In this article, we would like to define the difference between commercial, residential, and public works (government) projects. Regulations and codes can vary significantly depending upon where your project is taking place, so it is important to understand the differences. Commercial projects are vastly different in comparison to residential projects. This is because commercial projects have a number of different rules, regulations, and building standards that makes commercial project planning a crucial and tedious endeavor in and of itself. Sometimes people ask: Can a commercial builder delve into the realm of residential projects, and vice versa? The answer is, yes and no. It totally depends on whether or not the builder has the appropriate licenses and permits to do so. And though public works projects can be somewhat similar in ways to commercial projects, there lies a number of different factors that separate commercial and public works projects. Commercial buildings are structures that are dedicated almost entirely to commercial activities. Such structures require thoughtful planning as they tend to be larger in scale and/or require special fixtures and other specifications that the business need. Other things play into the planning of commercial projects as well, such as state and local commercial building codes, fire safety, security, etc.. Some types of commercial building projects can include but are not limited to:
- Malls and other kinds of shopping centers
- Restaurants, cafes, department stores, strip malls, private medical practices, etc.
- Private theme parks, haunted houses, and other for profit, privately owned recreation venues
- Storage facilities
- Generally any structure that has been designated for the use of commercial use
Residential projects involve the construction of houses, apartment buildings, and even larger multistory high rise buildings. Depending upon what the actual project entails, some residential projects can take on some commercial project characteristics. A residential builder may take their projects more personally. This is because residential buildings or homes are going to become someone else’s dwelling for what could be that individual’s and/or their family’s entire lifetime. Residential builders are usually accustomed to taking on smaller single structure projects, to hundred of structures being erected within a housing community or complex. Of course there are numerous different factors that come into play as to what style a commercial building will look and feel like, both inside and out, but generally speaking, commercial buildings are made up primarily of concrete and steal, whereas residential homes are mostly made up of wood frames, sitting on a concrete foundation. Some examples of residential building projects are but not limited to:
- Single or multiple family homes (the amount of floors doesn’t change the definition)
- Apartment complexes
- High rise buildings for the purpose of providing dwellings
- Retirement homes and apartment buildings
The term public works includes a large and broad category of local, state, or federal infrastructure projects, most likely financed and constructed by the government for employment, recreation, health and public safety purposes. The thing about public works projects are they can take on residential and commercial elements. This is due to the fact that governments often provide public housing projects for a wide range of purposes, from low income to disabled assisted living and are involved in commercial activities at some level or another. Some examples of public works projects are, but are not limited to:
- Parks and recreational facilities
- Public education facilities (elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, universities and community colleges, etc.)
- Health care institutions (hospitals, community health care facilities, etc.)
- Governmental structures such as courthouses, jails, libraries, event venues, etc.
- Roads, bridges, dams, airports, shipping docks, only to list a small few
- Public housing (such as HUD housing)
- Power facilities
We specialize in public works construction, which is the roughest of the three on this list. Don’t go at it alone, and contact us today. We would be more than glad to assist you in the completion of a successful project. And If you have further questions that weren’t answered within this article concerning the difference between residential, commercial, and public works projects, please feel free to shoot us a question here.