Construction & Contractors/Query...


Good day
What are the main differences between building a small commercial building vs a residential building? What different skill sets and key competencies are needed for constructing small commercial buildings?
Where can one learn how to construct small commercial buildings and what practical books, resources, courses etc. are available
Also if one is able to construct a residential home, does that mean one can construct a small commercial building or is a different skill set needed

Residential buildings are generally wood framed and subject to different codes that commercial buildings.  The wall framing for commercial space often times is CMU or metal or concrete tilt up instead of wood studs, although wood can be used. Commercial building often have wood or steel roof framing members and more open space (less columns).  Most commercial building have concrete slabs on grade and most resiidences have wood framed floors with crawl spaces underneath. Although in the souther parts of the US and in the north where radiant heating is used you can find slab on grade residences.
Fundamental management of both is similar, good scheduling and planning is very important to ensure prompt project delivery.  Commercial subs generally are a liittle larger and a little more expensive but you can find capable residential subs. Commercial architects tend to detail things a little more than residential.  Just understand whatever code you are subject to, paricularly electrical materials and methods which can be quite different.

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Lee Kilcup


Can answer most questions regarding estimating, contracting, project delivery, strategic planning and business management for commercial building construction contracts and companies. Not a lot of knowledge about residential or heavy/ highway projects.


Past/Present clients
Microsoft, Quadrant(Weyerhauser), Nintendo of America, Overlake Hospital, Adobe Systems, REI

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