The Difference between a General Contractor and a Subcontractor

The Difference between a General Contractor and a Subcontractor

“Contractor” is a commonly used term in many building trades by homeowners searching for professionals to work on their home. Any professional who provides their services under a contractor or similar agreement is technically considered a contractor. However, not all contractors have the same roles within a project. Below are the differences between a general contractor and a subcontractor.

The Difference Between A General Contractor And A Subcontractor

General Contractors

Contractors encompass a variety of different specialties, such as electrical, painting, plumbing, and roofing contractors. Though contractors tend to specialize in one type of work, they are typically the business owner and may or may not be the one doing the work on your home.


General contractors will typically hire other professionals to complete various aspects of a project, such as drywall, painting, carpeting, and other specialties. Those employed to do these tasks are considered subcontractors. The subcontractors are paid by the general contractor directly, rather than the homeowner.

The general contractor does much more than hiring the necessary subcontractors for a project. They are the ones out there obtaining permits, materials, and supplies, and managing the workflow to ensure the job is completed efficiently and on schedule. Some GCs are actively involved in the work of a project as well, whether it’s demolishing an old roof or working to paint the interior of a home.