer to Clark Construction Group. Continue reading to learn about Clark’s company history, payment history, prequalification process, and more.
About Clark Construction
Originally Hyman Construction, the Clark Construction Group was founded in 1906 by George Hyman. Hyman Construction grew exponentially in 1909 because the company had the only steam shovel in the Washington D.C. area.
After years of growth and continued success, A. James Clark was hired in 1950. Nearly two decades later, Clark would go on to become the CEO of Hyman Construction in 1968. Clark bought the company from the Hyman family in 1969, initiating the transition from Hyman Construction to Clark Construction.
Upon the foundation laid by Hyman and under the leadership of A. James Clark, the Clark Construction Company has grown to be one of the largest and most successful general contracting companies in the country.
In 1995, a merger took place between Hyman, Shirley Contracting, Guy F. Atkinson Construction, and OMNI to create the Clark Construction Group.
Today, five subsidiary companies operate under the Clark Construction name. They are:
- C3M Power Systems
- Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate
- Guy F. Atkinson Construction
- Shirley Contracting
- SN2 Technology Group
With a varied skill base, Clark Construction works primarily in the following sectors:
- Industrial and distribution
- Mass transit
- Public assembly
- Historic restorations
- Residential and mixed-use
- Roadways and bridges
- Sports and entertainment
- Transmission and distribution
- Tunnels and mines
- Water and wastewater
Clark Construction and their subsidiary companies have an impressive and diverse portfolio. Here are a few of their notable projects:
- LACMA Building for the Permanent Collection, Los Angeles, CA
- Aztec Stadium, San Diego, CA
- Howard County Circuit Courthouse, Columbia, MD
- The Wilson and the Elm, Bethesda, MD
- Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
- Frost Tower, San Antonio, TX
Unlike other general contractors of comparable size, Clark Construction does not operate internationally.
Clark has offices in Maryland, Illinois, Florida, Texas, California, and Washington.
Before working with Clark Construction
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the kind of work Clark Construction does, it’s time to prequalify them. Subcontractors and suppliers should always prequalify a new general contractor before attempting to work with them. Prequalifying a general contractor helps you get an idea of their payment history and habits, allowing you to make sure the partnership will be right for you.
To prequalify a general contractor, you can start by going through each of the following five steps:
- Review their payment history.
- Review their credit history.
- Find out what other subcontractors have to say.
- Learn about their general payment processes.
- Review a sample subcontract.
The best place to begin prequalifying a general contractor is on their payment profile. Clark Construction’s payment profile is full of useful information that you can use to acquaint yourself with the company before you reach out.
Clark Construction Group has a payment score of 75 out of 100, giving them a grade of “C.” Payment score is calculated by comparing a GC’s recent payment history with thousands of other GCs around the country. After that, they are graded on a scale from A to F.
On top of their payment score, subcontractors who have worked with Clark Construction in the past have given the GC a rating of 3.7 stars out of 5. The star rating comes straight from subcontractor reviews right here on the Levelset website. A whopping 56% of subcontractors gave Clark five stars, while only 22% gave them one.
The most recent five-star review was written in July of 2020, stating:
- “Pay when paid and quickly when all paperwork is in order.”
Two other five-star reviews were written in 2019:
- “Very large contractor, stiff insurance requirements…to be expected. Average pay cycle is net 30-45 from closing cycle around 20th of the month the work is performed…standard for AIA cycle projects. If you are a smaller contractor with tight cash flows you should pass on projects with Clark…..no less you probably won’t qualify for their insurance reqs.”
- “Payments are timely and they are easy to work with”
Recent payment disputes
You can also use Clark Construction’s payment profile to find a brief overview of their payment history.
Since January of 2020, four mechanics liens have been filed on construction projects that Clark was participating in. Of those four, two have been canceled. All four mechanics liens were filed by contractors who were directly hired by Clark Construction.
The two mechanics liens that have been canceled are as follows:
- Mechanics lien filed on 8/6/20 in San Diego, CA: $369,000
- Mechanics lien filed on 7/7/2020 in El Cerrito, CA: $300,000
The two active mechanics liens on file are as follows:
- Mechanics lien filed on 3/5/2020 in Chicago, IL — $30,000
- Mechanics lien filed on 1/2/2020 in Chicago, IL — $83,000
It’s important to bear in mind that not every payment dispute on a construction project is the general contractor’s fault. The construction industry is plagued with instances of slow payment and cash flow issues.
Knowing the causes is the first step to being able to recognize when a dispute could arise. Always make sure you’re doing everything you can to avoid nonpayment so you’re better equipped to recover funds when you need to.
Get prequalified to work with Clark Construction
After you prequalify Clark for yourself, the next step is to go through their prequalification process for new subs and suppliers.
The “Contact Us” button puts you in contact with the Clark Subcontractor Development Group for those who have questions about the prequalification process.
The “Application” button brings you to the Clark Construction Extranet, the portal Clark uses to organize their subcontractors’ prequalification information. If you’re a first-time user, you can register for the Extranet to begin filling out the Subcontractor Prequalification Application.
Before you begin the registration process, it’s a good idea to look through the FAQs.
The checklist for what information you need to complete the Prequalification Application can be found on the sidebar once you register for the Extranet.
Generally, a general contractor will require you to provide the following information about your company to prequalify:
- Health and safety information
- Financial information
- Insurance information
- Current projects
- Past projects
- Licensing information
- Your DUNS number
Each general contractor’s requirements are different, so make sure you follow the checklist closely while filling out your application.
After you complete and submit the Subcontractor Prequalification Application, it’s sent to Purchasing, Risk Management, and Estimating for review. If they have any questions about the information you provided, they’ll contact you either by email or phone.
If approved, your company will automatically be placed on Clark’s qualified vendors list. After that, you will receive an Invitation to Bids (ITBs) via email. You can follow the instructions on that invitation to bid on a project.
Lastly, you will receive an email reminder to update your form every year. You’ll be reminded 30 days before your anniversary date each year.
Clark Construction’s payment process
Learning about Clark Construction’s general payment process is just as important as learning about their prequalification process.
Below, we’ll take a look at payment with Clark Construction in four steps: Before the project begins, first payment, progress payments, and final payment.
Before work can begin
After prequalification and before you sign a subcontract, you’ll most likely need to supply some additional information. This may include:
- The signed subcontract
- Any relevant or requested bonding information
- Proof of insurance
- A copy of your W-9
A Clark Construction representative will let you know exactly which information they need before work can begin.
Applying for first payment
Payment on projects with Clark Construction normally follows a net 30 or net 40 cycle with pay apps due on the 20th of each month.
Make sure you send your pay app within the prescribed deadline, and that the information you include on your pay app is as detailed and accurate as possible. Failure to submit a timely and accurate pay app could cause payment delays.
Applying for progress payments
Much like applying for your first payment, applying for progress payments with Clark Construction is a straightforward process if you get everything right.
Progress payments are a great way for subcontractors to manage cash flow and for general contractors to closely monitor a project’s progress. If you’d like to apply for progress payments with Clark Construction, you should provide a detailed pay app as well as an up-to-date schedule of values.
Your project administrator will let you know if there is any additional documentation that you need to provide.
Applying for final payment
When the project comes to a close, it’s time to turn your attention to final payment. Applying for final payment with a large general contractor involves a close-out process.
This process usually includes the following:
3 tips to get paid with Clark Construction
No matter how good a general contractor’s track record is, payment disputes are an all-too-common reality in the construction industry. That’s why you should always take precautions before an issue could possibly arise. The three tips below are a great way to maximize your chances of getting paid on time with Clark Construction — or any other general contractor.
1. Send a preliminary notice.
You should send a preliminary notice on every construction project you participate in, even if it isn’t a legal requirement. That’s because preliminary notices foster communication on the project, show the GC that you’re a professional, and can work to get your invoice paid quicker.
It’s also an added benefit that sending preliminary notice is often a prerequisite to file a mechanics lien should you need to.
2. Review any lien waivers.
Lien waivers are exactly what they sound like — they’re documents that waive your right to file a lien in exchange for payment. These are very common, but they’re also frequently overlooked.
If you’re presented with a lien waiver, the best thing you can do is to look over it with a construction attorney. This way, you know what you’re getting into and leave yourself with plenty of leverage should a payment dispute arise.
3. Keep your mechanics lien rights intact.
Lastly, always make sure you reserve the right to file a mechanics lien. Mechanics liens are one of the most powerful debt recovery tools that contractors have at their disposal, because they can hinder the sale of the property they attach to until the debt is resolved.
Lien law varies in each state. Make sure you’re up-to-date on your state’s requirements so you can meet all the prerequisites to file. Otherwise, you could be left in a nonpayment situation without any options.