Last edited 05 Oct 2020

Types of contractor


[edit] Introduction

Contractors are organisations that carry out construction works, that is, any building, civil engineering or engineering construction work.

Within this very broad definition, there are a very wide range of different types of contractor:

[edit] Approved contractor

A contractor that has demonstrated they have the expertise, resources, ability and desire to tender for a proposed project.

For more information see: Approved contractor.

[edit] Construction manager

A construction manager does not undertake the construction works themselves, but manages trade contractors to carry out the works. The trade contracts are placed with the client.

For more information see: Construction manager.

[edit] Design and build contractor

A contractor that is responsible for the completion of the design as well as construction of the works.

For more information see: Design and build.

[edit] Design, build and manage contractor

A contractor that is appointed not only to design and build the works, but also to manage them during operation, sometimes providing operational services over and above building maintenance, such as supplying operational staff, cleaning and so on.

[edit] Domestic subcontractor

A sub-contractor, that is freely-selected and appointed by the main contractor to carry out part of the works on their behalf. The work of the sub-contractor is the responsibility of the main contractor.

For more information see: Domestic subcontractor.

[edit] General contractor, prime contractor or main contractor

A contractor who undertakes the entire construction of a project, but who will usually sub-let parts of the works to subcontractors.

The term ‘prime contractor’ is often used in central civil government and the defence sector to mean ‘main contractor’, although it can also have a different meaning (see also Prime contractor below).

For more information see: Main contractor.

[edit] Integrated supply team

A single appointment for the full project team, including contractors, suppliers, designers and sometimes facilities managers, to design and construct the works.

For more information see: see Integrated supply team.

[edit] Management contractor

This is similar to the role of the construction manager, in that the management contractor does not undertake the works themselves, but manages ‘works contractors’ to carry out the works. However, in this case, the works contracts are placed with the management contractor rather than with the client.

For more information see: Management contractor.

[edit] Nominated subcontractor

A subcontractor that is selected by the client to carry out an element of the works and then imposed on the main contractor after the main contractor has been appointed.

For more information see: Nominated subcontractor.

[edit] Named sub-contractor

The client first identifies a list of potential subcontractors from which the main contractor selects and appoints a subcontractor and assumes responsibility for their performance.

For more information see: Named sub-contractor

[edit] Prime contractor

The client enters into a long-term multi-project relationship with a contractor in which competition is introduced at the sub-contract level. Prime contracting is generally only appropriate for very large clients such as the Ministry of Defence which is continually commissioning new buildings and refurbishment work.

A main contractor may also be described as a prime contractor.

For more information see: Prime contract.

[edit] Principal contractor

A contractor may be designated as the principal contractor under the CDM regulations, with responsibilities for planning, managing and co-ordinating health and safety while construction work is being undertaken.

For more information see: Principal contractor.

[edit] Specialist contractor

Suppliers of specialist aspects of the works that also provide design input.

For more information see: Specialist contractor

[edit] Subcontractor

A general term for a contractor that is appointed by the main contractor to carry out parts of the works on their behalf.

For more information see: Subcontractor.

[edit] Supplier

A very broad term used to describe any provider of services or goods either directly to the client or to another supplier in a supply chain. This may include consultants, contractors, subcontractors and so on.

For more information see: Supplier.

[edit] Trade contractor

A subcontractor selected and managed by a construction manager to carry out part of the works, but contracted directly to the client.

For more information see: Trade contractor.

[edit] Trades contractor

A contractor who undertakes a particular class of construction work, such as electrical installation, and is often employed by main contractors as sub-contractors.

For more information see: Trades contractor.

[edit] Work package contractor

A specialist contractor who undertakes particular identifiable aspects of maintenance or replacement work.

For more information see: Work package contractor.

[edit] Works contractor

A subcontractor selected, appointed and managed by a management contractor to carry out part of the works.

For more information see: Works contractor.

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

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