What is the Difference Between a General Contractor and a Subcontractor?

When it comes to construction projects, there are two main types of professionals involved: general contractors and subcontractors. Both are essential to the successful completion of a project, but they have different roles and responsibilities. A general contractor is a person or business that works under a contractual agreement to provide services, labor, or materials to complete a project. They are typically small business owners who oversee construction work and the job site, negotiating contracts, calculating the cash flow of the project, and coordinating the work that must be completed.

Subcontractors, on the other hand, are companies or individuals hired by the contractor to perform specific tasks or services in their area of expertise. They are considered to be self-employed and perform more practical and specialized work. The main difference between contractors and subcontractors is the reporting structure. A contractor works directly with the customer and is responsible for the overall completion of the project on time.

Subcontractors, however, work with the contractor based on a specific project and must perform well to continue receiving work. Prime contractors manage authorized subcontractor projects and ensure that the work is completed as defined in the contract. They are responsible for overseeing subcontractors and making sure that they are meeting deadlines and providing quality work. In summary, general contractors are responsible for managing projects from start to finish while subcontractors are hired to perform specific tasks or services in their area of expertise.

Both play an important role in completing construction projects.