What Is a Subcontractor?

What Is a Subcontractor?

A subcontractor is a type of contractor that works on a contractual basis, offering specialized skills to perform jobs for their customers. There are several types of subcontractors, including: 

  • Electrical 

  • Plumbing 

  • Mechanical 

  • Demolition 

  • And more! 

This article will lay out some of the particulars of subcontracting, as well as give you some advice to find a contractor that meets your needs. Let’s get started! 

Contractor vs. Subcontractors

A contractor is an individual or company that does business by obtaining contracts to complete a work job, and then following through on that work. Contractors negotiate their own deals, have a clientele base, and are rewarded based on the merit with which they complete their work. 

Subcontractors, on the other hand, make agreements with contractors—not the customer directly. Subcontractors usually try to negotiate with several contracting companies within their specialized interest to land jobs. The idea here is that a successful contractor will have consistent work because of their network of contractors that will assign them to various jobs in their niche. 

The contractor-subcontractor relationship is important for both parties. The subcontractor relies on the contractor for work, and the contractor relies on the subcontractor for the successful completion of a job. 

How You Can Find a Subcontractor 

As we previously stated, subcontractors don’t have direct contact with clients when it comes to coordinating jobs. Therefore, you won’t actually be able to reach a subcontractor directly, but rather through a parent contracting company. 

Nevertheless, you can ask the contracting company to introduce you to the subcontractor before the job is started to make sure that it’s a good fit. You can also ask for a portfolio of prior completed work by that subcontractor. 

Keep in mind that subcontractors are not employees of a contracting company—it’s more of a freelance relationship. That means that you should fully vet a contracting company before hiring them to complete a job so that you can be confident they’re going to send someone experienced, qualified, and respectful for the job. 

Good contracting companies understand the importance of good subcontractors because they represent their business. Always feel free to talk with the contracting company about how they find their subcontractors, where they source them from, and any other questions that you may have. They should always be happy to answer your questions! 

Need Some Extra Help? 

Now that we’ve defined subcontractors and their role in the construction business, you should have a better understanding of how to go about hiring a contracting service. However, we know that this process can be a little complicated and there is time and money at stake, so if you need some extra help, please feel free to reach out—we love being a resource for you! 

Here at Carlton Building Services, we’ve been serving Virginians to help them find the right solutions for their contracting needs for years. Peruse the blog to find out more helpful information, or visit our website to learn more about what services we can provide for you! 

JP Carlton

J.P. Carlton

J.P. Carlton is the founder of Carlton Building Services, a Hampton Roads-based construction company.