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Subcontractor Duties

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A construction project is typically awarded to a contractor, whose duties include estimating the cost and time frame of the project and bidding for the job. Various subcontractors offer their services in a bid, and the contractor chooses the people he wishes to hire among them. Subcontractors may work alone or oversee a team of workers, depending on the size of the project. They may be unskilled laborers, electricians, plumbers or any workers on a construction site.

Estimate the Cost of Work

A subcontractor has a duty to accurately estimate the charge for working on the project. This number is dependent on the accuracy of the original contractor’s estimate as to the scale of the project. A subcontractor may bid with one price for the entire project or offer services by the hour. With an hourly bid, the subcontractor avoids responsibility for cost overruns.

Work Without Supervision

A subcontractor has a duty to carry out the work with no or minimal supervision. The contractor hires a subcontractor to complete a specific aspect of the project, such as the electrical fittings, plumbing or bricklaying, and the subcontractor is responsible for this work. This subcontractor must coordinate this portion with other subcontractors on the project so that everything is completed efficiently and on schedule. Any problems which the subcontractors can't solve may go up to the contractor for a decision.

Manage a Team

A subcontractor may have a team of workers. It's the responsibility of the subcontractor to hire and pay them and deal with any employment issues for these workers. The contractor has no authority over them. It's the duty of the subcontractor to pass on important information to them and supervise their work.

Keep Accounts

The subcontractor must keep an accurate record of all workers under her control. She monitors who is on site and how many hours they work. She ensures that this information is stored correctly in a database. She uses this information to file taxes and makes it available to the contractor as necessary.


Alan Faeorin-Cruich has been writing and editing professionally since 2001. He has worked for publications such as "FLAGS Press" and "3DK." He specializes in legal and business topics. Faeorin-Cruich has a bachelor's degree from Edinburgh Napier University.

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