| by panjetani | No comments

Difference between Contractors and Subcontractors

Contractors vs Subcontractors

A number of parties assigned to carry out particular tasks participate in construction projects. Typically, a client or owner who has to complete a construction project calls for bids, and the best contractor is then invited to sign the contract and start working. A general contractor is someone who obtains a project contract. Subcontractors are then hired by the general contractor to carry out specific project tasks.

Under the terms of a contract for services, a contractor offers a client the predetermined services for a predetermined cost set in a typical time frame. In contrast, a service contract, such as an employment contract, is a legal agreement between an employer and an employee. 

Subcontractors accept work on the contractor’s behalf. Subcontractors carry out tasks that a contractor must perform but is unable to accomplish themselves. Subcontractors can range from a single independent contractor—like a plumber working for a building contractor—to a major national organisation. An employee of the contractor cannot also be a subcontractor; a subcontractor must have a contract with the contractor for the services rendered.

On the basis of different factors, the difference between contractors and subcontractors is as follows: 

Work availability

Contractors with more experience and a more stable market tend to get more work. To secure as many contracts as they want to complete, contractors constantly work to earn the trust of their customers. A subcontractor, on the other hand, cultivates relationships with the contractors in order to obtain employment all year long in the task in which they are experts. Before landing a contract, contractors must go through a number of time-consuming stages, and even once they do, they must finish the contract and agreement formalities before beginning work. Contrary to contractors, subcontractors solely work based on their market reputation and connections to contractors. They are not required to go through arduous hiring procedures or wearisome contract negotiations. 

Information & Management

Construction projects are allocated to contractors because they are knowledgeable about both the technical aspects of the work and the various management techniques used during the various stages of the project. Therefore, it is the contractor’s duty to see a project through to completion. Contrarily, a subcontractor focuses solely on one or more specific aspects of construction, such as concreting, excavation, bar binding, etc. This is the reason a contractor employs other contractors to complete the different duties because they need their services.


For the completion of a project, contractors do not engage labourers. Subcontractors are hired to complete various project components. By paying a subcontractor in full rather than paying hired workers regular wages, the contractors are able to raise their profit margins. Removing extra work required to manage staff attendance, pay, and benefits, also lessens the contractor’s workload. Subcontractors are required to maintain track of the hours worked by their employees. The subcontractors make this extra effort because they are in charge of overseeing the workers who work for them to finish the project’s allotted portion. By finishing the specified assignment far earlier than the allotted time or budget, the subcontractors can also improve their revenues.

Who is responsible

It is very evident from the contracting process that the contractors answer to the customer and the subcontractors answer to the corresponding contractors. There is no working relationship between the subcontractors and the client. The client will hold the contractor accountable for any discrepancies, and the contractor will then hold the appropriate subcontractor liable for their job. 

Machines & Equipment

Many different kinds of machinery and equipment are required for a building project in order to carry out various jobs. These are highly pricey and require expensive maintenance. A contractor buys these in order to upgrade his workspace and get more jobs thanks to having this equipment. This was undoubtedly a risky investment made by the contractor. Subcontractors can already use the machines that the contractors have, so they don’t need to buy them. In contrast to subcontractors, who are exempt from these investment costs, this raises the cost that contractors must bear.


Contractors must spend a significant amount on maintaining office space and hiring experienced experts. They must also supply hutments, lodging for labourers, and temporary office sets as needed on the job site. While subcontractors are exempt from these costs, contractors are responsible for all additional costs. Subcontractors typically receive payment daily or after completing simple tasks that don’t need a lot of paperwork. Contrarily, contractors must provide a substantial amount of paperwork to the customer along with their payment requests, which takes some time to process.

Leave a Reply