Gilbane Building Company is attractive to subcontractors and suppliers because of their impressive track record and focus on family values. If you’re thinking about working with them, this subcontractor’s guide to Gilbane can help.
Impressively, Gilbane is one of the largest privately held and family-owned general contracting companies in the country. If your company is ready to take on a project with a general contractor the size of Gilbane, there are a few preparations you should make. Read on to familiarize yourself with their company history, payment history, subcontractor reviews, general prequalification process, payment process, and more.
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About Gilbane Building Company
The Gilbane Building Company was founded in 1870 by Thomas and William Gilbane. Originally a carpentry firm, Gilbane has grown to be one of the oldest, and largest, family-owned design and building companies in the country. In fact, current CEO Michael McKelvy is the first non-family member to occupy the position.
Three companies with separate specialties operate under the name Gilbane — Gilbane Inc., Gilbane Building Company, and Gilbane Development Company.
Since their humble beginnings as a carpentry firm, Gilbane has made waves in a wide variety of markets, including:
- Civic and cultural
- College and university
- Criminal justice
- Government and military
- Fueling facilities
- Healthcare and hospitals
- Historic restoration
- K-12 education
- Mission Critical
- Multi-use highrise
- Science and technology
Gilbane Building also provides a wide array of services for the markets listed above. They include but aren’t limited to preconstruction services, construction, transition and planning management, environmental services, design and build, repair, and disaster recovery and reconstruction.
Here are a few noteworthy projects undertaken by Gilbane:
- Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA
- Maricopa County S. Court Tower, Phoenix, AZ
- 675 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA
- Kadena Elementary, Okinawa, Japan
- Waste Management Recycling Center, Cambridge, Canada
Gilbane Building Company is headquartered in Rhode Island and has operations in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
With a revenue of $6.6 billion in 2019, Gilbane is in the number 10 spot on ENR’s Top 400 Contractors list for 2020.
Before working with Gilbane
Big general contractors like Gilbane prequalify new subcontractors and suppliers before they work with them. Before you reach out to Gilbane for the first time, it’s a good idea to carry out a prequalification process of your own.
This is referred to as prequalifying a general contractor, and it can help you to better understand and adhere to a new general contractor’s policies and processes. In the long run, prequalifying a general contractor prevents payment delays and other disputes over the course of a project.
Subcontractors and suppliers can prequalify a general contractor in five simple steps:
- Check their payment history
- Check their credit history
- Read reviews from subcontractors who have worked with Gilbane
- Acquaint yourself with their payment practices
- Review a sample subcontract
You can start your prequalification research on the payment profile for Gilbane Building Company. There, you can find Gilbane’s payment history, subcontractor reviews, general pay speed, and other useful information.
Gilbane has a pay score of 70/100, leaving them with a C-rating. Levelset software assigns a general contractor’s pay score by comparing their recent payment trends with thousands of other general contractors around the country. This way, we can give you an idea of how quickly (or slowly) a general contractor pays their subs or suppliers.
16 subcontractors or suppliers have reviewed Gilbane on their payment profile. Overall, Gilbane has a subcontractor review rating of 3.4/5 stars.
Although the majority of subcontractors who rated Gilbane gave them 5 stars, only three subcontractors left written reviews — each one negative:
- “Haven’t been paid” — 1 star
- “They did not uphold the contract between themselves and a minority owned construction company. By law they were supposed to pay for the percentage of the contract that was completed and they instead did not causing this company to go bankrupt. Do not work with Gilbane!” — 1 star
- “Slow” — 2 stars
- “If you do work for Gilbane you need to plan for filing a lien” — 1 star
Recent payment disputes
Since November of 2019, Levelset has records of 35 mechanics liens filed on projects that Gilbane participated in. 24 out of those 35 mechanics liens were filed by claimants who were directly hired by Gilbane.
You can review each mechanics lien filed on a Gilbane project on the pay history tab on Gilbane’s payment profile.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are a host of potential causes for payment disputes in the construction industry, and that the general contractor on a project isn’t always at fault for slow payment or nonpayment.
That’s why it’s important to always know the details of a payment dispute before you jump to any conclusions, and, more importantly, make sure you’re prepared to handle slow payment on every construction project no matter who the general contractor is.
Getting prequalified to work with Gilbane
Like the world’s other leading general contracting companies, Gilbane Building Company puts each new subcontractor and supplier through prequalification before working with them.
To begin Gilbane’s prequalification process, you’ll need to go to the “Become a Subcontractor” page on their website. On that page, you can find information about iBidPro, Gilbane’s online portal for new and returning subcontractors.
Gilbane uses iBidPro to prequalify new subs and suppliers, facilitate contract and document signing, organize project bids, send alerts to subs and suppliers, process change orders, and more.
If you follow the “Trade contractor tutorials” link on the Become a Subcontractor page, you’ll find a host of useful and detailed information about iBidPro.
Registering for iBidPro will require you to provide some basic information about your company and your Tax ID.
After you register, it’s time to fill out the Pre-Qualification Form, which you can find by clicking on the “Pre-Qual Form” button in the top right-hand corner of your screen.
On the Pre-Qualification Form, you’ll be asked to provide financial, operations, safety, and quality information about your company. The form will be partially filled out based on the information you provided when registering for iBidPro.
You’ll need to provide some additional detailed information or attach a file directly to a field when completing the Pre-Qualification Form. If you don’t wish to provide some information or don’t have access to a required file, you can leave the field blank and attach an explanation.
A major part of the Gilbane prequalification process is providing financial information. In order to do that, you’ll first need to set up a financial authority. You can either do this within the pre-qual level or the user info level. When you’re all done with the Pre-Qualification Form, you’ll be asked to establish a username and password that you can use to access your information after you submit it.
From that point onward, your information will be passed to the procurement department at Gilbane.
After you get prequalified to work with Gilbane, you’ll be able to use iBidPro to sign contracts, bid on projects, submit and manage change orders, receive alerts, and more.
If you have any questions about becoming a subcontractor with Gilbane, you can email the help desk at email@example.com.
Gilbane Building Company’s payment process
Back in 2011, Gilbane began using the Textura Construction Payment Management (CPM) System to automate billing and payment. The goal here is to quicken the payment process and improve relationships with subcontractors and suppliers.
Regardless of which payment software Gilbane uses, you should get familiar with payment best practices before bidding on a project. This section breaks down Gilbane Building Company’s payment process into four steps.
Before work begins
If you win a bid on a Gilbane project, you’ll need to supply some information before work can begin. This information is used for payment, liability, and organizational purposes. Gilbane will most likely ask for:
- Your W-9
- Any bonding information related to the project
- Proof of insurance
- A signed copy of the subcontract
The project administrator will let you know if Gilbane needs anything outside of those items.
Applying for first payment
It’s extremely common for general contractors to prefer the AIA billing forms. That’s because they’re widely known, simple and straightforward, and used across the industry.
Additionally, make sure you fill out your pay apps as completely and accurately as possible. Making a mistake when applying for your first or any subsequent payments will result in delays and other complications.
Your first pay app will most likely be due on the 20th of each month.
Applying for progress payments
Progress payments are extremely helpful to both general contractors and subcontractors. General contractors like them because they allow them to keep track of their subcontractors’ progress, and subcontractors like them because they help them maintain a steady flow of cash throughout a project.
To apply for progress payments with Gilbane Building Company, you’ll likely need to provide two items:
General contractors will sometimes request that you sign a lien waiver in exchange for progress payments. If you’re presented with a lien waiver, make sure you read through it with a construction payment expert before you sign it.
Applying for final payment
Applying for final payment is almost identical to applying for your first payment. The only difference is that you will need to complete Gilbane’s close-out process.
The close-out process differs among general contractors. However, it generally requires that you sign and complete a selection of close-out documents.
Tips to get paid with Gilbane Building Company
No matter how prepared you are to take on a construction project with a new general contractor, payment issues in the construction industry can creep up out of nowhere. That’s because the construction industry is known as one of the slowest-paying industries in the country, with an average subcontractor wait time of 83 days in 2018.
To combat slow payment when it happens, there are three things you can do on every construction project.
1. Always send a preliminary notice.
Preliminary notices, or prelims, are documents that let the parties on top of the payment chain know who you are and that you know what you’re doing.
Keeping your company fresh in the paying parties’ minds usually moves your invoice to the top of the stack, and it shows the paying parties that they’re working with an organized and doc-savvy subcontractor.
Along with that, sending a preliminary notice is a requirement in most states, and failure to send one could compromise your recovery options if you run into payment problems later on.
2. Send invoice reminders or notices of intent to lien.
These two documents do exactly what they sound like they do. Invoice reminders are simple letters that aim to jog the paying party’s memory regarding your invoice. On the other hand, a notice of intent to lien sends a stronger message.
Notices of intent, or NOIs, serve to show the paying party that you’re prepared to file a mechanics lien if you don’t get paid soon.
No one on a construction project wants a mechanics lien. In fact, they’re so powerful that simply sending an NOI can be enough to trigger a payment.
3. Always make sure your lien rights are intact.
As stated above, mechanics liens are among the most powerful recovery tools that you as a subcontractor or supplier have at your disposal. Mechanics liens attach to the property you worked on, hindering its sale until you get paid.
Because these documents have the potential to stop progress on a construction project in its tracks, there are several requirements that you must meet before you can file one. These requirements vary from state to state, but they usually involve sending a prelim, meeting various deadlines, sending other notices, and maintaining a valid contractor’s license for the work you performed on the construction project.