To Build New or To Renovate?

The construction process consists of multiple factors. The first step in the process is to differentiate between a ground up build and a renovation to a current space. Both options will have different components as well as advantages and challenges, but by comparing the building requirements, cost and scheduling, the ultimate decision will become clearer.


Cost is typically the ruling component in the construction process. Renovations generally cost less than building from the ground up, however some things to keep in mind are the age of the building, the type of renovations required and any potential problems that may arise that could affect the overall budget. Existing conditions can be the basis for complications to arise during construction including limited space resulting in limited building capacities temporarily, or infrastructure or structural issues may be discovered during the renovations which can lead to delays and additional costs. If you choose to renovate you must also consider the building codes that may alter the cost due to the age of the building.


Renovations usually will require less time than a ground up build. But with both options, scheduling challenges may arise, especially with recent material shortages that have resulted in longer wait times and building delays. Some delays are inevitable during the construction process, however, the General Contractor is there to keep the owner informed of these types of delays and will attempt to accelerate the project schedule where possible.


For projects that are heavily design focused, building new will give you the most options in terms of design and layout. With renovation, the existing structure of the building can dictate the design and flow, but with new construction there is more freedom and flexibility to create the exact space you envision. For example, in the healthcare field, there are many reasons to build new with the evolving need to continually upgrade services, equipment and programs. A brand-new facility bypasses the need to integrate new technology or upgrade any systems such as plumbing and electrical to accommodate a growing practice.

However, successful renovations are possible when the existing building has room for expansion and minimal infrastructure obstacles. With a reliable team and open communication, renovations can save money and time and can propel businesses forward without much interruption.

When making the decision to renovate your existing facility or to do a ground up build, it is important to consider all factors specific to the facility as there is no such thing as a universal or standardized approach to construction.

As a reminder, this is what we do at RWE and a conversation with us can help you determine the best approach for your facility based on your needs. Our priority is to help you feel comfortable with the specifics and help you understand your options.

Contact us today to discuss your!

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