8 Questions to ask a Graphic Installation Subcontractor before Hiring

Hiring a Graphic Installation Subcontractor

There is no need to worry about hiring a good graphic installation subcontractor if you follow our guide.


Hiring installation subcontractors is a great way to expand your business, save money on staffing, and find the expertise when you need it, however because they are an extension of your company, you need to make sure that they are the right fit, with the right expectations.  This guide will help you get the best experience you can. 


Before you begin working with subcontractors, you should ask a few questions to see if they’re a good fit for your project. Check out eight questions you should have answered before you hire a subcontractor:

1. Can you provide examples of graphic installation projects you have completed in the past?

This question is important because it helps you gauge the subcontractor’s experience and expertise in the field. Make sure to ask for examples that are similar to the project you have in mind.

2. What materials and equipment do you typically use for graphic installations?

The subcontractor should be able to provide a list of materials and equipment they use for graphic installations.  As graphic installations often vary from what is expected, this can be the difference between completing the project on the first visit, or having to come back because they are unprepared.  Get a list of tools typically bring with them, adhesive tapes, etc, vinyl application tools, power tools, ladders, etc

3. Can you provide references?

Like any hiring process, outside references about the potential subcontractor are crucial to ensuring your projects are completed on time and at the standard the client expects. 

4. How do you handle challenges or unexpected issues that may arise during installation?

This question is important because it helps you understand the subcontractor’s problem-solving skills and ability to adapt to unexpected issues. Look for a subcontractor who has experience dealing with common installation challenges and can offer solutions. 

5. What safety measures do you have in place to ensure the safety of your workers and the public during installation?

Safety is a critical consideration during graphic installations, especially if the installation is taking place in a public space. The subcontractor should be able to provide a list of safety measures they have in place, including the necessary safety tickets, insurance, WCB and other items, such as using safety harnesses, using protective equipment, and setting up barriers around the installation area.

6. When they need additional help, where do they source their additional labour?

Let’s face it, sometimes even a contractor needs a little help when it comes to filling a team of workers when they lead a larger than normal project.  It is important to know where this extra help comes from.  There are companies that drive to “Cash Corner” or rely on Temp Agencies to send bodies, and sometimes that is literially the skill level that they are sent. 

Additional skilled labour should come from a pool of reputable subcontractors that are properly trained, carry the proper tickets, their own WCB, and insurance.  

If you wanted unskilled temps, then you could have called the Temp Agency on your own. 

When you pay for the project to be done by professionals, make sure that the subcontractor you have hired has a strong network that they can reach out to.

7. What is your timeline for completing a graphic installation project, and how do you manage deadlines and ensure timely completion?

Timelines and deadlines are critical considerations for any project. The subcontractor should be able to provide a clear timeline for the project and explain how they manage their time to ensure timely completion. Look for a subcontractor who has experience managing deadlines and can offer strategies for ensuring the project stays on track

8. Will they sign a contract?

Stay away from subcontractors who won’t sign a contract. A lack of documentation can lead to issues later on if there’s any disagreements, possibly resulting in the printing firm getting burned. Professional and reputable subcontractors understand this and will likely want to put an agreement in writing, as this contract also protects them, and helps everyone understand what is expected in the case that trouble arises.

Hiring Installation Subcontractors the Right Way

Once you’ve narrowed down some of the top graphic installation subcontractors in your area, you can move forward with the hiring process. There are a few different actions you can take to hire subcontractors the right way. Some of these actions include communicating the subcontractor’s responsibilities, doing your homework on the potential subcontractor and ensuring any subcontractor you hire will sign a contract. Find out more about hiring subcontractors in the most optimal way below:

Have a clear understanding of what your graphic installation subcontractors are there to help with

Before you hire any subcontractors, you should know what you need them to do for your project. Start by crafting a scope of work that shows what tasks you’ll need the subcontractor to accomplish. You should include written specifications and drawn plans to help you narrow down the type of work a subcontractor will perform. You can also put together a schedule to make sure any subcontractor you hire has the ability to complete the job on time. It’s important to state what will not be the subcontractor’s responsibility to ensure the scope of work is clearly defined.

Ensure that your Subcontractors are bidding similarly

If you’re accepting bids from subcontractors, it’s best to have them all bid in a similar way and in the same format. Before you review bids, establish a procedure that only allows bids from subcontractors who have the correct licenses and insurance. This can help you identify qualified candidates who already have the necessary protections, which in the end will also protect your firm.

Graphic Installation news


Installation Subcontractors can  really help your company under the right circumstances.  BUT BEWARE, because there are a number of things that can put you and your company at risk.  Often the installer is interacting with your client without you present, and most clients do not understand that this group is not part of you company.  Arguments, unprofessional comments, poor cleanup and other items can also cost you long term relationships with your client.  Make sure that you have a clear direction with your subcontractor with respect to all aspects of your project to avoid costly issues.

With a proper contracts, and professional experienced installation subcontractors, you can take on projects you are not prepared for to take on internally.  Professional Installation Subcontractors will help you take the next step to grow your business.

Why CDN Crew Installations?


Our Crew have been installing large format graphics, store window displays, construction hoardings, store fixtures and the like for over 15 years.  We are available 24/7 for advise on projects, carry out site visits and install throughout Alberta and BC.  We have contacts across Canada, so if you are looking for a Canada wide rollout, we have the proven expertise to get it done - without excuses.

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All logos have rights reserved by their rightful owners. In no way is there meant to be any implied endorsement by any firm or company pictured on this website. CDN Crew Installations is a trade only installation company who contracts to Print Companies, Advertising Agencies and other related industries. If you would like more information on the companies that were involved in a particular project, please reach out, and we would be happy to provide you further information.