Architect Vs General Contractor: 9 Things I Wish I’d Known Earlier

Many different professionals work together to build and complete a construction project. Whether it is an architect or a contractor, the construction project’s success depends on how these two entities work together. Because both experts have specific roles, you may not know the difference between the architect vs general contractor.

Before you even lay the foundation, you need an architect and a contractor by your side to guide you through the details of the project, how it will be done to optimize the use of labor and materials, and more.  

However, nowadays, contractors market themselves as a one-stop solution for a client’s construction needs. Clients look to them to provide end-to-end solutions, including some design. But please note that they have different job roles, and what an architect brings to the table cannot match what a contractor does. 

Simply put, an architect acts as a visionary behind the scene while a contractor is responsible for the actual build. So, you need both to ensure that your house or building is made functional and beautiful. Keep on reading as we discuss the primary differences between contractors and architects with an aim to educate and make informed decisions when it comes to hiring the right people for your home build. 

Who is an Architect? 

A group of people working on a project

An architect is a creative vision behind a construction project. They are licensed professionals who have majored in design and are qualified to create building plans for homes, skyscrapers, public buildings, commercial establishments, and more.

They come up with design ideas according to the available space and your needs and wants while complying with safety requirements. These designs are blueprint drawings that ensure the building adheres to the local city building codes and your building codes. Beyond the designing process, architects maintain close contact with the general contractors and oversee the delivery of the project from start to finish. 

The core responsibilities of an architect include: 

1. Optimize the Use of Land 

Space utilization is one aspect that confuses property and homeowners. You would want to make use of all the available space for good. This is where an architect comes into the picture. An architect knows how to robustly optimize the use of land so that space isn’t wasted. The architect designs the blueprint so that every nook and corner of the land is utilized for the greater good. 

2. Cater to Resident’s Unique Requirements 

As a homeowner, you likely want your house to be unique. Whether it is an open kitchen, an indoor swimming pool, space for terrace gardening, an entertainment room, or a cost-saving design, you just have to tell your idea to the architect, and he/she will come up with unique solutions.

3. Adhere to Building Safety Regulations 

Architect Vs General Contractor

When you are building a commercial establishment or an apartment complex, adhering to building safety regulations is a must, else you won’t be allowed to carry on with the project. Architects are well-versed with the building safety regulations in a city. So, they will always propose a design where safety is given utmost prominence. 

4. Offer Guidance on the Right Building Materials

The success of a construction project depends on the materials used to construct the building. You can find both cheap and expensive materials on the market. However, when it comes to construction, the materials have to be robust and sturdy to withstand the environment and other aspects. An architect has all the knowledge about the right building materials, and he/she will guide you to make informed decisions. 

5. Oversee the Construction On-Site from Time to Time 

An architect’s job doesn’t end after designing the blueprint and sourcing the right materials. They will oversee the entire process from start to finish and guide the contractor on certain aspects. This ensures that the building is being constructed as per the design and other specifications. 

Who is a Contractor?

Two men in safety vests looking at a cell phone

A contractor is a professional who manages the actual process of constructing a building. This means he/she hires subcontractors and construction workers to fill out the team, which builds and completes the project. Contractors work very closely with the architect to ensure that the project is carried out as per the design needs while solving problems quickly and efficiently.

A contractor’s job is to closely follow the architect’s plans to ensure that the project is constructed as per the client’s needs and requirements. Also, a contractor doesn’t have to worry about the permits and building codes as those issues are already sorted by the architect. 

The core responsibilities of a contractor include: 

1. Procures All of the Raw Materials

A contractor is responsible for procuring all of the raw materials required for the construction project. Once they get the thumbs up from the client and the architect regarding the right materials, they ensure that the raw materials, such as concrete, iron bars, stones, and other necessary materials, are procured. 

2. Oversees the Building Crew 

It is vital to supervise the building crew as they carry on with the work. A contractor guides and oversees the building crew ensure that things are done as per the design requirements. Also, overseeing is necessary to ensure things are done correctly. 

3. Hires Subcontractors

A construction project isn’t just about creating the structure with cement, bars, and bricks. There are various other jobs involved, like plumbing, flooring, carpentry, landscaping, and more. So, a contractor hires subcontractors at different phases of the construction project to ensure continuity. 

4. Executes the Architect’s Vision to Perfection 

A contractor works closely with the architect to make sure that their vision is executed to perfection and because even a small mistake can impact the bottom line. 


Both architects and contractors are important for the successful completion of a construction project. An architect is a creative head who designs and plans how the structure should look. On the other hand, a contractor is responsible for ensuring that the architect’s vision is implemented to perfection. We hope that your doubts are cleared regarding the professionals’ differences. 

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Nishant Desai
Nishant Desai
Nishant Desai has over 8+ years of experience in SEO and blogging. His blogging expertise can organically increase online visibility and traffic for blogs and websites. With his SEO expertise, he has already contributed to iGeeksblog, Firstsportz, and Firstcuriosity. In addition, he can create content strategies, conduct keyword research, publish optimized blogs, and resolve technical issues.

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