What makes a residential roof different from a commercial roof

Understanding roofing types can help with informed decisions

When it comes to roofs, one size does not fit all. Residential roofs and commercial roofs differ significantly in terms of installation, materials, slope, and overall curbside appeal. Understanding these differences is essential for homeowners and business owners alike when making decisions based on information learned from contractors and online research. Choosing the wrong roof type in Tampa, FL can be a costly and time-consuming problem to deal with, so we are here to make sure your decisions are informed and planned out.

Difference 1: roof installation

The installation process is one of the primary differentiators between residential and commercial roofs. Residential roofs are typically smaller in scale and require less time and labor compared to their commercial counterparts. Residential roofs are often installed by local roofing contractors specializing in residential projects, ensuring attention to detail and quality craftsmanship. 

On the other hand, commercial roofs are larger and more complex, demanding the expertise of commercial roofing specialists or contractors that specialize in both fields. These professionals possess the knowledge and equipment necessary to handle large-scale installations. Commercial roofs often involve intricate systems like HVAC units, ventilation, and other equipment, requiring coordination with other tradespeople during the installation process.

roof type

Difference 2: materials used for the roof type

The choice of materials is another significant distinction between the two roof types. Residential roofs commonly feature materials such as asphalt shingles, metal, clay tiles, or wood shakes. These materials are selected based on aesthetics, cost, weight, and climate considerations. Residential roofs prioritize visual appeal and durability while catering to the homeowner’s preferences.

In contrast, commercial roofs frequently utilize materials like built-up roofing (BUR), modified bitumen, thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), or ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM). These materials offer enhanced durability and weather resistance, making them suitable for large flat or low-slope roofs commonly found in commercial buildings. Functionality and longevity take precedence over aesthetics in commercial roofing material choices.

Difference 3: the overall slope of the roof

The slope, or pitch, of a roof significantly varies between residential and commercial structures. Residential roofs often have steeper slopes to facilitate water runoff, minimize water pooling, and prevent leaks. Steep-slope roofs are more common in residential areas, as they offer a visually pleasing appearance and effectively shed precipitation. 

Commercial roofs, on the other hand, are typically flat or have low slopes. Flat roof types are preferred for commercial buildings due to their cost-effectiveness and ease of installation, as well as the ability to support additional functions like HVAC units or storage. While flat roofs may seem more vulnerable to leaks, modern commercial roofing systems employ efficient drainage systems and waterproofing techniques to mitigate water-related issues.

Difference 4: curbside appeal

Curbside appeal, or the visual appeal of a roof from the street, holds greater significance in residential areas. Homeowners often prioritize the aesthetic aspect of their roofs, as it contributes to the overall look and value of their homes. Additionally, many homeowners have to conform to HOA rules and regulations in order to maintain a uniform look. Residential roofs come in various styles, colors, and materials, allowing homeowners to showcase their personal tastes and complement the architectural style of their houses.

Commercial buildings, on the other hand, prioritize functionality and energy efficiency over curbside appeal. While commercial roofs can still incorporate aesthetically pleasing elements, the primary focus lies on meeting structural and operational requirements. Commercial roofs often feature large HVAC systems, solar panels, or other equipment that may affect their aesthetic appearance.

Work with the team that has perfected both residential and commercial roof types

When it comes to your roofing needs, whether it be for residential or commercial purposes, Stay Dry Roofing has you covered! Our team offers a wide range of roof types in Tampa, FL to suit the needs of home or business owners alike. Our team of professional roofing contractors has over 30 years of experience in the Tampa area, so we understand the ins and outs of your needs and wants. We encourage you to give us a call to get a free estimate on what it would cost to replace your roof. We’ll not only provide you with a competitive quote but answer any questions or concerns you may have. 

FREE estimate. Financing available. No money down.​

Committed to customer satisfaction



Tarpon Springs

Palm Harbor

Citrus Park



Pinellas Park

Plant City

Temple Terrace

Wesley Chapel

River View


Land O Lakes

St. Petersburg


Cape Coral