Renovating vs New Construction - Bedrock Construction

Renovating Vs. New Construction: Which is Better for Your Project?

When you are planning out a building project, you have three main choices. These are building new, renovating an existing space, or acquiring and then renovating a new but pre existing space. Of course, each of these options come with their own set of pros and cons, and the option you choose will have an effect on the budget, schedule, and resulting structure of the project. 

Which choice is the best for you will depend upon three major factors, which are cost, duration, and design. A professional can help you to choose what is going to be the best action for you. Read on for more details on these types of construction projects. 

Which Is Most Cost Effective?

One of the most influential and important factors when it comes to a construction project is cost. After all, everyone wants to get the most for their money. If you are deciding between building new or renovating an existing structure, the final decision will likely come down to what makes the most sense from a financial perspective. Below, we will go over the costs of both options.

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The Cost of Building New

When you first compare the two, it may seem like common sense that the cost of buying a plot of land and then building a new structure is going to cost more. Typically, this is true, with building new, you will be responsible for the sitework, installing utilities, and finally, the construction of the new structure itself. This will include everything from the foundation to the exterior finishes of the building. 

Building new has a greater scope of work and also more manpower and materials. Due to this, building a new structure is usually the more expensive of the two options. However, there are some times where renovations are actually the more expensive option. We will detail these instances below. 

The Cost of Renovations

Now, when it comes to renovations, you are not responsible for as much as with a new build. However, you are still responsible for the cost of changing the space to suit your needs, whatever these changes might be. You will need to upgrade the structure according to modern health, safety, and ADA codes, too. Certain features of the building will be able to be left as is, while others will need to be changed for your own needs and to ensure they are up to code. The amount of changes will depend upon how extensive your renovations are. Leaving some of these areas as is, though, will help you to keep the cost of your project down.

A good rule of thumb to go by is that the older the building is, the more expensive it will be to renovate. When renovating, you may also run into some things that you were not expecting. The contractor or construction team is not going to be able to perfectly predict what conditions and surprises may end up being encountered once the renovations begin, and these have the ability to add time or cost— or both — to your project. Some examples of these complications can include asbestos and lead paint, which are toxic building materials that would need to be mitigated accordingly. This is important for the health of the construction team and for whoever will be living in the home after renovations are complete!

Luckily, there are also ways to keep the cost down on a renovations project. There are some options for grants or other types of assistance that can help with decreasing costs for repairing a blemished or underused site. This is beneficial because it is good for the community for the space to be fixed up and utilized. It is also good for the environment. Due to this, governments and other outside foundations often provide financial incentives to those who may want to fix up these properties. 

When it comes to a structure that was constructed within the past few decades, freshening up this space will often still be the more affordable option if you are choosing between a new build or renovations. 

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Which Has a Quicker Project Duration?

Another one of the things you will need to consider when fixing up a home is how long the project will take. The duration of a project is going to be dependent upon a few different things— the scope of the project, the condition of the structure (if you are doing renovations and not a new build), and whether or not you will need to live in or work from the space while the construction is being done. Read on for details of project duration for both new construction projects and renovation projects. 

Duration of a New Construction Project

Building a new structure can be more time consuming than renovations, as you are building a new structure from scratch instead of making changes to an existing structure. New builds require you to carve out the site on the plot of land that you have purchased and set aside for your new building. You will also have to lay the foundation for the structure. With a new build, you have the additional responsibility of laying utility equipment. New builds require you to build the structure from the ground up, and then complete it with the finishes, too. 

Renovating Vs. New Construction - Bedrock Construction

Duration of a Renovation Project

On the other hand, a renovation project typically has a shorter turnaround than a new build would have. The construction team will have much less work to do because the building elements that are already in place in this existing structure can be integrated into the renovations and the final renovated building. 

However, with historical or older buildings, then it can often take longer to do renovations than it would to build new. This is because of certain building codes and rules for dealing with historical buildings. It can also be due to harmful building materials that were often used in particularly old building structures , and need to be mitigated. 

Look at the impact on your operations or living situation when choosing between a new build or renovations. If you live in or operate a business out of this building, then you may need to adjust to live or work alongside the construction team during renovations. Your construction team should be able to work out a multi step plan to accommodate your needs during renovations, if this is a concern. 

Which Option Results In a More Attractive and Functional Structure?

Of course, when building or renovating, we also want a finished structure that will be aesthetically pleasing. Layout and finishes are both design elements that can contribute to a building’s overall appeal. You may wonder if it is easier to make an attractive building by building from scratch or by renovating an existing structure. We will go over both options below. 

Designing a New Building

If you are designing and building a brand new house from scratch, you have the unique advantage of having ultimate control over how the building looks and functions. Unlike with renovations, you do not have to work with an existing building or layout, which could interfere with some of the things that you want to achieve with your structure. If you design a new building, then you can design it exactly how you like, from its size and layout to parking and energy efficiency, too.

Renovating an Existing Building

If you are completing renovations to an existing building, you do have more limitations and are limited to the shape and layout of the existing structure. You can make changes such as moving walls and adding wings onto the building to better suit your needs, but you are not creating the structure from the ground up. This does mean that you have some limitations on what you will be able to do. 

When discussing aesthetics, though, renovated or repurposed buildings do have their own unique charm. They cannot be matched by new constructions. The charm of these kinds of buildings can draw people to them and are typically thought of to be attractive, especially to artistic types. An example of this can be 19th century factories or older and historical buildings that have brick walls and gorgeous floor to ceiling windows, which are then repurposed or renovated into apartments or offices, they have a uniquely attractive aesthetic. 

Aesthetic appeal and functionality will depend on your own personal style and the needs of your family or organization, too. 

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Pros and Cons of New Construction Project vs Renovations

The decision to implement a new build or renovations to an existing house will depend upon the scope of your project, and whether you have several renovation projects and your individual needs. Both types of project have their own advantages and disadvantages. Building new does give you more control over your project and structure. You are able to design the structure to fit your needs even better. Comparing renovation to an existing home, it may be less time consuming and less costly since you don’t have to renovate the entire structure, but you are somewhat bound to the original design or footprint of the building. If you only need to refresh your space, though, it can be better to renovate rather than build anew. 

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At Bedrock Construction, we have been turning dreams into reality since 1991 and we continue to do so with every project, whether large, small or specialized. Contact us today to chat about your next project!