There are many different roles in the construction industry. As a business or owner of a construction project, it can be difficult to understand the differences between these roles and decide which is right for your project.

Take a look at the differences between an independent contractor and a subcontractor in construction projects below:

What is the Role of an Independent Contractor?

Depending on the management style, there aren’t many roles in a construction project that can’t be filled by an independent contractor. An independent contractor is hired to complete a variety of tasks and is often skilled in a range of industry trades. Of course, independent contractors might not be experts in every field a project requires and will rely on specialty subcontractors for specific expertise.

An independent contractor is often hired by a company or project owner directly to work on a project. They might be self-employed or work for a larger company and are involved in a variety of construction roles. Often, independent contractors are given specific roles in a project, such as sourcing materials, estimating costs, hiring specialty subcontractors, and managing many other components a project may require.

What is the Role of a Subcontractor?

Subcontractors–sometimes called tradesmen–are slightly different. Subcontractors are not expected to be a “jack-of-all-trades” within a construction project. These construction experts often specialize in one specific trade, especially when it requires special training, machinery, or unique knowledge.

Unlike independent contractors, a subcontractor is often hired by the construction company or contractor working on a given project. Because of this, many subcontractors develop relationships with construction companies, allowing them to rely on steady projects. Some of the main roles of a subcontractor can include laying carpeting or tile, plumbing and electrical, clearing hazardous materials, and much more.

Similarities and Differences

Of course, subcontractors and independent contractors both work within the construction industry. In fact, they might be employed on the same project at the same time. Neither of them is an employee of the company they are performing a scope of work for. Instead, they work on a by-project basis. They are responsible for their insurance, taxes, licensing, and other aspects of payroll and business expenses.

Independent contractors are often hired to manage and take charge of many aspects of a project. Subcontractors, on the other hand, are hired to perform specific tasks. It is often up to the contractor to set timelines, scope, and project expectations for the subcontractor to follow with agreed-upon parameters.

Finally, construction companies might act in the role of a project manager, contractor, or subcontractor, depending on the needs of the project. As a premier commercial contractor, BCI Construction can act as a contractor or subcontractor role. Contact our team today to get started on your next project.