Construction Law

Differences in Residential and Commercial Construction Legal Cases featured image

Differences in Residential and Commercial Construction Legal Cases

Residential and commercial construction are two very different areas of the construction industry. The outcome of your construction legal case will often largely depend on whether or not it is stemming from residential or commercial construction. In this article, we’ll review the key differences between residential and commercial legal cases. If you’re in need of legal counsel, contact one of our Chattanooga construction attorneys who can provide you with support in a wide variety of construction-related legal matters. 

Related: Commercial Contractors: Follow These Tips to Stay in Business

Scale and Scope

Residential and commercial construction projects vary from each other in scale and scope. Commercial properties are designed for a much wider range of uses, whereas residential properties are solely focused on creating homes. Each has its own regulations, which require specialization to be able to build effectively for either option. Commercial projects also tend to be larger than residential projects, leading to a much larger scope of work to cover.

Material Regulations

The materials used in commercial and residential construction are very different in some cases. This means that they are also regulated differently. Acceptable uses for certain materials and construction practices for commercial uses are not allowed in residential construction because of the potential impact on people that live there. These different regulations are necessary for public safety, but also create a need for legal advice when trying to manage specific materials. A Chattanooga construction attorney can review the regulations and help you better manage your materials.


One thing that residential and commercial construction have in common is permits. You have to get a permit for nearly every type of commercial construction, and there are many different permits for residential construction projects. The method for acquiring permits is similar between both options, but the permits are significantly different. 

In commercial construction, you build under different circumstances, which means the permits for commercial products may not look anything like the residential permits. If you are experiencing issues with your permits, regardless of whether it is for residential or commercial construction, you can contact a construction lawyer for help getting the right permit for your job.

Related: 4 Types of Commercial Building Permits


No matter what type of construction work they do, you need to have a contract before you begin any work. In residential construction, the contract tends to be shorter and more concise. Commercial construction products, on the other hand, can be massive and require many individual components of a contract to make sure everything is covered. To avoid problems, find a lawyer that works in the type of construction that you do to develop and review your contracts.

Although commercial and residential construction can be very different from each other, any construction company can benefit from the help of a lawyer. If you have any questions about residential or commercial legal services, contact one of our Chattanooga construction lawyers from Cotney Attorneys & Consultants.

If you would like to speak with one of our Chattanooga construction attorneys, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.