In our current economic situation, when money is tight, most subcontractors face the same dilemma. The owners are demanding the least expensive project cost all the while believing that the project will be built "Per Plans & Specs", and "On Time." Each general contractor has their own set of safety and quality standards. The sub then has to submit their proposal knowing the material costs are almost the same, the labor hours somewhat comparable, and the equipment similar. Really, the main variables are overhead and profit. Now that general construction jobs are limited, the profit is minimized or set at breakeven and overhead has already been cut to the bone, so where does that leave safety and quality? It takes money for employee training sessions, meetings, and safety equipment. Quality comes from attention to detail and an employee mindset where craftspeople evaluate their own work and ask "would I buy this?"