GENERAL CONTRACTORS VS. SUBCONTRACTORS, PRIME CONTRACTORS, AND CONSTRUCTION MANAGERS

General contractor, main contractor, and prime contractor are all interchangeable terms – read our article on General Contractors if you want to get a better understanding of what a general contractor does.

Construction managers differ from general contractors in that they’re hired by the owner of a business and paid a fee, rather than a lump sum to tackle the entire project. They’re usually hired earlier on in the process and may work directly with architects, or even help the project owner find an architect.

Subcontractors are people who are paid to complete part of another entity’s contract. Simply, general contractors are paid a lump sum to complete the whole project, from procuring supplies to completing construction. Subcontractors are people like carpenters, electricians, and plumbers – they’re hired by the general contractor to fulfill their specific, individual component of the project.

Aa general contractor does it all when it comes to construction projects, from the initial development of project plans to managing the project’s labor forces.  General contractors take complete control of the project and are tasked to ensure that everything is going to plan.  

Key differences between general contractors and subcontractors are:

  1. General contractors work directly with clients and oversee the entire construction project, from hiring laborers to acquiring materials and more. They can do anything from construction and renovation to repairs and are essentially in charge of everything, including hiring subcontractors.
  2. Subcontractors are hired by and follow the instructions of the general contractor as contracted employees. They never have to work directly with clients or customers of a construction project and are hired to perform specialized tasks as part of a larger construction project. They typically work in one specific construction area, such as painting, plumbing, carpentry, or appliance installation.
  3. Not every general contractor will choose to hire a subcontractor to assist in every construction job. Depending on the skills that a general contractor possesses or who they’re able to hire as regular laborers, they may not require the services of subcontractors at all

If you are looking for a general contractor for your next commercial or residential project and if you’d like to learn even more about other essential information within the construction, demolition, or remodeling industry, please consider contacting us today, reach out to us and we can help you.

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