Many companies work on a construction site because sites use many types of subcontractors in construction. A general contractor might perform some of the work themselves; however, most will hire specialty subcontractors in order to ensure that they can successfully complete the project. Using the OSHA site, we’ll take a look at the various types of subcontractors in construction and what it is they usually provide to a site.


types of subcontractors in construction

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Plumbing, Heating, and Air-Conditioning


One of the types of subcontractors in construction is plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning. These subcontractors or specialty contractors are also known as mechanical contractors when they can do work on all three. Contractors sometimes choose to specialize even further in plumbing or heating and air conditioning or cooling. Specialty contractors that specialize in heating and air conditioning are known as HVAC contractors. Plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning is an important subcontracting type in construction.


Painting and Paper Hanging


Another of the types of subcontractors in construction is painting and paper hanging. Painting and paper hanging is a type of specialty trade that primarily engages in painting and paper hanging. So they might paint bridges, electrostatic, and more. According to OSHA, businesses that are classified as painting and paper hanging don’t engage in roof painting. Roof painting is a separate trade from painting and paper hanging. As a whole, the industry is of great value to every project.

Electrical Work


Electrical subcontractors are a broad type of subcontractors in construction. There is a lot that an electrical subcontractor could work on. OSHA defines electrical subcontractors as those that work on electrical work at a site rather than in a repair shop or similar. Electrical subcontractors might be fire alarm installers, work in telecommunications equipment and installation, or even what most people would think of for electrical work. There is a lot that an electrical subcontractor might work on.


types of subcontractors in construction

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Masonry, Stonework, Tile Setting, and Plastering


OSHA classifies these four types of subcontractors in construction under one umbrella. However, it does divide further down in order to be more manageable. It can include masonry, stone setting, plastering, drywall, insulation, and even more. Plastering, drywall, and insulation are important to most building types since most buildings have a layer between the exterior walls of the building and internal sections. These types of subcontractors in construction build a lot of the projects from foundations to finishing touches.


Carpentry and Floor Work


Carpentry and floor work are crucial types of subcontractors in construction. Carpenters can build and install cabinets, but they also work in joinery, garage doors, framing, and doors. Often times they’ll be responsible for all trim and finishes in the project. Since flooring is always important in every project, these subcontractors will be seen on most sites. Knowing that the flooring is correctly installed and the project’s needs taken into account make flooring subcontractors so important.

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Roofing, Siding, and Sheet Metal Work


Roofing, siding, and sheet metal work specialty contractors are important types of subcontractors in construction. These subcontractors can hold a variety of jobs. From working with architectural metal to skylight installation. They’re responsible for the roofing, gutter installation, possibly ductwork installation or fabrication. Roofing, siding, and sheet metal also sometimes will fabricate the pieces themselves. With more industrial spaces and changes in design, roofing, siding and sheet metal work will be busy fields of subcontracting.


types of subcontractors in construction

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Concrete Work


Concrete contracting is one of the large types of subcontractors in construction. These specialty contractors can work on a variety of projects. Some will be concrete finishers, work primarily with foundations, or work primarily in asphalt. All of these types of concrete specialists fall into the concrete work subcategory in OSHA also under the same subcategory in other government fields. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s a fairly popular field with an opportunity for growth.

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Special Trade Contractors


OSHA leaves this field rather wide, but it encompasses many types of subcontractors in construction. Glass and glazing work, excavation, demolition, steel erection, and more are lumped into special trade contractors. Ironworkers, excavators, and the like are also experiencing growth like other fields in the construction industry. Some of the special trade contractors make more and have greater growth at this moment over others; however, with the construction boom, many of the fields are growing larger.




These are just a few types of subcontractors in construction, and depending on the type of project they will use certain subcontractors. Various projects will require certain subcontractors. This allows people interested in specialty contracting to enter a field that they are good at as well as enjoy.


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