As you see, general contractor is a busy person. A lot of this energy goes into managing the subcontractors. In general, smaller companies rely more on staff carpenters and larger companies rely more on subcontractors to get the work done.
General Contractor and Plumbing and Electrical Subcontractors
Nearly all companies use subcontractors for the mechanical trades such as plumbing and electrical, and most use subs for excavation and foundation work, roofing, drywall, and painting. On smaller jobs, they may do some or all of this work with their own crew members.
General Contractor and Competent Subcontractors
A good general contractor has good relationships with competent and reliable subcontractors. That means the subscontractors will show up when needed and do good work with minimal supervision. They know what level of work the general contractor expects, they know they’ll get paid promptly, and they know that the job will be ready for them when they show up. For example, the drywallers can’t hang their drywall until the plumbing and electrical are completed and the walls are insulated.
While some subcontractors, such as insulation installers, are not known for the precision of their work, they know that if they want work from a particular general contractor, they need to meet his standards. Maybe they can charge a little more for the higher level of quality he demands, making it worth their while to take the time to do it right. In the end the owner pays a little more for a job well done – seems fair to me.