The Difference Between General Contractors & Subcontractors

Difference between contractor and subcontractorIf you’re undertaking a major renovation or change to your home, you might find yourself confused by the process and the different types of contractors that are involved. In our blog post today, we’re covering the ins and outs of contractors and the types of subcontractors that they typically work with.

Generally, a contractor is someone who agrees to fulfill the demands outlined in a contract. They are legally obligated to do whatever they have promised to do in the contract. Someone who is a general contractor is the person who is in charge of the entire construction site, or home that is being redone, in our case.

A general contractor is needed when the site is large or the job is big and they won’t be able to do all the work themselves. If you are undergoing a home renovation, a general contractor will assess the entire project and determine what help they will need to get specialized services done, like tiling the floors or wiring the house for electricity. Once this is determined, a general contractor will take care of hiring all the subcontractors who are needed to complete the job.

A simple analogy is that of a wedding planner. You will hire a wedding planner to make sure your day is great and their job is to hire the vendors who will take care of specialized things like decorators, catering, wedding cake and photographer. Like a general contractor, they use their specialized knowledge of the industry to bring together the best subcontractors needed to get the job done.

A subcontractor is someone who is hired by the general contractor for a specific, specialized, job. When their job is done, they will leave the job site since they are no longer needed to complete the rest of the job. A subcontractor can be any of the following:

  • Engineers
  • Tile & Floor Installers
  • Plumbers
  • Roofers
  • Painters
  • Electricians

It is the job of the general contractor to coordinate the subcontractors, including when they will arrive to do their work and all communication between them. The general contractor acts as a liaison between the client and the subcontractors, keeping things as simple and seamless as possible for the client. The general contractor is in charge of all the daily operations of the project and it’s their responsibility to make sure things go as smoothly as possible.

Have we answered all your questions about contractors and subcontractors? If not, contact us today and let us know!