Renovation vs New Construction

Commercial construction projects can take many different forms and, as a business owner, it’s common to encounter challenges related to the current spatial or practical restrictions of your building. When these challenges arise, owners typically have two choices: renovate the current space or start a new construction project. There are several key considerations to consider before making this significant decision.

Assessment of Existing Space

Before making any large decisions regarding renovation or new construction, it’s important to assess the current state of your existing space and identify the main motivating factors behind needing a change. Some common motivators can be a lack of space that doesn’t align with business needs, outdated facilities, desire to accommodate more residents/customers/clients, or a combination of many of these factors.

Assessing your existing building often includes identifying the state of the foundation, framework, etc. in order to gauge if the building still has good bones or whether major changes are necessary for safety reasons. If your commercial building is in good shape and your main motivator is revamping aesthetics or adding new features, renovation may be the most beneficial choice. Alternatively, if your commercial building is structurally unsound or simply can’t accommodate your business practices properly, new construction may be in order.


One of the main benefits of choosing renovation over new construction is that it is typically much more cost-effective. Redoing parts of the building, making repairs as needed, or adding more aesthetic appeal often comes with a smaller price tag compared to new construction, which requires demolition, zoning, permits, etc. Additionally, renovations commonly have a much quicker turn-around than new construction projects, meaning a shorter pause in business operations.

However, challenges often arise during commercial renovations that may come with heftier price tags or longer turnarounds. Many buildings have hidden problems that are identified during the renovation process that cause unplanned costs and/or work, particularly in older buildings or culturally significant buildings that may have limitations on the number of changes that are able to be made safely.

New Construction

While more expensive and often longer projects, new commercial construction is a beneficial way to expand and upgrade your business practices and facility. For starters, new construction opens the door to developing a creative design that directly aligns with the needs of you and your business. Rather than accommodating business operations within the confines of a building, a building can be created to accommodate the needs of business operations.

New construction is also a great choice for integrating new technology, equipment, or eco-friendly designs that may not be plausible in your current building, allowing for a state-of-the-art commercially constructed project built from the ground up with all your desired characteristics.

The challenge with new construction projects is that they are often much more complex than renovations, including more logistical planning, a higher budget, and a longer timeline for completion.

Choosing between renovating your existing space or planning a new and innovative construction project is not a simple decision. Partnering with a trusted commercial construction company, such as Gundlach Champion Inc., provides insight and expertise regarding which direction might be most strategic for your commercial project. The GCI team can discuss budgetary needs, your desired timeline, and your project requirements to ensure you make the best choice for you and your company.

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