The Differences Between Residential and Commercial Construction

Whether residential or commercial construction, every construction process requires hard work, money, and proper planning for successful completion. When it comes to planning a project, there is no one-size-fits-all procedure. Many considerations go into residential and commercial construction.

Commercial structures typically tend to be large scale and to serve a more significant number of people. They include office and retail buildings, restaurants, storage units, and industrial buildings. On the other hand, residential structures are smaller and meant for individuals’ and families’ habitation. They include single- or multi-unit homes, detached homes, condos, townhouses, hotels, duplexes, triplexes, and housing co-operatives. Some buildings can even double as both residential and commercial.

The differences between these two major building types affect everything about the construction from start to end. Let us take a look at some of the significant differences between residential and commercial construction.


Codes and Permits

Both residential and commercial construction projects require a permit and an adherence to building code requirements. However, it is easier and faster to obtain the permit needed for a residential building. Commercial projects require stricter building permits and codes due to the additional technology, safety, and electrical needs. Also, they have higher chances of causing pollution (air, water, or noise), so they are under more scrutiny.


Building Materials and Equipment

The building materials (in terms of quantity and quality) needed for residential and commercial construction differ significantly. Residential homes often need timber and other wooden frames, unlike commercial buildings that require steel materials. Commercial projects also require the use of specialized equipment such as cranes.



The financial investment that goes into commercial construction projects is way more than that for residential properties. The cost difference is due to increased labor, overhead costs, and the sophisticated materials and specialized equipment needed. Due to the high price, commercial projects are funded by wealthy owners, corporations with bank financing, developers, and government agencies. Often, the financier of a commercial project hires a commercial general contractor to manage the work and schedule subcontractors using competitive bidding procedures. On the other hand, the returns in commercial projects are higher compared to residential ones.


Construction Deadlines

Commercial construction projects tend to take a shorter time to complete compared to residential buildings. Most commercial constructions can set and meet deadlines. The project owner often understands that there will be lower labor costs if the work is completed in due time, and the building will start being used for its purpose. Since most residential buildings are funded by cash or loans, the inadequacy of funds may result in a stall, so the project takes longer.

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Start Your Project

Always select a construction company with a proven record of high-quality contracts to handle your residential and commercial construction. The construction company should have experienced and skilled workers who will carry out the project.

At RJT Construction LLC, we understand the rigors associated with commercial constructions. And so, we committed ourselves to use our expertise and craftsmanship to complete commercial projects in Houston, Texas.

Contact us today for all commercial construction needs.