What is a subcontractor in the construction industry?

by Moe Bedard | Mar 6, 2023 | Business Operation Tips

A subcontractor (sub or subs) is a company or individual that has a contract with a principal or general contractor (commonly referred to as a GC) for the performance of a portion of the work specified in a construction contract.

They are frequently used in construction since they can provide specialized services that would be difficult for general contractors to supply on their own.

A GC is essentially the company or person who oversees the subs during the entire construction process from start to finish.

They can be hired for short or long periods of time depending on how much work needs to be done on a project or what stage it is at.

Subcontracting is common in all types of construction projects, including residential, commercial and industrial projects.

While each type of project has its own unique needs and requirements, there are some basic similarities that apply to all.

Subcontractors are often used for large projects to help the main contractor complete their work in a timely manner for certain tasks or for all the tasks throughout the project.

They can provide this expertise without making you hire additional employees or buy expensive equipment.

The main advantage of using subcontractors is that they can perform tasks with specialized expertise that would be difficult or impossible for most general contractors to accomplish themselves (e.g., installing solar panels).

The main disadvantage of using subcontractors is that they increase costs because they must be paid separately from other parts of the project (which means more paperwork and possibly higher fees).

Normally, they are also licensed contractors who specialize in a specific trade, such as demolition, plumbing, HVAC, roofing, or concrete.

For example, if you want to build a building with glass walls at ground level and steel girders above, you’ll need expertise in both those areas that most general contractors don’t have.

In most cases, when a general contractor hires a sub, he or she will require that they meet certain standards and requirements set forth by the state or local government where they’re working.

These include licenses, insurance and bonding requirements that protect both parties from liability issues if something goes wrong during the course of their work together.

When you have many subcontractors working on one construction project, it’s very important to make sure the project is completed on time and within budget.

That’s why it’s important to have a contract or some sort of written agreement with the subcontractors that are helping you with the project.

One thing that makes subcontractors a divisive topic is the varied quality of their workmanship.

They are the backbone of any large construction project and can make or break a project, so it’s important to find and manage good subs — which can be difficult at times.

The good ones are worth their weight in gold, but the bad ones can ruin the whole project.

That’s why it’s so important to find and hire good people and companies.

But don’t take their word for it — get references and check their background before hiring them.

CEO at The Contractor Brotherhood | 619-333-5422 | [email protected] | Website | + posts

The Contractor Brotherhood | Helping Contractors Get More Leads With Digital Marketing, SEO, and Paid Ads | I post about the process

Share This