Remodeling vs. Rebuilding: Which is Better?
August 15, 2018
Whether you’re flipping a commercial space for resale or tackling changes to your office space, deciding between remodeling the existing structure or rebuilding it from scratch can be a tight race.
Ask yourself these 5 questions before making your final decision!
How much money can you spend?
Remodeling is almost always cheaper than rebuilding, and remodeling affords you greater control and flexibility over your budget. If funds are tight, you can adjust the details as needed to make updates work for your timeline, budget, and style preferences.
If you decide to rebuild and run into financial limitations halfway through, you could get stuck with an unfinished building (and huge money pit) until you’re able to work out your budget troubles.
If minimizing upfront costs is a top priority: remodel.
How much time can you spend?
While the average remodel takes 4-8 months, tearing down a building and rebuilding it from the bottom up can take anywhere from 8 months to over a year. Of course, timelines can be shorter or longer depending on the size of the building, the extent of the remodel, and the final building plans. Regardless of the buildings size and renovations, in general, remodeling is almost always the quicker option.
If you need a quick turnaround from start to finish: remodel.
Pro tip: investing in a commercial upfit could strike the perfect balance between your budget, your timeline, and your design goals for your office space.
How long will you be there?
Think about the structure of the building, the current layout, how functional the space is for your business, and any age-related plumbing or electrical issues that might come up. Over time, rebuilding is a better investment, because when it does come time to move or sell, you’ll be marketing a much newer building than you would be if you choose to remodel.
If you’re in it for the long haul: rebuild.
Will your community let you tear it down?
City, county, and town regulations an affect how much freedom you have when planning to demolish and reconstruct a building. You’ll need to make sure building schedules and construction specifications are compliant with any legal restrictions established by governing body in your area. On top of regulations and restrictions, some areas require that you get approval from various offices, departments, and authorities prior to reconstructing a building, which can take up to a year. Furthermore, if your building has historical protections, you may not be allowed to make major renovations, much less tear it down.
If you don’t want to deal with community regulations and restrictions: remodel.
What condition is the building in currently?
By remodeling, you can get the modern bells and whistles without losing the traditional character of the space. However, if there are foundational issues in a home like water damage, rot, or structural damages, save yourself a headache in the long run and start fresh.
If you’re facing major repairs and structural issues: rebuild.