For many businesses, growth or change inevitably leads to a critical junction: the decision to either build a new space from the ground up or renovate an existing property. This choice is not merely a financial or aesthetic consideration; it’s a strategic move that impacts the company’s operations, brand image, and future growth. Here, we’ll delve into the factors that influence this decision, examining the advantages and challenges of building new versus renovating.

Understanding the Need for Change

The initial step in this decision-making process involves understanding the need that drives the desire for a new or revamped space. Is your business expanding its operations, requiring more space? Is the current location failing to attract the desired clientele due to aesthetic or structural issues? Or, are you aiming to enhance its sustainability practices? Identifying the core needs will help in making a choice that aligns with the business’s long-term goals.

new build

The Case for Building New

Building a new property offers a blank canvas, presenting an opportunity to tailor a space specifically to your business’s operational, aesthetic, and sustainability requirements. Here are key factors to consider:

  • Customization: New constructions can be designed from scratch to meet the exact needs of a business, including size, layout, technology, and sustainability features.
  • Efficiency and Sustainability: Newer buildings can incorporate the latest energy-efficient technologies and materials, potentially offering long-term savings and aligning with corporate sustainability goals.
  • Location: Building new often provides more options in choosing the ideal location, which can be crucial for retail businesses or those dependent on foot traffic.
  • Long-Term Growth: A new build can accommodate future expansion and adapt to evolving business needs more easily than a renovated space.

The Challenges of Building New

While the prospect of building new is enticing, it comes with its own set of challenges:

  • Cost: New constructions are typically more costly upfront than renovations, requiring significant capital investment.
  • Time: Building a new facility can take considerable time, from planning and permits to the construction itself. This time frame may not be feasible for businesses needing immediate solutions.
  • Regulatory Hurdles: Navigating the permitting process, zoning laws, and environmental regulations can be more complex and time-consuming for new constructions.
commercial renovation

The Appeal of Renovations

Renovating an existing space can offer a practical and often more cost-effective solution for businesses. Here are the benefits of choosing to renovate:

  • Cost Efficiency: Renovations can often be completed at a lower cost than new builds, especially if the existing structure is fundamentally sound.
  • Character: Older buildings have unique features and character that can be leveraged to enhance a business’s brand identity.
  • Speed: Renovations can usually be completed faster, minimizing downtime.
  • Sustainability: Repurposing existing structures is inherently sustainable, reducing the need for new materials and minimizing construction waste.

Considerations and Challenges of Renovating

Renovations, while favorable in many ways, carry their own considerations:

  • Limitations: The existing structure may impose limitations on what can be achieved, both in terms of space and design.
  • Unexpected Costs: Renovations can sometimes reveal hidden problems, such as structural issues or outdated wiring, leading to unforeseen expenses.
  • Disruption: Depending on the extent of the renovation, business operations may be disrupted for the duration of the project.

Making the Decision: Build New or Renovate?

When deciding whether to build new or renovate, you should consider the following factors:

  • Budget: Assessing both the short-term and long-term financial impacts of each option.
  • Timeline: Considering how quickly the space is needed and the realistic time frame for each option.
  • Business Goals: Aligning the decision with the business’s strategic objectives, growth plans, and brand identity.
  • Sustainability Goals: Evaluating how each option fits with the company’s environmental commitments.

The decision to build new or renovate is a big one, requiring careful consideration of a multitude of factors. A trusted contractor can guide you through evaluating your needs, resources, and goals to help you make a strategic choice for your business that not only meets your immediate requirements, but also positions you for future success. Empire has decades of experience with both new builds and renovations. Whichever you choose, our goal remains the same: to create an environment that supports your business’s mission and operations, reflects your brand, and contributes to its growth.

Have a project in mind?

empire building construction logo


1709 N Industrial Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104