Important Differences Between Commercial and Residential Construction


There are many facets in the construction industry as services extend to businesses and individuals. Most people simply lump all construction projects together assuming they are the same. But, there are differences between residential and commercial construction. Depending on which segment of construction you are dealing with, there are important differences to note. Construction is not a one-fits-all business, and these are the main differences you should know.

Important Differences Between Commercial and Residential Construction

Purpose of Construction

Residential construction is pretty straightforward, referring to the building of a home, apartment, or structure for a tenant to live in. Commercial construction covers office spaces, industrial settings, and businesses or commercial properties such as strip malls. Commercial construction also typically involves several different businesses running within the same building or structure. This means there are more parties involved as compared to residential construction, where you are only working with the individual owner.

Permits and Building Codes

Any construction project requires adherence to codes and getting the necessary permits from the city where the structure is being built. Residential and commercial construction projects require different codes and permits, with commercial properties requiring many more as a result of there being more aspects to a commercial building structure. For example, commercial buildings need different things like elevators which require permits, more extensive electrical wiring, and parking lots. There is greater complexity with commercial properties so there are more codes and permits involved.

Materials Used

The majority of residential construction uses wood while commercial construction typically uses metal materials such as steel frames. Steel frames are much more expensive and not something the average homeowner will want to invest in. Commercial construction companies also have lasting relationships with material suppliers because of the larger scope of projects. This is the best way for them to ensure that construction is consistent.

Required Equipment

Even the largest houses or mansions are not as large as most commercial properties. Larger buildings mean that larger equipment like cranes is also needed. This equipment is not typically seen for residential property construction. The safe and efficient use of this equipment requires properly trained workers which will be associated with commercial construction companies. These experienced workers and equipment operators will help avoid accidents.

Pace of Work

The goal of any construction project is to get done as quickly as possible, but businesses will typically move at a faster pace than individual homeowners. This results in commercial construction clients having much higher expectations, mostly because of the larger investment put into these projects.

Final thoughts

Because of the differences between commercial and residential construction, you want to work with a company that has the right experience and a solid track record of success. Do some research and check reviews before hiring to make sure you get the right construction for your project.



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