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You’re on a website called “Find The Home Pros”.


But who exactly are home pros? And who are the business pros? What differentiates them, and is one better than the other?


While answering that question for every pro is way beyond the scope of this article, we thought we’d take a shot at establishing the difference between residential and commercial contractors.


Now it’s important to note that, in many cases, residential and commercial contractors will offer both services. That is to say, contractors whose work is primarily commercial or industrial will often engage in residential work, and residential contractors will take on commercial or industrial work.


That makes sense. When you have a set of skills, and you own a business, you want to hit as many different markets as you can.


But as a consumer, you should be wary.


As you’ll soon learn, residential contracting and commercial contracting are very different. If you’re looking to hire a contractor, and they offer both services, pay close attention to things like testimonials. Get in touch with the people they’ve worked with. Look at the work they’ve done. Shop around before making a decision.


Residential contractors

When looking for a residential contractor, whether they’re a plumber, an electrician, a roofer, or any other kind of contractor, you want someone who has worked on a lot of homes in your area.


Different areas have different codes – bylaws can vary drastically from region to region, even in the same metro area.


You’ll also want to find a contractor who has worked on homes like yours. Imagine getting a plumber for your 100-year-old home because you’re looking to replace all of the lead pipes, and hiring someone who has never seen a lead pipe in their life. It’s not going to work out.


One of the main things that sets a residential contractor apart from their commercial counterparts – other than a different set of work experience – is a different set of people skills.


Commercial contracting, as you’ll see in the next section, requires incredible people skills – but they’re skills of a different sort. In residential contracting, you want someone who is polite and courteous. Someone who won’t get easily aggravated if kids start running underfoot, or babies start crying. Someone neat who will be mindful of your new rugs while they’re working.


These qualities are not as necessary when it comes to commercial contracting.


Commercial contractors

Commercial contractors need a whole different set of experiences and skills.


More than people skills, commercial contractors need project management skills. Those things are similar, but not exactly the same.


In commercial contracting, you are almost always coordinating with whole teams of people you’ve never met before. You need to communicate any delays in your project, how they’ll impact other elements of the project (problems with piping leading to electrical wires needing to be moved, etc.).


Imagine a company is preparing for demolition, but the contractor they hired to remove the gas lines doesn’t adequately communicate their progress. Could be a big problem…


Communication is very important.


In many cases, commercial contractors will also be using much heavier equipment. Your home HVAC technician can install your air conditioner with little fuss. The HVAC technician who is installing a new unit at the mall? They’re going to need a whole team – they’ll probably need crane rentals just to get the unit on the roof.


This means commercial contractors are working with systems that are drastically different from residential systems. They’re bigger, and in many cases more complex.



To summarize, residential contractors generally need better “people person” skills, the team will be smaller, and they’ll be specialists at residential work.


Commercial contractors will have larger teams, need more project management skills, and work with larger equipment.


And remember, always get testimonials and shop around before hiring a contractor – whether they’re residential or commercial. We hope this helps!