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Kevin Ahern

By: Kevin Ahern on May 29th, 2024

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Renovating vs. New Build for Connecticut Businesses

Commercial | Commercial Remodeling

Business owners have a decision to make when they need a new property: build or renovate? In many ways, these choices are very different. If you're a business owner in the position of picking between these two options, you may have a hard time deciding which one is correct. Whereas new construction is easy to customize and can be built completely to meet the needs of your organization, there are often significant advantages to renovating an existing property. 

Zoning laws, locations, your business's budget and the special needs of your particular organization should all be taken into account. It's also very important to work with a fully qualified contractor and architect throughout your project. When you have a team of skilled professionals working for you to help with the process, your building or renovation project will have the greatest chance of success. 

Commercial Building Renovation Pros and Cons

Older buildings come with many pros and cons. Often, people who choose to renovate an existing building instead of building a new property do so because they want the building's location. If it's important for your business to be located in a downtown area, for example, you're far more likely to find an existing building that needs sprucing up than you are to find an empty lot where you can build.

Renovating an older building can also be less expensive. While costs vary, plan to spend at least $250 per square foot renovating your property, and maybe more depending on the extent of the changes and the condition of the building. Another benefit of renovating? The project may take less time to complete, which means that your business can move in more quickly than if you built a new building. Keep in mind that you can still customize a building that needs renovation, so even if your business has very specific needs, a renovation may still be adequate.

The downside of renovation is that older buildings can come with their own maintenance problems, and unless you're completely gutting the property and starting over, your business is likely to encounter these problems down the road. Your contractor can assess the condition of the building's plumbing and wiring before the renovation begins, and if there are any serious red flags, they'll let you know. 

Commercial New Construction Pros and Cons

For many, the biggest advantage of a new construction building is the level of customization you can achieve. If your business needs a specialized building with features that are difficult to find in existing construction, a new construction building may be the only realistic option. You'll work with an architect to design a building that meets your specific needs, then your contractor and architect will work together throughout the construction process.

It's important to communicate with your architect from the beginning about your budget, your business needs and your expectations for your future property. Building a new construction property is typically more expensive than renovating an existing building, but costs vary. Plan to spend at least $300 per square foot including soft costs like the land purchase, costs relating to zoning and so on. Using high quality finishes and fixtures can increase the cost but can also help your building last longer. 

Another advantage of a new construction building is that your structure will have new plumbing, new wiring, and everything will be fully up to code. Maintenance needs will likely be lower for the first few years after moving into your new building. 

Renovating vs. New Build: Making a Decision

For some business owners, whether to renovate or build is an easy decision to make. For others, the choice is not so clear. Doing your research and knowing your priorities can help you with this process. 

Know Your Priorities

Before beginning your search for a property, know what your business in order to function. How much space? What type of building? In what approximate location? Who are your customers and where are they located? 

How many people will use your building at one time? What kind of parking will you need to accommodate them? Does your facility require outdoor space as well as indoor space? Knowing the answers to these questions and others will help you decide what the important features are in your building. 

Do Your Research

Start by researching the options in the area, including land for sale, vacant lots and existing properties on the market. Tour vacant buildings. Connect with a real estate agent that specializes in commercial properties to help you with the process.

Keep in mind that you'll need an architect and a construction contractor to help with your project, whether you decide on new build or renovation. That means you can start interviewing professionals in the research stages. Having discussions with a Connecticut builder and architect can help you decide whether your anticipated budget is realistic for your project, if you can achieve your goals through a standard renovation, or whether a new construction will be better for your needs.  

Get Started With Your Renovation or New Commercial Construction In Connecticut

Once you know how renovating vs. new build will work for your business, it's important to make a decision and find the right contractor for the job. Litchfield Builders has created a guide to help you find the right Connecticut contractor. Download the guide to help you with this process, or contact us to learn more about how we can help with our new construction or renovation project.

How to Choose a Professional Home Remodeling Contractor 

About Kevin Ahern

Kevin is the Co-Founder of Litchfield Builders, an award-winning, industry leader with a reputation for managing projects others shy away from. They are known for their high-quality work, customer service, and reliability and though still relatively small in size, Litchfield Builders now competes with some of the areas largest firms in both the residential and commercial arenas.