Many subcontractors start out confused and cautious when first introduced to alternative construction, but once they get a handle on the process of building an alternative house, most end up happy they decided to join the new process. After all, consider how boring it must be to do the same thing over and over again, day after day. You may even have experience with this yourself in your own job. Most of us like to try new things.
That is not to say that we are not uncomfortable with change. In fact, I think most subcontractors and other people involved in the building industry are uncomfortable with change; however, once they experience something new and realize they can accomplish the task with no adverse affect, they sign on in full. The question is how to get to that point of understanding if they are too cautious to attempt the new system to begin with.
Information is the cure. When subcontractors say no to your idea of an alternative construction project, they are most likely saying “I don’t understand this.” If you give them the information they need, they will likely see the light. Of course, this is dependent on your idea not being crazy! Using straw bale construction as an example: once my subcontractors realized that it really was a viable construction method that is time tested and ultimately really amazing (okay, I’m a little biased, I know), they were excited to try something new.
The more you can assuage fear in subcontractors and alternative construction, the better. If you can find a way for them to take a class in the construction method you are planning to build in, then do it. If you can find a specialist to consult with the subcontractor during the project, do it. All of this will make the whole project move much more smoothly and will help the subcontractor reach a level of comfort. That comfort will translate into better quality work and a happier overall experience.