The general contractor is sometimes known as the direct contractor, and this is very important when it comes to getting paid. We’ll explain why by first explaining what is meant by using the terms “direct” and “prime.” A Direct contractor is a party who contracts with and is hired directly by the owner of the property. Another name for this is the PRIME contractor. This is determined by who the agreement is with, and not the nature of the work, the name of the company in question, or any other factor.
To put it another way: if your construction company is working on a project or job, and you were hired directly by the property owner, then that makes you the direct or prime contractor. The general contractor is always going to be a direct contractor. However, not all direct contractors necessarily see themselves as “general” contractors.
There are many, many examples of construction companies that serve as the general contractor on some projects and jobs (when they are hired directly by the owner), while they are subcontractors on other jobs (when they are hired by someone other than the owner). When it comes to getting paid, this distinction is very important.
Getting paid on a construction project is one of these things where the details really matter, and one of these details that matters a great deal is the role that the party in question has on the project. “General contractor,” “subcontractor,” “material supplier,” and “property owner” are all examples of potential roles on a construction project (though there are many more, of course).
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