You recently renovated your kitchen and found that the general contractor you used was very detailed, quick, honest, and stayed within your budget. They even recommended flooring and cabinet vendors who had the best prices so that you could save even more! You are so impressed with them that you would like to recommend them for the upcoming commercial project at your work.

General contractors are often considered to be the same service for both residential and commercial projects. However, this is a misconception. Residential and commercial construction projects differ in many ways, and the general contractors that oversee these projects in each category are trained differently. In fact, residential and commercial construction are two entirely different processes.

Use of Construction

The most obvious difference between commercial and residential general contractors is the types of buildings they work on. A residential project is going to be built specifically for everyday dwelling use and includes rooms for sleeping, cooking, and leisure. A commercial construction project is an umbrella term for any building not intended to be lived in by a single person or family. Commercial construction includes projects ranging from office buildings, hospitals, restaurants, retail, and large residential complexes. Commercial construction can also include industrial projects such as manufacturing, warehouses, distribution centers, and flex space buildings.

Permits and Codes

Another area in which commercial and residential projects differ is the completely different zoning permits and code requirements. In general, residential construction does not require as many building codes or permits as commercial construction. Commercial properties abide by the rules and restrictions of several permits, such as building safety, accessibility, elevators, and electrical permits. For example, when Omni Commercial Group contracts mechanical, electrical, and plumbing, our subcontractors provide their own stamped drawings along with their specific permit applications. Omni Commercial Group will include all this information with the project’s general construction package.

Materials are Distinctive

Residential and commercial construction projects use different materials. In residential construction, the house is usually constructed around a timber frame because the residential building requires less reinforcement. Timber is also preferred because it qualifies for the structural needs and is more cost effective.

Commercial buildings are much larger and require more structural support. For this reason, commercial construction prefers steel frames. It is stronger, supports larger buildings, and is malleable, allowing tall buildings to sway just a little bit, which makes them stand up to high winds. In commercial construction, interior materials are also made stronger to withstand long-lasting daily use. These types of buildings are much more durable but are also considerably more expensive, meaning the average person would not be able to afford the materials used.

Worker Expertise

The size and scope of commercial construction often requires higher-skilled workers. Not only for the actual building aspect, but also for the project management side as well. The type and size of equipment often requires experienced operators with a proven track record on commercial and industrial construction sites. For these reasons, overall labor costs are considerably higher compared to residential.

Omni Commercial Group takes great pride in our team. Our pride comes from fielding an experienced and skilled team of project managers and skilled laborers. This consistency in our team gives our clients a company they can count on.

As you can see, residential and commercial construction are two entirely different processes. As a premier commercial general contractor, Omni Commercial Group is proud to provide interior and exterior commercial services throughout Chicago and outlying areas. We have an impeccable track record, an impressive portfolio, and an experienced team that is ready to tackle your next big project. Our results speak for themselves, and we’re proud of the work we continue to produce for our clients. Contact us today and we would be happy to provide you with a list of client referrals.