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Difference Between Commercial Roofing vs Residential Roofing

roof replacement

Are there any differences between commercial and residential roofing? Yes. Both residential and commercial roofing serve the fundamental purpose of protecting a building from the elements. However, they have distinct characteristics and requirements based on the type of structure and its intended use.

Whether you’re a homeowner or a retiree with a commercial property investment or a residential property investor keen to purchase commercial property, it’s essential to know the difference between the two types of buildings. Hence, you are also ready to tackle any issues.

Commercial property owners can especially benefit from knowing how commercial roofing differs from residential roofing. In North America alone, roof replacement is a hot topic since over 90 percent of commercial roofs need to be replaced. Understanding the unique requirements of commercial roofing projects is crucial, and partnering with experienced professionals like Bold North Roofing can ensure optimal outcomes for your commercial property.

Don’t waste another minute wondering about roofing issues! Continue reading to learn the four significant differences between the two below.

Commercial Roofing vs Residential Roofing: Five Major Differences

Believe it or not, commercial properties have several different roofing requirements versus residential properties. Make sure you differentiate and make the best decision based on your roofing needs.

1. Materials

The choice of roofing materials depends on the building’s purpose. Factors like energy efficiency, durability, and long-term cost-effectiveness are prioritized for commercial buildings, while residential roofs may focus more on aesthetics, curb appeal, and weather resistance.

One of the most critical choices you will make on your journey to choosing the right roof will be the selection of materials. Once you have established a budget, you’ll want to pair the best material with the building’s structure type. Durability is vital because commercial properties are several stories taller than residential properties.

Stronger materials protect against the daily wear and tear of a variety of weather conditions. Metal panel roofing and asphalt shingles are ideal for the typically flat style of commercial roofs. Residential structures have more flexibility in roof styles and materials, like wood shingles, clay tiles, and solar tiles.

2. Design

The design of the roof is an essential choice for several reasons. Not only does it enhance the style of the building, but it also serves as a functional element. A flat roof is ideal for commercial properties because they often enlist professionals for regular maintenance and repairs.

Accessibility is also vital to the design. Commercial roofs must bear the weight of heavy equipment used for upkeep, such as cleaning, flooding, and installing an HVAC unit.

Residential properties have much more flexibility in design. Although homeowners can choose a flat roof, sloping is a popular choice. Not only does it help with drainage, but it also bumps up a home’s style.

3. Installation and maintenance

Did you know that commercial roofing projects often require specialized equipment and expertise due to their scale and complexity? Furthermore, maintenance schedules and techniques may also differ between commercial and residential roofs.


Make sure you hire the right roofing professionals for the job. A residential contractor will have the skills and expertise required to help you quickly solve your issues. A commercial roofing contractor will have more knowledge of intricate electrical and ventilation systems and more employees to work on larger jobs.

4. Cost

If you know your property or home will need a new roof or repairs, it’s essential to create a budget as soon as possible. That way, you won’t be surprised when you ask for an estimate. HomeAdvisor says the national average cost to replace a residential roof ranges from $5,113 to $9,815.

Commercial properties will also benefit from experienced and prepared roofing professionals. Ask contractors for estimates based on your budget, and don’t be afraid to shop around for several.

5. Building codes and compliance

Commercial and residential roofing may be subject to different building codes and regulations. Commercial roofs typically face more stringent requirements like fire safety, accessibility, and energy efficiency.

Building codes are enforced locally, so residential roof codes vary by location. The (International Residential Code) including the USA, uses roofing codes. The (National Roofing Contractors Association) supports roofers and has the codes they need to comply with for events like snow and wind.

In the UK, roofing materials, construction, and installation must comply with British Standards like BES 6001 and BS 8612, BS5534 and many more.

Roofing Knowlege is Key to a Great Decision

Based on the information we provided about commercial roofing vs residential roofing, we hope you feel ready to make a more informed choice. Repairing and maintaining your home or business roof is assential ptoownership, so ensure you do it confidently!