American Subcontractors Association

Founded in 1966, the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) amplifies the voice of, and leads, trade contractors to improve the business environment for the construction industry and to serve as a steward for the community. ASA’s vision is to be the united voice dedicated to improving the business environment in the construction industry. The ideals and beliefs of ASA are ethical and equitable business practices, quality construction, a safe and healthy work environment, and integrity and membership diversity. For more information, contact ASA at 703-684-3450;


Best PracticesMore Like This

Typical subcontract agreement forms incorporate the written promises found in other documents by explicitly referring to those documents, which normally include the prime contract agreement, plans and specifications, general and special conditions, and other promises made by the prime contractor to the owner. Continue »

Asset ProtectionMore Like This

Increased productivity in construction through better information management can save the project owner money. Nonetheless, construction contract provisions are sometimes written to the disadvantage of contractors and subcontractors that employ newer technologies. In other cases, construction contract provisions are written for a scenario that assumes the use of paper communications, and care isn’t taken to ensure that appropriate contract modifications are in place that are based on the use of more advanced data transfer technology. Continue »

Claims ManagementMore Like This

Budgeting, planning and executing a successful construction project is a complex affair. Accurate scheduling of construction project activities in their appropriate sequence ordinarily requires applying a mathematical problem-solving method called critical path method (CPM). The sequential order of tasks that consumes the most time determines the critical path for any complex activity. Delay of any task on the critical path delays all of the tasks that follow. Other tasks that are necessary to the construction project but susceptible to performance within a range of other concurrent tasks ordinarily can be delayed without affecting the critical path, although such tasks can become critical if delayed too much. Continue »

Asset ProtectionMore Like This

To prepare an accurate cost estimate for most jobs, a construction subcontractor needs a work description, drawings, specifications, time limitations and contract terms. If any part of the work description is changed after the estimate has been prepared, the cost and time estimates must change accordingly. Some design changes will not invalidate a subcontractor’s time and costs estimate. Examples of such ‘no-cost’ changes include moving the planned location of a building fixture so long as the move does not create conflicts or require other changes to the design or schedule. Continue »

InsuranceMore Like This

Construction subcontracts have specified types and limits of insurance coverage to ensure that responsible subcontractors are considered for work. Supervisory contractors should review a subcontractor’s insurance certificate before directing the subcontractor to start work. If the contractor waits until after subcontractors have started work to reject insurance coverage as failing to conform to the insurance requirements, it may withhold the subcontractor’s payment based on breach of the insurance requirements. This can create a serious cash flow problem for a subcontractor that has already started work. Continue »

Claims ManagementMore Like This

A force majeure is an event beyond the control of the parties to a contract, which prevents or delays the performance of a contract obligation in an unanticipated way. Although force majeure events such as labor strikes, bad weather and materials shortages may complicate a construction subcontractor’s efforts to perform on schedule, courts of law are reluctant to excuse a subcontractor’s failure to perform due to such occurrences. Continue »