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Commercial Construction vs Homebuilding: What’s the Difference?
The most characteristic differential trait between commercial construction and homebuilding might be pretty evident. The first one refers to any business related constructions, whereas the latter simply houses people.
However, the differences come from a broad spectrum of areas as well as differences within the stages of the construction process. These go from building materials, to funding, permits etc.
Let’s learn more about the 5 differences between residential and commercial construction:
When talking about the construction process, the focus lies on building materials, structure and equipment.
In the US, the most common building material used in homes is wood. There is something called “brick homes”, but even these are actually wood structures with a brick outer covering, technically called a veneer.
Before 1900, brick-on-brick homes were more common. Nowadays, brick-on-block may be found in a few high-end luxury homes, but this technique is mainly used for commercial and institutional buildings. These are usually built from cement, with steel frames, which are much sturdier than wood, giving commercial buildings longer lifespans.
Another big difference is the structure of these buildings. Residential construction involves the building of apartments, flats, and houses, and are usually smaller than commercial facilities. Commercial construction involves industrial facilities, warehouses, and business establishments.
Logically, due to the different usage of building materials, large scale projects often use larger pieces of equipment such as cranes. For residential homes, carpenters and stonemasons are often required.
Completion Time & Design
Although it may seem counter-logical, the completion time for commercial construction is actually shorter. Commercial construction is more time-driven because it’s all about meeting the deadlines in order to finish it as soon as possible and do business. There are more actors playing a role at a commercial construction process such as architects, designers and contractors, facilitating the organization and execution of the project.
On the other hand, residential construction has an emotional aspect to it, which may delay the process. Usually, the homeowner wants to be part of the home building process and that implies decision-making, detail and a lot more craftsmanship.
In the US, according to the World Bank in 2019, it takes approximately 80.6 days to build a warehouse. And in regards to homebuilding, according to the U.S. Census Bureau report, in 2019, takes around seven months.
Costs & budgeting
Because commercial construction projects entail a much more complex network, it usually works with a higher budget and/or even funding. When working in residential construction, clients have a limited budget and often change their decisions in relation to the amount of money they are able to devote to their dream house.
Permits & Codes
Permits are a key aspect of any kind of construction process. It doesn’t matter if it’s a house or a 75 story building. However, there are more business related permits or city permits that need to be processed when building a commercial facility than with homebuilding. This is usually due to the size of the building, the location or safety-related reasons due to the heavy machinery used in commercial construction.
If you are looking to build a business or restaurant, it is important you’re accompanied throughout the process with a team of experts that help you out make the right decisions in your commercial construction endeavor. Here at Protech, we have 35 years of experience in commercial construction in Houston and we guarantee we’ll be glad to help you out. Just contact us!