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What are the Differences Between Residential and Commercial Construction

Construction is a broad industry comprising various residential and commercial construction activities. Nonetheless, there are several significant differences between residential and commercial construction projects. Understanding these differences is key for home and business owners looking for contractors that fit their needs and the scope of their projects.

There are differences between commercial and residential construction and their significance on how contractors approach construction projects. The main differences focus on construction materials, funding sources, equipment, building costs, deadlines, and design.

What Makes a Building Commercial?

Commercial buildings are types of property that are constructed primarily for commercial purposes. These projects often include larger buildings that support daily ventures and exist to generate profits for their owners. Some examples of commercial property include:

  • Hospital or medical clinic
  • House of worship
  • Office buildings
  • Shopping Mall
  • Parking garage
  • Restaurant
  • School, high school, or college
  • Warehouse
  • House of worship

Commercial structures are responsible for even more structures in the commercial industry, prompting the need for a specialized commercial contractor for your particular commercial project.

What Does Residential Construction Mean?

A typical residential construction project is a house or structure designed for short- or long-term habitation. Residential properties may come in the form of:

  • Single-Family Homes
  • Townhouses
  • Condominiums
  • Multi-unit apartment buildings

While some residential clients buy a residential home for resale purposes, most of the time a residential property owner buys residential structures for habitation and to raise a family. They are meant to be lived in, making them more emotional-based investments compared to commercial properties.

Differences Between Residential and Commercial Construction

Construction contractors should understand the key differences between commercial and residential con to allow them to focus their construction planning more effectively. This segment provides a comprehensive overview of the distinctions between residential and commercial builders and what contractors need to survive in this industry.

1. Building Materials

Construction materials used in manufacturing structural components vary significantly for commercial and residential construction processes.

For example, the construction properties used for commercial buildings will be much stronger and more durable than residential buildings. Commercial building construction may require steel frames for reinforcement, finer sand quality, and cement with a higher grade for the most effective construction project results.

On the other hand, residential construction projects often use different materials. A residential builder tends to use timber and wood frames. Residential projects also offer contractors more material choice options. They offer more flexibility in the material types they use, allowing contractors and property owners to find the best materials at different construction budgets.

2. Building Codes/Permits

Both commercial and residential construction projects require permits and adherence to state building regulations. However, you find that commercial construction projects have a greater range of permits and codes due to their use and makeup.

Commercial properties are typically more complex and include aspects such as:

  • Accessibility concerns
  • Complicated electrical and plumbing systems
  • Garages
  • IT systems
  • Lift access
  • Parking

On the other hand, residential construction projects tend to have fewer permits and code elements. They are much smaller and are generally simpler to build. This allows for fewer, less strict considerations.

It is also worth noting that residential property regulations vary by state and even town. You need a licensed, professional contractor who knows and understands your area’s local and federal building regulations.

3. Funding Sources

Commercial construction projects usually command a higher price than residential projects that have to be more affordable to suit the homeowner’s budget. As a typical domestic client, you likely have a stricter limit on what you’ll be willing to pay for your residential construction project. The size of a residential project is often much smaller and requires smaller renovations, refurbishments, and extensions.

In contrast, commercial construction projects require more quality workers who use specialized equipment that can drastically affect the final project cost. Most commercial projects are funded and rely on different entities, including the following:

  • Corporations with bank financing
  • Developers
  • Government agencies
  • Wealthy owners

The different project types involved in commercial construction, such as lift access, parking, electricity and water supply, and garages, also contribute to the increased construction costs of commercial projects.

4. Equipment and Construction Techniques

The large-scale nature of most construction projects requires specialized heavy equipment and experienced professionals to complete them. Contractors also require heavy machines like cranes and earth-moving equipment to construct different building designs.

Similarly, residential construction projects require specialized skill, but only for the most extravagant projects that demand industrial-scale construction equipment. DIYers and friends can undertake most residential construction projects with advice from professional residential contractors.

5. Construction Timelines

Because of the large investments involved, commercial construction projects are subject to much tighter deadlines than residential projects. Contractors must finish on schedule to stay within the set budget. Commercial projects also involve many specialists and equipment operators that must perform specific tasks within certain timelines to ensure the entire process moves smoothly.

On the other hand, most residential projects are less time-sensitive and take less time to complete. Some contractors may also not work as quickly because of a lack of strict deadlines. As such, residential projects take longer to complete compared to similarly sized commercial construction projects.

6. Design

Residential and commercial projects also have design differences that reflect the project functions and locations they occupy. For instance, residential projects exhibit designs meant to maximize the homeowner’s comfort and rooms to serve their specific purpose. These may include kitchens, bedrooms, and washrooms. Everything must fit within a compact space.

In contrast, commercial building designs tend to be more extensive and contain elements such as elevators and stairways. Commercial properties contain specialized spaces and public areas to facilitate foot traffic and accommodate people. The need to have these critical features installed affects the building’s overall design.

Why Choose Hill Commercial Construction for Your Next Project

Construction companies find success in tailoring their business approach to a particular space they operate in. Hill Commercial Construction prides itself on providing an outstanding commercial construction process to guarantee longstanding relationships with our partners, clients, and suppliers. We sit down with you, listen to your project idea, and bring it to life. Contact us to find out how we can help you with your construction project.