Last edited 15 Jun 2021

Trade contractor

On construction management contracts, a construction manager is appointed on a consultancy and management basis to provide advice to the client during the pre-construction stages and then to manage the construction of the works. The works are divided into packages which are contracted to separate contractors. These contractors are referred to as trade contractors rather than sub-contractors (as they are contracted directly by the client, rather than being sub-contracted to the construction manager). The separate appointment of trade contractors should reduce the cost of contracts, as the management element is being provided by the construction manager. It also allows the advancement of some works (such as groundworks or piling) which might begin even before design of the above-ground works is complete.

Characteristics of trade contracts include:


NB A trades contractor (with an 's') is a more general term which simply refers to a contractor who undertakes a particular class of construction work, such electrical installation. See Trades contractor for more information.

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