What Contractors Should Know About Commercial Roofing Construction

Kathleen Maxwell | May 13, 2021

Man in a cherry-picker.

General contractors have so many different elements to oversee with a construction project, especially for commercial properties. For many contractors, the roof may be one of the most unfamiliar parts of a building. To help understand the complexities of roofing, we created this guide outlining what contractors should know about commercial roofing construction.

1. Commercial vs. Residential Roofs

While all roofs have things in common, there are major differences between commercial and residential roofs. Commercial roofers are much more familiar with the types of commercial roofing. They can also address the challenges that come with specialized commercial projects like metal roofs, green roofs, or flat (low-slope) roofs. Be sure to hire a commercial roofer for a commercial job.

2. Types of Roofs

General contractors should be aware of the most popular types of commercial roof installations. While asphalt shingles are popular for residential buildings, commercial roofs usually use roofing materials like EPDM or thermoplastic single-ply membranes. These roofing systems are a cost-effective way to provide waterproofing over a large, flat surface. 

3. Commercial Roof Costs

General contractors must prepare ahead of time for the high costs of a commercial roof. These complex roofing systems typically cost around $11-$14 per square foot; however, this average can vary depending on materials used and the complexity of the project. Certain materials, like metal, may cost more but also tend to last longer. While price is a factor in any construction project, skimping too much on a roof can have costly consequences down the road if it fails.

4. Choosing a Contractor

The best thing a general contractor can do to ensure their building gets the best roof possible is to hire a reputable commercial roofing contractor. Be sure to properly vet contractors before hiring them by checking references and inquiring about their insurance. Different contractors also may specialize in certain types of roofs. You may want to consider a roofing company that also has a custom fabrication shop or staff that can help with roof design.

5. Roof Life After Construction

Unlike other parts of a commercial building, the roof requires ongoing maintenance in order to last. Roof repair is also a common necessity since commercial roofs are exposed to the elements. Contractors should look for roofing companies that offer options for roof inspections and long-term maintenance for the roof after it is built. Finding a roofing company that goes the extra mile will benefit building owners in the long run.

If you’re ready to get started, contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today! Our team is experienced and ready to help.

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