Commercial vs. Residential Asphalt Paving Projects

What’s the difference between commercial vs. residential asphalt paving projects? Both offer a different set of challenges for contractors. They are treated very differently from each other because of the complications each project offers.

Commercial vs. Residential Asphalt Paving Projects

Installation techniques and design requirements may differ for both commercial and residential projects. Hence, contractors have to make necessary decisions before starting either type of project.

It is important to understand that both projects share some similarities, but client requirements can differ significantly.

You’ll find a lot of commercial contractors working on residential projects as well and vice versa. This is because construction for both projects is somewhat similar.

A few differences between the two projects are as follows:

Difference in Design

Perhaps the major difference between the two projects is the design. Usually, client requirements for residential projects can be very specific and might require catering to individualistic preferences.

There is also a key difference in the drainage design for both commercial and residential projects.

Commercial parking lots have different drainage requirements compared to residential ones. Contractors will generally opt for a more efficient design for commercial projects to avoid any puddles of water from forming. When designing commercial projects, contractors make sure that the drainage system they’re creating permits them to direct the water underneath the surface before paving.

Commercial parking lots are a lot wider compared to residential ones, so a more efficient drainage design is necessary.


Residential homeowners always look for affordable options for building parking lots or driveways. Hence, most residential projects use materials like asphalt to construct parking lots because it’s a lot cheaper and highly durable. With asphalt, property owners save a lot on paving project costs.

However, commercial contractors also use asphalt for paving but face relatively higher costs compared to residential homeowners. This is because commercial parking lots usually occupy a greater surface area, so the costs for surfacing are considerably higher.


Another difference between the two projects is the difference in durability. Commercial projects tend to be a lot more durable than residential ones. A major reason for that is commercial projects serve different purposes. Commercial clients invest heavily in projects because they’re usually representing a company.

Residential clients don’t focus on durability as much but rather on the design of the project.

Commercial clients specify their requirements to contractors beforehand and make sure they’re following the design that they require.

Commercial vs. Residential Asphalt Paving Projects Best Contractor


Commercial and residential projects have different depths according to clients’ specifications. A commercial project has considerably better depth compared to a residential project. Contractors handling commercial projects make sure that there are no soft or weak spots beneath the surface of the parking lots. Weak spots can make it more vulnerable over time because of heavy traffic.

An example of a commercial project is a grocery store parking lot. Contractors make sure that the parking lot has a subgrade layer underneath the surface to support the structure of the pavement.

Commercial clients usually require depths of around 4 to 7 inches of the subgrade layer to thicken the structure. This helps prevent any potential accidents because of heavy loads.

Commercial vs. Residential Asphalt Paving Projects: Bottom Line

These are the key differences between a residential and a commercial paving project. Client requirements can differ for both projects, so a large scale residential one might have the same qualities as a commercial one.

Whitman’s Asphalt Maintenance & Repair, Inc can help you with both commercial and residential projects. With over 25 years of experience in asphalt paving and construction, we are the most reliable, economical and and trusted contractors in the Tampa Bay area.

Call today for a free consultation.

Whitmans Asphalt Maintenance & Repair
Randy Whitman

6802 Stonesthrow Circle North
St. Petersburg, Florida 33710

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