Feb 16

Contractor Vs. Subcontractor: Learning About the Differences

Some people have a hard time distinguishing between the functions performed by contractors and subcontractors. This article aims to clear up any confusion between contractors vs. subcontractors. 

What Differentiates a Contractor from a Subcontractor?

A contractor is a person or business that is employed to carry out specific projects. This party may operate as part of a company or may operate independently.

Contractor Vs. Subcontractor: Learning About the Differences

A contractor typically works under a written contract to deliver services, labor, or materials to finish a project.

Subcontractors, on the other hand, are organizations or people who perform tasks for a contractor as part of a larger project under contract. Subcontractors rarely interact with clients and often only report to the person with whom they have a contract.

The structure and workflow are the main differences between contractors and subcontractors. Contractors who are employed (contracted) by other contractors are known as subcontractors.

The underlying relationships are as follows:

  • Owners employ (contract) contractors
  • Contractors hire (subcontract) subcontractors
  • The owner of the property and a contractor come to an agreement when working on construction projects, which can be anything, from life-science conversion projects to

What is a Contractor?

Contractors employ a variety of methods and offer several benefits, two of which include using their own team and hiring subcontractors for tasks outside of their expertise.

A building contractor normally has competence in at least one area of construction, although they are frequently engaged to serve as general contractors and manage multiple aspects of the project, even those that fall outside of their area of expertise. Subcontractors are useful in this situation.

Subcontractor vs. General Contractor

The owners in these situations only engage one contractor (the GC). It is on the general contractor (GC), not the owner, to hire all subsequent subcontractors.

A subcontractor is normally engaged for a specific task, one that falls within their area of expertise, and reports to the general contractor. Several examples of subcontractors include:

  • Electricians
  • Painters
  • Plumbers
  • Framers

Think about the relationship between contractors and subcontractors as starting broad and getting more specific. Some contractors can do it all while others hire subcontractors to get into the nitty-gritty of the fine details and perform specific tasks. If you’re looking to begin a construction project with a general contractor in the Bay Area, Gidel & Kocal Construction Co. is the team to call. Contact us today to get started.