If you only have experience working with residential construction or residential general contractors, you may not realize how different a commercial project can be. Most residential general contractors don’t foray into commercial projects and most commercial construction companies don’t work on residential projects. The process can be quite different depending on the type of project and the construction required.
The Main Differences: Commercial vs. Residential Projects
Residential general contractors, whether new home or remodeling, are typically working with smaller structures than commercial construction. That means projects are cheaper in terms of material, labor and overall cost; obtaining material selections can also be somewhat difficult. There is also a personal component to residential construction as contractors are often dealing with homeowners.
Commercial buildings, on the other hand, differ in terms of scale, complexity and functionality.
Most commercial buildings have greater infrastructure needs as well as different regulations and protocols. They are often more time-driven than residential projects as well. Commercial projects often require additional support from architects, engineers, designers, and building committees; and a commercial general contractor is prepared to work with the additional decision-makers based on experience.
Arguably the single biggest difference is the code requirements for commercial buildings such as handicap accessibility, egress requirements, fire safety, etc. With residential construction, many of these code requirements are not quite as stringent. Most commercial buildings require sprinklers and fireproofing, which leads to complicated electrical and plumbing requirements, where residential construction does not.
The Importance of Hiring Appropriately
Whether you are looking for help with a commercial or residential construction project, hiring the appropriate general contractor is of the utmost importance. A commercial space is used in an entirely different manner than a residential space which is why there are so many differences. You need a general contractor who is familiar with commercial plumbing, electrical, egress, roofing, even commercial finishes. You need a general contractor who is experienced in projects of similar scale, complexity and functionality.
If you would like to learn more about our expertise in commercial construction and renovation don’t hesitate to contact us!