Last edited 10 Jun 2019


Contracting is the activity of constructing a building in accordance with a pre-agreed set of requirements, regardless of whether these are verbal or expressed as drawings, specifications and contracts.

An individual or company that contracts in this way is termed a ‘contractor’, but may also be called a ‘general contractor’, ‘main contractor’, ‘building contractor’ or ‘prime contractor’ (if conducting work for a government agency). Irrespective of the name, the activities they undertake will go under the umbrella term ‘contracting’.

The term contracting derives from the fact that there is usually a contract involved in the process, particularly for large projects; alternatively, the buildercontracts’ to fulfilling a set of tasks to the satisfaction of the client. For domestic and other small jobs, the term builder or housebuilder is more often used and, in such cases, there may not be a formal written contract involved other than a specification of what is to be carried out or else a verbal agreement.

[edit] What contracting may involve

Depending on the type of procurement contract that is being followed, contracting in the construction sense can involve the following:

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki