General and total contractor agreement
When a general contractor agreement is concluded, the entire construction of a building is included in one contract. However, the planning and project engineering of a construction project is not covered by the general contractor agreement. When concluding a general contractor agreement, the building owner does not have to conclude countless additional contracts for work and services with various contractors (e.g. painters, plumbers, etc.). The general contractor therefore has the advantage that the building owner only has to conclude one contract with the general contractor, which, for example, covers the construction of a one family house at a certain price. The general contractor takes over the execution planning, selects the various companies for the construction and is responsible for their coordination. Such a general contractor agreement qualifies as a contract for work and services pursuant to Art. 364 of the Swiss Code of Obligations.
While a general contractor agreement covers all construction services required for the construction of a building (e.g. a one family house), the total contractor, in contrast to the general contractor, additionally provides the planning and project engineering of a construction project. A total contractor agreement thus covers the entire spectrum of a construction project, from planning and project engineering to construction. Such total contractor agreements are therefore used less for the construction of one family houses, but rather for the realization of larger construction projects. The total contractor agreement is qualified as a contract for work and services too.
A general contractor agreement therefore differs from a total contractor agreement in that it does not include planning and project engineering services. In the case of a general contractor agreement, these services are usually provided by an architectural or engineering company that must be commissioned separately by the building owner.