Commercial Roofers vs Residential Roofers: What makes it Different?

Select Commercial Roofers vs Residential Roofers: What makes it Different? Commercial Roofers vs Residential Roofers

Roofing professionals play a crucial role in ensuring the safety, protection, and longevity of your property. While the term “roofers” might evoke the image of a professional fixing a leaky roof on a residential property, it’s important to recognize that there’s a significant contrast between commercial and residential roofers. Both categories possess unique training, expertise, and responsibilities that cater to the diverse needs of their respective projects. Let’s delve into the key differences that set these two categories of roofers apart.

Scale of Projects: Commercial Roofers Handle Larger Roofs

Commercial roofers primarily focus on expansive structures, such as towering office buildings, sprawling warehouses, and bustling shopping malls. These buildings boast roofs that span tens of thousands of square feet, presenting complex challenges that demand specialized skills. In contrast, residential roofers dedicate their efforts to single-family homes, working on comparatively smaller roofs that are usually one or two stories tall.

Specialized Equipment: Vital for Commercial Roofing

The scale of commercial roofing projects necessitates the use of advanced equipment like cherry pickers, cranes, and boom lifts. These machines empower commercial roofers to access even the most inaccessible areas of towering roofs. In contrast, residential roofers often lack experience with such specialized equipment, limiting their ability to undertake projects that demand this level of technological prowess.

Time Required: Commercial Roofing Projects Take Longer

Due to the substantial size and complexity of commercial roofs, projects in this category commonly span weeks or even months. The intricate nature of commercial buildings, with multiple levels, ventilation systems, and other features, contributes to the extended timeframe. Conversely, residential roofing projects are usually completed within a few days, given the simpler nature of the structures involved.

Team Size: Commercial Roofing Companies Boast Larger Teams

Commercial roofing endeavours call for sizable teams, comprising various professionals such as inspectors, project managers, architects, engineers, truck drivers, and, of course, roofers. This collaborative approach ensures efficient project execution and timely completion. Residential roofing companies, on the other hand, tend to have smaller teams, with some projects requiring just a handful of roofers.

Roof Repair

Divergent Installation Methods

Commercial roofers exhibit expertise in installing diverse types of roofs, including flat roofs, metal roofs, sloped roofs, membrane roofs, solar roofs, and green roofs. Each type demands meticulous adherence to distinct installation protocols. For instance, the installation of modified bitumen roofing, a flat roof option, necessitates layering with various adhesives, torches, or cold processes. Residential roofers, working predominantly on single-level homes, handle simpler roofing systems that do not demand the same level of training and expertise.

Elevated Safety Concerns

Commercial roofing projects adhere to stringent safety requirements established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The elevated risk associated with larger teams and complex structures underscores the need for robust safety measures. Commercial roofers must undergo OSHA certification, demonstrating their proficiency in fall protection and other safety protocols.

Regulatory Compliance: Navigating Area Building Codes

Navigating building codes is a critical aspect of roofing projects. Commercial roofers must adhere to the International Code Council’s regulations, which encompass materials, installation methods, and other crucial elements. Additionally, they must stay attuned to local building codes that evolve over time. Non-compliance could lead to penalties or the revocation of contracting licenses.

Choosing the Right Roofer for Your Project

In essence, the distinction between commercial and residential roofers is profound and multifaceted. Each category boasts its own training, expertise, safety standards, and regulatory requirements. As a property owner seeking roofing services, it is imperative to select a roofer whose specialization aligns with the unique needs of your project. Whether it’s a sprawling commercial structure or a cozy residential abode, the right roofer can ensure a durable and reliable roofing solution.


In the realm of roofing, the division between commercial and residential roofers is far from superficial. It encompasses a wide array of factors, from the scope of projects and equipment requirements to safety concerns and regulatory compliance. As you embark on your next roofing endeavour, armed with a deeper understanding of these distinctions, you can confidently make informed decisions that lead to the successful completion of your project.

Frequently Asked Questions

Commercial roofers specialize in large-scale projects on expansive buildings, while residential roofers work on single-family homes with smaller roofs.

Commercial roofing projects are larger and more complex, involving multiple levels, ventilation systems, and other features that extend the timeline.

Commercial roofers utilize advanced equipment like cherry pickers, cranes, and boom lifts to access challenging areas on towering roofs.

Commercial roofing projects adhere to stricter safety requirements due to larger teams and complex structures, necessitating OSHA certification for commercial roofers.

Commercial roofers must follow International Code Council regulations and stay updated on local building codes to avoid penalties and license revocation.

Scroll to Top