Should You Opt for New Construction or Renovation?
If you need more space, should you opt for new construction or remodel your home or office building? While renovation sounds more environmentally friendly, many homeowners and business owners are not so sure. Once they consider all the costs involved, the answer might vary.
Should You Rebuild or Select New Construction?
Before making a decision whether to rebuild or remodel, there are several questions to keep in mind.
Is the building an historic structure? Not every old building has historic value. If the building has no architectural value, the argument for saving it might be weak - especially if it is ugly, not energy-efficient, and built of cheap material.
What is the condition of the structure? An older home or building, especially one that has been vacant, can have problems lurking within the walls that need to be addressed in remodeling. When you need to replace one or more mechanical systems such as plumbing or electrical, renovation costs soar. If the building has been overtaken by mold or contains asbestos or lead, you might have to balance remediation costs versus the expense involved in properly dismantling and disposing of hazardous waste.
What is necessary to make the mechanicals energy-efficient? Most heating systems only have a 10 to 20 year lifecycle, but while replacing them early with energy-efficient equipment can be cost-effective in the long run, it can require a large outlay of money. If you are considering adding solar panels, you might be able to offset part of the cost of adding them with local, state, or federal incentives. In any case, you need to carefully compute the cost of adding new equipment versus the payback.
Would rebuilding the structure cause problems with zoning regulations? Some local zoning boards might permit an extensively renovated structure torn down to the framing, whereas they might not allow new construction.
Is the layout functional or could renovation make it so? Some older buildings need walls to be reconfigured or moved in order to make remodeling make sense. When moving loadbearing walls, you might need to add beams or columns, underpin the foundation, or reinforce the structure, which can significantly add to the cost. Especially if the goal of remodeling is to change the function of a space, such as turn a home into a store or turn a store into a medical clinic, renovation costs might be out of line.
Will a rebuilt structure meet codes? Especially with commercial buildings, regulations mandate proper access and egress, sprinkler systems, fire alarms, security systems, and access for disabled citizens in order to obtain occupancy permits. Redesigning the building to accommodate current requirements can be extremely costly.