The Difference Between Commercial and Residential Roofing

Did you know that commercial and residential roofing services aren't one and the same? Here are the differences between the two.

Have you ever wondered why there isn’t one go-to type of roof? Surely there’s a design that should work for any sized building? The fact is, there is a difference between commercial and residential roofing because the size of a building in fact directly affects what kind of roof can be installed.

We’re going to take a look at some of the differences between commercial and residential roofing. What factors affect a builder’s decision when they are installing or replacing a roof of a building? Keep reading to find out!


The most obvious difference between commercial and residential roofs is their design. Ask a young child to draw a house and they’ll likely draw something along the lines of a square with a triangle on top. They understand that a house tends to have a sloping roof.

Ask them to draw a factory and they’ll probably draw a big rectangle with a big chimney on top! Again, they understand that large buildings have flat roofs. But why?

The answer comes down to a few things.


A flat roof on a commercial building is advantageous because it allows room for air conditioning units and ventilation. This is valuable because it allows the occupant of the commercial building to maximize the space inside.


Imagine a huge office block that stretches hundreds of feet. Now imagine a sloped roof, like the one you’d see on a house. It would be impossible—the peak of the roof would be ridiculously high. The fact is, a peaked roof on a large commercial building simply isn’t realistic.


When it comes to cost, there’s a fine balance between the size of the building and the cost. On a small, residential building, a peaked roof is cheap to install, whereas on a larger commercial building it would become very expensive.


Regardless of what type of roof is on a building, it must be made of materials that will last, and have the ability to withstand the elements. This means different materials for differently sized and shaped buildings.

Flat roofs need to be strong and weight-bearing, so are often made of metal alongside some other support materials. Residential roofing, on the other hand, prioritizes insulation and aesthetic appeal. For this reason, asphalt, slate, or tile shingles are preferred.

Speak to a trustworthy roofer like if you’re looking for advice or information about roofing in Appleton, WI.


Residential roofs are generally easier to maintain, to the point where you can probably keep on top of general maintenance yourself. The same can’t be said for commercial roofs, in general, due to their size. 

The best practice in roof maintenance, in any case, is to keep gutters clear so that debris doesn’t build up on the roof, as blockages can become expensive to repair.

Commercial and Residential Roofing Are Very Different

Hopefully, this article has shown you some of the reasons that builders choose certain types of roofs for certain types of buildings. Different factors like design, efficiency, maintenance, and aesthetic appeal are all at play in the decision-making process when it comes to commercial and residential roofing.

If you enjoyed this article, why not check out the Real Estate and Household section of the website.


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About Marc Wallace

I'm never too busy to share my passion. I've created this page to help people learn more about business, finance and real estate. Besides all the serious stuff, I'm also a man that values family and healthy relationships. I hope you find my content insightful.

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