What is Commercial Construction?

When flipping through the yellow pages or checking the web for construction companies you will often find two big distinctions, residential and commercial. You likely understand that commercial construction is for office buildings, warehouses, grocery stores, places where people work and that residential construction is performed where people live, but what is commercial construction? What makes a commercial construction company different? Let’s answer the question by looking further into what makes a company a commercial construction company.

So, What is Commercial Construction?

Simply put, commercial construction is the contracting business of leasing, buying, selling, and manufacturing businesses and buildings for commercial use such as retail space, office space, warehouses, manufacturing plants and more.

The easy distinction between residential and commercial construction is that commercial construction takes place where people work, and residential construction takes place where people live, but there is more to it than that.

Residential vs. Commercial Construction

There is plenty more to residential vs. commercial construction other than the type of space. There are numerous other differences between commercial and residential construction such as resources, types of people employed, the number of people employed, the operation of the business, and more.

Commercial construction companies typically have much more resources than their residential counterparts. A commercial construction company might have millions and even billions of dollars in the capital while a residential company can have anything from a few dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars and usually not much more. This larger capital comes from a need of a larger number of employees and overall resources to take care of the large scale projects that take place in commercial construction.

Both residential and commercial construction companies employ subcontractors or contractors that are not employees of the company itself, but you most often see a larger percentage of subcontractors in the residential construction sector.

Commercial construction companies and employees require different licensing, skillsets, and strengths. The electrical wiring will be much different in a commercial building compared to a home, so the electrician requires different skill sets. Commercial construction companies are also more likely to hire employees with specialized knowledge and skills such as architects, engineers, and logistics experts.

So when you ask, “what is commercial construction”? Half the answer is in what sets commercial construction apart from residential construction. Commercial construction is simply more. More resources, more capital, more employees. More to meet the needs of a growing country and its industry.

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