Commercial Construction is Very Different from Residential. Here’s How!

In the world of construction, there is a big difference between residential and commercial projects. You would no sooner hire a commercial contractor to update the kitchen in your home than you would work with a residential contractor on your commercial office space renovation. But what makes these two branches of construction so different? Construction is construction, right?

Not really.

Both residential and commercial contractors construct buildings, but there the similarities end. Here is a little more information about residential and commercial construction and why they are not one in the same.

What is residential construction?

Residential construction refers to working on building projects that are designed for the sole purpose of people living within the walls once the project is complete. Large residential projects may include condos, apartments, singly-family homes, multi-family homes, and cooperative societies. On a smaller scale, residential construction can also refer to simple home additions, kitchen renovations, and bathroom remodels. These projects usually require a single contractor and their team, or they may subcontract out to another individual, but still get the work done under their own company name. If certain skills are needed such as masonry or heavy equipment, residential contractors may hire other contractors to help complete the job.

What is commercial construction?

Commercial construction refers to working on building projects that earn for the owner. In other words, they are designed to house businesses, offices, retail stores, and for-profit companies. Large commercial projects may include factories, malls, office structures, restaurants, grocery stores, oil refineries, and car dealerships. On a smaller scale, commercial construction projects may include office renovations. Commercial contractors have to adhere to strict safety standards that address handicap accessibility, egress requirements, fire and burglar alarms, and complex mechanical systems

Some notable differences

  • Most commercial construction is steel and concrete structure where residential is wood framed.
  • Most commercial roofs are bitumen or TPO where residential roofs are shingle.
  • Code requirements are much stricter for commercial buildings than residential buildings.
  • Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems are much more complex in commercial buildings due to the size of the building and the occupancy levels.
  • Most commercial buildings require sprinklers and fireproofing, which residential buildings normally don’t have.
  • Commercial construction often requires much larger and more expensive equipment (like cranes) and have greater infrastructure needs (elevators, bathrooms on each floor, and parking lots/garages).
  • Residential buildings are much smaller and less expensive when it comes to materials, labor, and consultation costs.
  • Commercial and residential construction projects require different permits.

Choose your contractor wisely

No matter what kind of building project you are planning, make sure that you are working with a contractor who knows the difference between residential and commercial construction. At George Rullo and Associates , we are experts in the field of commercial construction consulting and construction management. With over 20 years of experience, we have the knowledge and skills to make your next commercial project a complete success!

To find out more information about our commercial construction consulting firm, call 732-580-8668!

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