What the difference between commercial and residential construction?  

Research shows that the construction trade is extensive. It involves both commercial and residential construction activities. But, both constructions differ from each in their construction operations and essentials.

Usually, residential construction’s primary focus is building apartments and homes where people live. But, commercial construction deals with all commercial houses. They include schools, stores, hospitals and stores. Besides, their constructors and buildings layout differ. Thus it hard for a business specialist to engage in residential buildings.



There are so many differences between the two including;

1. Building cost

Commercial and residential buildings have a significant cost difference. It doesn’t matter even if the structures are similar in size. Usually, the number of workers in place, their skills, and equipment differ. Besides, the commercial house will incur more costs. Residential follows the owner’s budget, thus tends to be cheap. Usually, commercial houses have deadlines. Therefore, the contractor has to use more labour to meet the target.

Also, on the side of finance funders, each has a different source. A commercial building is most under government agency, bank or even wealthy developer or owner. Thus, the donor is likely to hire a general contractor who oversees the whole plan. After that, the contractor goes ahead to hire subcontractors. He will use a useful bidding method.

Whereas on residential houses, the proprietor of the project funds the project. It can either be an insurance loan, bank loan, government agency, or cash. Unlike commercial project which uses bidding, this one uses referrals. Thus it has excellent relations with contractors, homeowners, and subcontractors. Besides, in cases of calamities, house insurance handles the damages.

2. The equipment

Commercial projects are large scale thus need expert equipment. They include cranes and earth moving equipment. Besides, the machine requires professionals with high qualifications and experience to run them. In case an accident or mistake arises, it very hard to resolve. Moreover, the contract may end while the contractor faces law accusations.

On residential projects, don’t need large-scale machines. Besides, the chances of making accidents and mistakes in domestic buildings are low. If they occur, they have easy resolutions.

3. The materials

Building materials differ in the support frame. Residential uses timber, while commercial uses a steel frame. Usually, the steel frame is costly; thus, a domestic homeowner may not afford it. Besides, domestic buildings use cheaper materials. So we have a wide range of material selection and suppliers.

But, commercial firms have a consistent material supplier. He has the tender of every material inquiry in the project. Moreover, the constructions usually come with sophisticated designs. Thus, they need various materials, unlike domestic buildings. Also, before you sign in the contract, consider some features. They are construction techniques, steal quality, and rating. It will ensure you get the best building without defects.

4. Permits and codes

Every construction should have a license and compliant to building regulations. But, the law varies between the two buildings. A residential house will have simple rules to put in place and elements.

Yet, the commercial house has various components like parking, lift access points. Besides, they need exclusive power solutions, thus the need for a professional contractor. Moreover, the regulations are many starting from building materials, size and design—also, electrical system, construction techniques, and plumbing to apply.

5. The building uses and construction deadlines.

A residential building has few uses in comparison with the commercial house. A domestic home may be for personal use or tenants while a business house will hold different businesses. Thus, contractors in the mercantile house will focus on maximizing structure usage.

Besides, construction time varies since a business project will run faster. It’s due to the efficient supply of materials and man labour. Moreover, quick construction is less expensive. Thus, contractors will work toward completing it more quickly to reduces expenses.

In contrast, a residential house will take longer. Unexpectedly, the builder may even other buildings running at the same time, yet the man labour is low.


The owners over at Principality Plastics have decades of experience supplying high-quality plastic supplies to both commercial and domestic building projects. From their experience they believe that ‘Undertaking large scale commercial jobs is a large task due to the timing elements and should only be handled by someone with adequate experience’.  So, if you need a contractor, choose wisely.