Commercial Renovation vs. Commercial New Construction

When planning a commercial construction project, one big decision is whether to renovate an existing structure or start a new construction. This choice will affect every other aspect of work, so it is important to carefully consider what is best for your needs. Take a look at the cost differences and benefits, and then contact WCA Design Studio. We can help you make the most informed decision.


Renovation vs. New Construction Cost

Typically, a renovation will cost less in the short term. This is particularly the case when only small changes are needed to suit your present needs. If the necessary changes are too large, or an important component like the entire HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system) needs replacing, it might be cheaper to start from scratch.

If you aren’t moving to a new property, the cost of demolition must be factored in. The national average for a commercial building is $40,450, but this can range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands. Complications such as asbestos can affect this cost. Consult with an expert to get a clear idea of what tearing down the old building will cost if that is what you are choosing to do.

A new construction will usually require more than a renovation in labor and materials, but it could work out cheaper in the long run. A new building has a longer shelf life than a renovation. By starting with a fresh foundation, new plumbing and electrical systems, and modern materials, the building, should last much longer before it needs updating.


Benefits of renovation

Aside from generally saving money, renovations are usually a faster solution. However, you have to take usability into account. If the building must remain in use during construction, that can slow down the remodel. This can quickly increase the cost of a project in both time and resources.

A building doesn’t need to be a designated historic landmark to be worth preserving. The buildings in some areas have a distinct look that must be maintained. Sometimes a unique landmark is valuable real estate, and a renovation can retain that status. In the event of official landmarks, always contact your state’s historic preservation office before beginning work. There may be state or local laws affecting what work you can do in a remodel.

At WCA, we are particularly passionate about downtown Lubbock. We have had the opportunity to consult on some building in the area and see them come back to life! If you’d like to see an example of this, you can check out Primitive Social’s building on Ave K and 13th!

Benefits of new construction

With older buildings, documentation is often missing or incomplete. This can make it difficult to plan for upgrades to the existing structure and systems. By starting fresh, you don’t have to worry about nasty surprises behind the walls.

There are major health issues involved with some renovations. The presence of asbestos or lead will have a large effect on the project’s cost. Sometimes, it can be easier to demolish and replace a building rather than bring it up to code.

A new design will always be more energy efficient. This not only means a more environmentally friendly building, but it also means significant savings in the cost of heating and cooling. These savings add up quickly, and they make new construction an attractive option.

Shoehorning modern needs into an older building can be challenging. Architects way back when weren’t worried about Wi-Fi signals! In new constructions, the state-of-the-art needs of your business are easier to take into account.

You can’t overlook one of the biggest benefits of designing a new building: you make all the decisions. There are no load-bearing walls you can’t knock down or old pipes to avoid. With the help of your architectural firm, you can avoid compromises and design exactly what you want.

Whether you decide to renovate or build something brand new, you’ll need an experienced architectural firm to do the job right. Contact WCA Design Studio for all your commercial construction design needs.


More info:

Renovation vs. New Construction: Pros and Cons

Commercial Building Demolition Costs