If this is your first time building a brand new home from house plans, there are probably a lot of things you don't know. One thing it's important for you to understand is the difference between a contractor and a subcontractor and how each entity relates back to you. Understanding this concept will make it easier for you to keep control over the final finished home and to get resolution if problems crop up during the construction. This article will explain the basics of subcontracting to you.
When a developer is building new condos, he or she will hire a single construction company, called a contractor, to actually build the structure. Unless you've decided to take on this job yourself, you will also be hiring a contractor to build your house for you. This type of contractor is called a general contractor. Any further contractors that they hire to help them out with the job are called subcontractors and they are responsible to the general contractor.
There are several reasons that general contractors hire subcontractors. The most common reason is that the subcontractors have more specialized skills in a certain area than the general contractors do. Your general contractor cannot afford to have someone of every skill set on staff, so they hire out the specialty work. You might see subcontractors coming in to do the electrical, heating, or plumbing work on your home or to carve specialty paving stones. The other major reason why contractors hire subcontractors is to help them finish the work on time if they need more help.
Generally speaking, your general contractor does not have to consult with you about hiring a subcontractor to work on the project, even though it is ultimately your project. Because of this if the subcontractor messed up the installation of your kitchen cabinets then you can hold the contractor responsible for rectifying the error or for paying to have the error fixed. You can even take them to court over these types of issues, which is why contractors tend to be careful about who they hire.
Whenever you hire contractors, always make sure they have their own insurance and bonds, because otherwise you will be liable for any workers who get hurt on the job. You are within your rights to insist when you hire a contractor that any subcontractor they bring in to assist them on the job has the proper insurance and bonds.
Many subcontractors may have studied mechanical engineering if their specialty is in electric or plumbing-related fields.