The Differences Between Residential and Commercial Construction

Just like buying residential and commercial properties comes at different price points for those purchasing these properties, how you construct them differs as well. Someone who does commercial building may have the capabilities to do residential building. However, they might not be able to.


That’s because each specialty has their own regulations that one must be well-versed in to get all the permits necessary to start building. Let’s take a look at the stark differences between residential and commercial construction.


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What is Commercial Construction Building?

When a construction company takes on a commercial building project, they are building offices, stores, and warehouses. They are not intended for people to live in. Therefore, the needs of this building are far different than those of a house.


In commercial building construction, you will use larger beams. The areas you work in will cover larger square footage. That not only means the floor but the roof as well.


You are covering far more ground. Therefore, the requirements regarding plumbing and electrical are much different for a commercial building compared to a residential building.


When it comes to taking on a commercial construction, you are dealing with a much different client. As long as the building is up to code, then the client will be happy. They’re looking to rent out or sell the place to businesses that will take care of all the insides.


Whereas, residential building clients have a more vested interest in the outcome. Be prepared for more micromanaging on their behalf while also putting your customer service skills to the test.


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What is Residential Construction Building?

How you handle residential building clients isn’t the only difference between this type of construction and commercial. Let’s start with their purposes. Residential buildings are created for houses and dwellings. You are dealing with smaller areas that commercial buildings. Therefore, it’s smaller beams and less complex plumbing and electrical setups.


To complete residential construction, the frames are wooden as compared to commercial constructions’ reliance on steel and concrete. That’s why there are different requirements when it comes to building codes.


When you take on a residential construction building contract, it can be anything from an individual home to a larger real estate plot geared for development. When it’s a bigger development, the operation can be quite micromanaged. These companies bring in contractors that specialize in every aspect of residential building.



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This includes:


  • Foundation Creation
  • Framing/Siding
  • Interior Finishing
  • Plumbing
  • Plastering
  • Roofing
  • Wiring


A residential builder must link up with the architect in charge of designing the projects. Together, the residential builder and architect create an estimate for the client. From there, the client seeks out all the contracted specialists mentioned above.


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