What are the main differences between a Construction Company and a Building Company? Are they synonyms? I've done some research on the internet, but couldn't find any relevant explanations.

I'm from Brazil, so I would like to know how Americans or British people refer to companies that build/manage constructions.

Thanks in advance.

  • I haven't really heard "building company" used over "construction company," but a Google search leads me to believe they're mostly synonymous.
    – Aaron
    Apr 30 '18 at 3:37
  • "Construction company" sounds (to me) chiefly Am.E, and while it probably could/would/is used in Br.E to my Br.E ears, a better-sounding equivalent would be "building firm". You could also say of a company that "they are in construction".
    – TripeHound
    Apr 30 '18 at 15:12
  • 1
    Similar: “Building site” vs. “construction site”
    – choster
    Aug 23 '18 at 1:05
  • Some construction companies build roads...
    – Jim
    Dec 22 '18 at 4:57

I've never heard the word/phrase "building company" in the U.S. It's always construction with company. And I've always heard it in connection with commercial projects, like office buildings. But the term builder is common in a residential context - with the longer version being homebuilder.

"Our builder did a great job on our house."

  • Hi, Kentix. I just now came across two recent answers that you've posted at English Language & Usage. Both seem reasonable enough, but they don't provide any independent, objective support that might help a random site visitor assess their validity. One way for a poster to get beyond the problem of whether his or her answer is trustworthy is to include corroborating documentation from a reliable reference work. You will find that other site participants will respond more positively to your posts if you include such documentation with them.
    – Sven Yargs
    Aug 23 '18 at 2:27

I'm British and, to my mind, a "building company" would be concerned mainly with building houses or small, conventionally built commercial premises. They might also undertake repair, alteration and extention work on existing houses and small commercial premises. The skill set of their employees might include groundwork, brick and block work, joinery, roofing, wiring and pipework.

A "construction company" would be more likely to be concerned with larger buildings (including what we call "blocks of flats" and Americans call "apartment blocks") but also with steel frame and large scale cast concrete commercial building. The skill set of their employees would include those mentioned above but also include structural steel work and, possibly, shuttering for concrete.

There is a complication, however, in that a large "building company" by the above definition which undertook developments consisting of many houses might well be described as a "construction company" even though it had no in-house steel erectors and only built on a domectic scale.


As @Kentix stated, "Building Company" does not seem to be an established professional term...

That said, if there were a difference it would likely be that a Construction company constructs buildings (demolishes site, lays foundation, erects structure), whereas a Building company manages buildings (physical security, utilities/maintenance, tenant management).

But, again, that would be more of a Building management company.

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