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Commercial Construction: Choosing between remodeling or building a new structureIf your commercial space is too small or outdated, you’re probably considering whether to build a new building or renovate the existing one. This is a big decision for your business, and there are specific items to consider up front which will help you make the right choice.
Once you have your desired budget, time frame, and goals for the building roughed out, it’s time to decide between new construction or remodeling.
Remodeling your current buildingThe cost of remodeling can be cheaper than buying land, constructing a new building, and moving – but not always. Here are some questions to ask yourself regarding the costs of renovating:
- Has your current building recently been brought up to code? With the ever-changing building codes, the answer is likely to be “not recently enough.” Obviously, the older the building the more expense and time involved by your contractor to bring it up to code.
- Was your building built before 1980? If so, it probably contains asbestos. Sometimes it’s safer to leave asbestos in place, but if the asbestos is likely to be dislodged and get into the air – whether by the remodeling process or in every day circumstances – you will have to pay for asbestos abatement professionals to remove or seal up the asbestos.
- Are you substantially changing the use or size of the building? Bigger buildings and a larger staff change the building’s need for sewer, electricity, structural support, etc.
- Where will your company work during the remodeling? Unless you’re doing an addition or a small renovation, your business is not going to be able to proceed as usual while in a construction zone. Think about your time frame and include the costs involved with moving to temporary commercial space.
- What are the pros and cons of your current location? If it is a location that works or doesn’t work for your customers, include the diminished or increased income from changing locations to your budget. Also, is your current location one that will give you a return on your investment if you remodel?
Constructing a new buildingNew construction can have some significant benefits. You get to choose what you want is probably the best perk. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to build new:
- Are you going to be able to find land in an area that makes it worth the move? Location can be a deal breaker. Some types of business depend upon being in a certain part of town. Other companies emphasize providing a location their employees find appealing. The last thing you want is to lose customers or staff by moving without doing research.
- What will your new month-to-month expenses be? This doesn’t just include the obvious costs. There will be less repairs needed. A new building will probably be more efficient in its use of electricity and other utilities than your old one. If you can incorporate solar panels into the new building, that’s even better for the bottom line.
- Do you need more flexibility with interior layout? Open spaces and efficient design layouts might not be possible in your old building. With new construction, you can incorporate structural aspects that will support those spaces. Also, you can have the building wired for technology in a way that works for your employees.
- Is there a building style that would better represent your brand? New construction comes with the flexibility to create something that matches the first impression you want to give your customers.
- What will your moving costs be? Moving might include expenses such as staff time for packing and unpacking, IT setup, moving companies, and utility charges. But you should also consider the benefit of staying in your current building while the new one is being built vs. needing to find a place to rent if you choose to renovate your building.