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Residential vs. Commercial Contractor: Which One is Right for Me?

Are you getting ready to expand your horizons by building a new rental unit or perhaps retail space? While exploring available contractors, you notice that some are listed as commercial and others residential. Do you need a commercial contractor for a new downtown building? It all depends on the extent of your development plans and the available services that the contractor offers. Learn what to expect when you hire each type of general contractor.

Determining the Scope of Your Project

When you are in the planning phase of pulling your building project together, you will want to determine what type of contractors may be required for the job. If you are adding a tennis court to a park, you may only need a residential contractor. If you are investing in a new shopping center, you will need to tap a wider range of support businesses. If you need more than the usual builder, electrical, and plumbing contractors, start to think commercial.

Commercial Contractors have the Experience and Resources for Major Infrastructure Improvements

Your project will include the expansion of local road systems, new traffic lights, integration into the communication networks, and impact the sewer system. Your commercial contractor will have the engineering professionals on staff or within reach to tackle major construction tasks with confidence. They may have project managers assigned to different portions of the entire plan–one for the roads and one for the buildings. Not only are they hiring the workers needed to do the physical labor, but they are also prepared to attend zoning meetings, anticipate new licensing and permits, and address ecological impact studies.

Residential Contractors Focus on the Finer Details

A residential contractor specializes in the systems that support neighborhoods of housing, whether that means single home structures or apartment complexes. Instead of extending the city sewer system, they are equipped to tie into it. They expect to put down a short access road, not pave an entire highway. Your residential contractor will have an architect that focuses on home design and engineers familiar with bathrooms and backyard pools. You will work with project managers interested in finishing details such as carpeting, tiling, and siding.

Working with a Company that Offers Both Services May be the Best Fit

What if your job fits into the middle of the description for a commercial vs. residential project? You may need more of the services provided by a commercial contractor if you are planning on a huge subdivision with multiple roads, shopping centers, and access to public parks and commuter routes. At the same time, you will need a builder able to produce homes that are finished appropriately for the target price point. This is when you want to find a business that offers both residential and commercial contracting. It may reduce the selection of available qualified firms, but you will be happier with the building process and final result.

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