- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 30 Jul 2018
Types of contractor
Within this very broad definition, there are a very wide range of different types of contractor:
For more information see: Approved contractor.
For more information see: Construction manager.
For more information see: Design and build.
 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.
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.
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.
For more information see: see Integrated supply team.
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.
For more information see: Nominated subcontractor.
For more information see: Named sub-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.
For more information see: Prime contract.
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.
For more information see: Specialist contractor
For more information see: Subcontractor.
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.
For more information see: Trade contractor.
For more information see: Trades contractor.
For more information see: Work package contractor.
For more information see: Works contractor.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Approved contractor.
- CIS contractors and CIS sub-contractors.
- Construction contract.
- Construction manager.
- Construction manager at-risk.
- Contractor vs supplier.
- Design and build.
- Due diligence when selecting contractors or subcontractors.
- Main contractor.
- Management contractor.
- Principal contractor.
- Procurement route.
- Specialist contractor.
- Trade contractor.
- Trades contractor.
- Work package contractor.
- Works contractor.
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