5 Key Differences Between Commercial and Residencial Construction

When you’re in the construction industry, it can be hard to tell the difference between commercial and residential construction. The two types of building work are often lumped together under one umbrella term: “construction,” but they are incredibly different from each other. Both types of buildings have their own unique set of challenges and requirements when it comes to design and building materials. These differences can especially impact how each type of structure is built, how much it costs, and who is best suited to do the work.

Project size

When it comes to the size of a project, commercial construction is often larger in scale than residential. Commercial projects often include multiple buildings and/or large areas of land. Residential projects, on the other hand, are often limited to one structure or area. These are often single-family custom homes or additions.

In some cases, construction projects for buildings that will be residential are still considered commercial construction jobs. These include the construction or renovation of apartment complexes and other multi-family housing developments.

While there are many new building opportunities for commercial construction, commercial renovations and remodels are the most common projects our team of seasoned experts encounters. Commercial businesses are more likely to refurbish an older building with office fit-outs and additions instead of building new premises from scratch.

Duration of the project

The duration of the project is another key difference between commercial and residential construction. In general, commercial projects are longer in duration than residential projects. This is due to the scope of the work and the number of tradesmen required to complete commercial renovations and remodels. Coordinating large commercial projects with multiple subcontractors takes time, especially when the commercial building being renovated must remain operational throughout the project.

However, the duration can vary depending on the complexity of a project. Some smaller projects may take longer than larger ones because they require more detailed workmanship and planning before work begins for them to meet quality standards set by developers. Backlogs of materials may also lead to longer projects. Working with an experienced, local design and building company can help avoid these delays.

Owner Involvement

In our experience, commercial and residential property owners are equally involved in the construction process but take different approaches. While the owners of a residential property are likely to be involved in each phase of the construction process, a commercial property owner will delegate tasks. These delegated tasks are often given to the contractor or architect for consideration.

Regardless of how involved an owner is in the construction process, it is crucial to ensure all expectations are set early. Through clear communication of desires and budget, you can ensure that your construction project stays on schedule with minimal headaches!

General Contractor and Property Owner at a commercial construction site.

Infrastructure Requirements

Infrastructure requirements are a major difference between commercial and residential construction projects. The infrastructure requirements for a commercial project can be significantly greater than those of a residential one, which could affect both the scheduling and the budget of your project.

Commercial projects often include more complicated systems and materials than residential ones. They are required to meet specific plumbing, ventilation, heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems standards that not all homes are held to. The safety regulations of these systems are more complex, which means commercial construction projects need experienced construction consultant services to keep the building up to code.

Build Commercial and Residential with Souder Brothers

Construction projects are not all the same. Residential and commercial construction have many differences that need to be considered. These include project size, duration of the project, owner involvement, and whether the project is new construction or renovation. Infrastructure requirements also differ for each type of building. To ensure that you make the right decision before starting a residential or commercial construction project it is important that you understand all these differences before making an informed decision on which type of building would work best for your needs.

To ensure you’ll receive a final product you can be proud of, choose a reputable and experienced construction company that will do whatever it takes. At Souder Brothers Construction, Inc. we take pride in our full-service design and build capabilities delivered by a team approach. If you’re preparing for an upcoming project, commercial or residential, contact us to help you get started. 

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