The Pros & Cons of Building New

As your company is outgrowing its space, you know it’s going to be time to move to a new location. It’s exciting, but there are so many decisions to be made. At the top of the list: Do we find an existing building and renovate it to meet our needs? Or do we build something new?

In this article, we examine the advantages and disadvantages of building new.

Advantages of Building New

A Clean Slate. When you start fresh with a new building, you’re starting from scratch. It’s a completely blank canvas just waiting for your creation. You’re not limited to where existing walls are, the square footage of the main floor, potential lack of storage. Every decision is yours.

Customize for Your Business. This benefit goes hand in hand with the first one. Because you’re starting with a clean slate, you can customize the space for your business—ensuring out of the gate that it works for you and your employees. There are fewer compromises on space than there would be renovating an existing building.

Less Worry. Because you’re building new, you don’t have to worry about mitigating health or environmental issues. The materials going into your build will all be new and up to today’s code with nothing to remediate.

Financial Benefits. Depending on where you build, there may be community incentives for new construction or neighborhood improvement.

Disadvantages of Building New

Location. It’s been said time and time again that the most important thing for a business is location, location, location. When you build new, you have to find suitable space to build your dream building. This may mean compromising on the area of town you want to build in or buying an existing property and having to deal with demolition before getting started. The right location can be time consuming and stressful to find.

Time. Because you’re starting from nothing, you have to take time for site preparation, running city services to your building like sewer and power, and building the actual physical structure. While these aren’t necessarily a negative, they will take time and at times can make your project longer to complete.

Less Character. This disadvantage is debatable. Many people feel that older buildings have character that new buildings don’t. While this may be true for you, for many others, this is outweighed by the ability to inject the right character into a new build.

Additional Infrastructure Needed. We touched on the need for city services already, but with a new build you’ll also have additional fringe costs like landscaping, sidewalks and pathways, parking lots or structures and more. Starting with an empty lot generally means none of these exist, and will be your responsibility.