How are Sub Contractors used in the Custom Home Building Industry?

Hiring a sub-contractor ensures qualified and experienced tradespeople are used to design, built or install certain aspects of a custom built home. A variety of tradespeople or companies may be hired through sub-contracts in order to perform a wide range of specialised tasks. Sub-contractors may be used to install or fit certain fixtures or elements of the house, such as doors or solar panels. Builders may also require sub-contractors to undertake specialised work, such as plumbing, gas-fitting and electrical installations. In addition to tradespeople, builders may also sub-contract professional services from a qualified architect, building designer or interior designer.

Why Builders Use Sub-Contractors

Builders offer a range of services to clients building custom homes, including various design, construction and installation services. While some builders may have all the expertise they need to complete every aspect of a custom built home project, others may rely on sub-contracted tradespeople or other companies. Smaller companies in particular often use sub-contracts when taking on large projects, such as building custom new homes. Sub-contractors may be called upon to undertake any number of tasks, including electrical wiring, plumbing works, painting, tiling and laying floors. A professional architect or designer may also be hired as a sub-contractor in order to help design the home. When working with a builder, property owners should always confirm with local authorities that any sub-contractors are fully licensed and insured to undertake the tasks they are hired to complete.

Main Types of Sub-Contractors

Architects and Designers

In order to ensure a client's design is viable or to assist with drafting a design for a new home, professional expertise may be needed. Qualified architects and building designers are the first link in the construction chain for a custom built home. Decisions made by these professionals will impact the construction and ultimately the performance of the building once it is completed. An architect or designer helps create a home that meets a client's requirements and a building that will maintain structure integrity. They also play an important role in ensuring sustainable and practical design elements are considered.


Certain builders and tradespeople specialise in specific aspects in home design and construction. For example, wood flooring, carpets, windows and doors might be installed by a sub-contractor whose business is one of these specialties. A cabinetmaker, carpenter or joiner may also be hired to design and built custom furniture or wooden features in the home. Certain contractors also specialise in designing and installing specific rooms, such kitchens and bathrooms. When creating bespoke baths and kitchens, experiences tradespeople may be sub-contracted to ensure the best quality and finish.

If a builder does not have experience or qualified tradespeople to design and install climate control systems, a sub-contractor may be hired to fit these specialised systems in the custom built home. Climate control engineers and technicians receive specialised training and certification in order to safely and legally install air conditioning, heating and refrigeration systems. A sub-contractor might be used to design energy efficient heating and air conditioning systems. Certain specialised energy systems, such as solar energy, also typically need sub-contractors since some builders may not have the necessary certification, capacity or experience.

For exterior elements of the property, specific expertise might also be needed. A landscape designer or landscape architect may be hired through a sub-contract to create a garden, while a landscape gardener may be used to build the garden. A paver may also be selected to build, for example, driveways and paths surrounding the new home. Decks, pergolas or verandahs might also be designed and built by a sub-contracted tradesperson. A sub-contract with another company may also be required if a pool, tennis court or similar installation is being designed and built.

Interior Designers

While certain clients may have a well-defined vision for their property, others need assistance in designing spaces in their custom built home. An interior designer may be hired by a builder to provide expertise and support when designing the layout and look of each room or space ion the property. An interior design works with the property owner and the builder to create visually appealing yet functional rooms. An interior designer may also be useful in order to create a cohesive vision or look for the property. This work may include selecting fixtures, lighting, furniture, paint and wallpaper, and flooring. An interior designer may be involved from the start of the project or be hired later on after construction has begun.

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