A Complete Guide to Commercial Construction Services

If the commercial construction industry as a whole was a restaurant menu, it wouldn’t be the one for the French restaurant with three featured, seasonal dishes. It would be the Cheesecake Factory’s 20 plus page menu–with some healthy choices and a lot of unhealthy ones. To give you a better idea of commercial construction services, we wanted to go over the different offerings and how to decide which services and contractors will suit your taste buds.

Residential vs Commercial Construction

Before we dive into commercial construction services, we wanted to go over a question we get asked quite a bit: what’s the difference between residential and commercial construction? In short, residential construction is for private owners who intend to use the space as a living area. This includes apartment renovations, home remodelings, and new subdivision construction.

Commercial construction covers new and renovation projects intended for business use. Any project where a company solicits a contractor to create a new space or renovate an old space would fall under this umbrella. Commercial construction services and project types vary greatly–a renovation of an assisted living home or building a new Starbucks location both fall under this category.

New commercial construction

New construction is most likely the image that comes to mind for many when someone says the phrase “commercial construction.” Think Bob the Builder using his hammer and nails to build a new school. In real life, this could look like a contractor developing a new restaurant on land that doesn’t have any preexisting structures or a construction company building new apartment buildings on recently bought farmland.

This commercial construction service is not one that Carlton Building Services completes, so we have less to say on what makes a good or bad contractor for this type of project. Before you start the search for a new construction contractor, check out our guide to green flags in a contractor.


If you want to spruce up your space, a renovation might be the answer. These commercial construction projects entail small modifications that bring about big changes. Improved flooring, a new coat of paint, and completing minor finishes would all fall under this category.

When looking for a renovation contractor, it’s important to keep in mind their estimated project timeline and if they can complete the work while you remain in operation. These projects are smaller, so they shouldn’t take as long and should be able to be completed with minimal disruption to your practice.


Remodeling gives new life to an old space because it goes deeper than a renovation project. Often, a renovation requires significant structural changes, such as raising a ceiling or adding a wall. These projects can be done in a variety of settings, from healthcare to retail.

When looking for a contractor to complete a remodeling project, check out their past projects, paying close attention to if they stayed on budget and on time. Because these projects tend to be bigger, you want to partner with a contractor who communicates well. Renovations also create significant structural change, so partnering with the right contractor allows the space to better caption the vision for the future of the business.

In the past, Carlton Building Services has successfully completed remodelings for clients such as Bonilla Pet Studios and Pursuit.

Build outs

A build out isn’t what it sounds like. Instead of building out (re: expanding) a space, a build out improves the space that already exists. It usually requires some major changes, such as adding in new walls or completely transforming a space. If you rented a new office space that used to be an accountant office and you wanted to turn it into a radiology practice, you would need to complete a build out.

Because a build out is such a big project, you want to work with a contractor with plenty of green flags. Strong communication skills, a track record of finishing projects on time, and a history of working with trusted subcontractors is a must. An ideal contractor for this type of project should also know local zoning laws, since the project will need a permit.

Thanks to our knowledge of Chesapeake Bay, Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, and surrounding areas, we’ve helped plenty of clients navigate successful build outs in this area. Check out our work for Jump Trampoline Park to learn more.

Repairs and Maintenance

If there’s a small maintenance project or needed repair to one part of your space, you should engage a contractor who can complete commercial repairs and maintenance. These projects are often minor, but can increase the life expectancy for your building.

When looking for a commercial contractor to take on a repair or maintenance project, make sure they have experienced professionals in the target area. For example, someone needing carpentry work should hire a contractor like Carlton Building Service, who has successfully completed flooring projects for clients such as First Colonial Inn and CSL Hampton.

No matter what type of commercial construction project is needed, a good contractor is a must. When you partner with the right commercial contractor, your project is more likely to finish on budget and on time–and to be completed in a way that builds the future of your business.

Carlton Building Services in Hampton Roads Virginia

Carlton Building Services specializes in repairs, maintenance, renovations, remodelings and build-outs for a variety of clients in Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, and Chesapeake areas. We have years of experience handling projects in the retail, office, and healthcare space and would love to work with you on your next project!

To learn more about our services, check out past project highlights or contact Carlton Building Services to see how we can help with your next project.

JP Carlton

J.P. Carlton

J.P. Carlton is the founder of Carlton Building Services, a Hampton Roads-based construction company.