Key Differences Between Residential and Commercial Roofing

Key Differences Between Residential and Commercial Roofing


Understanding the differences between residential and commercial roofing is crucial for choosing the right solutions for your building’s needs. Both types of roofing have distinct characteristics, materials, and design considerations that impact their installation and maintenance.

Materials Used in Roofing

Residential Roofing Materials

Residential roofs typically use asphalt shingles, wood shakes, and metal. Asphalt shingles are the most common due to their affordability and ease of installation. Wood shakes offer a natural aesthetic, while metal roofs provide durability and energy efficiency.

Commercial Roofing Materials

Commercial roofs often utilize materials such as PVC, TPO, and EPDM membranes, suitable for flat or low-slope roofs. These materials are selected for their durability, energy efficiency, and ability to withstand the demands of large-scale buildings.

Design and Structure

Residential Roof Design

Residential roofs usually feature steep slopes and peaks to facilitate water drainage and prevent debris buildup. The design focuses on aesthetics and functionality, ensuring the roof complements the home’s architectural style.

Commercial Roof Design

Commercial roofs tend to be flat or have a low slope to accommodate HVAC systems, solar panels, and other equipment. The design must account for the weight and maintenance access, making them more complex than residential roofs.

Installation and Maintenance

Residential Roof Installation

Residential roofing installation is relatively straightforward, often completed within a few days. Maintenance involves regular inspections and occasional repairs to address issues like shingle damage or leaks.

Commercial Roof Installation

Due to the complexity and size of commercial roofing projects, it requires more skill and experience. Installation can take longer and involve multiple layers of materials. Regular maintenance is critical to ensure the roof remains in good condition and promptly addresses any issues.

Cost Considerations

Residential Roofing Costs

Residential roofing costs vary based on the materials used and the roof size. Asphalt shingles are generally the most cost-effective option, while metal and wood shakes can be more expensive.

Commercial Roofing Costs

Commercial roofing projects are typically more expensive due to the larger surface area and specialized materials. The cost also includes equipment placement, structural support, and long-term maintenance considerations.


Choosing the right roofing solution depends on understanding residential and commercial roofs’ specific needs and characteristics. Homeowners and business owners can make informed decisions by considering the materials, design, installation, and cost differences. For professional roofing services, Fair and Square Roofing Inc. in Edmonton, Alberta, offers expert solutions tailored to both residential and commercial requirements.