The Difference Between Commercial Construction and Residential Construction

Last updated on February 2nd, 2024 at 06:49 pm

December 28, 2021
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Commercial construction vs residential construction is a tricky distinction because the industries share similarities. While it’s important to remember that while both types of projects share many similarities, they also have several differences, especially in terms of planning and management. 

The best way to decide which type of construction company you should hire is by asking yourself some questions about what kind of building needs to be done and figuring out what your needs are as a customer.

What is Residential Construction Exactly? 

Residential construction includes building personal living spaces which can include multi-unit structures like apartments, townhomes, or condominiums. However, the most commonly thought of residential construction project is the single-family home. Residential construction can also involve remodeling existing structures as well. 

The work is typically done by a local General Contractor and a team of laborers. 

What is Commercial Construction?

Commercial construction is the art and science of building commercial properties such as office buildings, retail centers, industrial facilities, and warehouses. Commercial contractors handle building services for a wide range of commercial properties.

The work is typically done by a commercial construction company that specializes in developing commercial properties, like us here at Diamond Contractors.

Cost of Commercial Construction vs Residential Construction? 

Generally speaking, a commercial structure is more complex than a residential structure, which means higher costs. So when comparing differences between commercial construction vs residential construction you’re looking at time and materials when it comes to budgeting.

Residential projects take less time because they don’t involve as many people, regulations, or structures. With a more complex project overall, you typically see an increased cost in labor to support the complex timelines and builds. Based on the general size, complexity, and labor force needed to complete a commercial construction job we can start to see how working with a commercial construction company might become a more expensive option than a typical general contractor for a residential project.

Materials used for Construction Projects

Not only does the complexity and size of a project differ between a residential and commercial construction project, but the materials used differ as well. The main difference is the weight or load-bearing capacity of the building materials. Commercial buildings require much more strength than residential buildings as they normally house heavier machinery and equipment.

For example, a residential home may have a brick exterior as well as stone foundation to support the structure, whereas a commercial building will be made with concrete or steel to withstand higher winds and heavy traffic. A larger foundation will create more space for amenities such as elevators and air conditioning systems within commercial buildings as well. 

Permits and Regulations Differ Between Commercial and Residential Construction

Commercial construction and residential construction often require different permits and regulations. And the different requirements for permits and regulations in commercial construction vs residential construction are sometimes confusing. Commercial building projects often involve more stringent codes and regulations than those found in residential spaces.

A commercial building is always built with the intention of being able to have people work in it, whereas the residential building is often just meant for living in. The way this works with permitting and regulation are that commercial spaces have more restrictions about what can be done with them such as permits required by local government agencies like public works, fire departments, police departments, etc. While a residential construction project definitely has its fair share of permits and regulations in the end it comes down to the size of the project and more times than not commercial construction is a much larger project with more public safety concerns, therefore has more regulations in place.

Diamond Contractors Specializes in Commercial Construction

Diamond Contractors, Inc. is a commercial general contractor that has been recognized as one of the top 10 contractors in the Kansas City Metro area by Blogger Local, a local Kansas City news station that knows its community businesses. Currently, at Diamond, our clients include CVS Health, Pepboys, Advance Auto, Total Wine & More, Bed Bath & Beyond, and many more. Throughout all of our work, we take stock and pride in ourselves using precision quality and specializing in the art and science of commercial construction. 

Some of our services include rollout programs, expansions and upgrades, new construction, and open and closed remodels. If you are discerning between the needs of commercial construction vs residential construction please feel free to reach out to us today.


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