What is the role of consultants, contractors, and clients in a construction project?

Every building, road, or skyscraper starts from the conceptualization of the project. It then develops into a project plan that sees that concept come to life.

Clients adopt various options for their projects: some hire construction companies while others contract private individuals and subcontractors themselves. Elements of any construction project thus heavily rely on which route they choose.

There are three key players involved in a typical construction project: the client, project consultants, and contractors.

1. The Client 

Clients range from business people, private individuals, property development companies, local government units, the central government, or other similar entities. 

They have the plan, vision, and role in describing what the construction companies will build, approve the concept, and fund the project.

Since the project revolves around their specific needs, they are automatically the first point of contact.

Key roles a client plays include:

  • Ensuring that management arrangements are in place for the project.
  • Select a resourced and competent Principal contractor.
  • Ensure there is enough time and resources available for all parts of the project.
  • Facilitate co-operation between their employees and contractors.

The construction company then assesses the client’s desires. It ensures that it will meet all the specifications the client lays down. In case of alterations, they must duly notify the client of such changes.

2. The Consultant

Consultants are an indispensable part of a construction project because they have a primordial role in advising clients on different fronts. It could pertain to the design, government regulations, costs, etc. 

Consultants are critical during the project’s design phase and ensure that it has the structural strength that can aptly support the design and construction cost. They can be architects, cost consultants, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, and electrical engineers.

Why hire consultants? Consulting firms have a pool of experts at your disposal who have often worked with similar projects and can give you helpful advice regarding yours. They can also anticipate issues and help you prevent them.

Key roles of a construction consultant:

  • Offer an expert opinion when a client needs it regarding technical or civil engineering issues. It could be for a short time or prolonged.
  • Investigation of Problems. In case of any issues, the consultant might need to visit the site to inspect and review data and identify the cause plus find solutions.
  • Develop and provide engineering and economic feasibility reports after surveying and studying the sites. 
  • Help in the engineering design process by studying plans and specifications to direct the contractors accordingly. They can also advise you on what you will need for the project.

3. Role of Construction Companies

When the consultant has ironed out the construction project details, it then goes to a contractor who wins the bid to execute it. These are often full-service construction companies.

In most cases, the contractor does not have control over the conceptualizing of the design. Their duty is to bring to life what the client and consultant have come up with. 

Engagement of a subcontractor

The contractor may engage the services of a subcontractor, which is standard practice. It is highly unlikely that one has all the skills and labor needed to do 100% of the job.

This happens specifically in areas needing specialized skills such as structural steelwork, plumbing, electrical installations, concrete works, and other necessary works requiring a technical expert to execute.


A construction project is a highly specialized assignment that requires teams of experts to execute professionally. As seen above, each job element is handled by a specific team to consolidate all their works to form the entire project. When the three elements work together the success of the project is guaranteed.

More To Explore