Renovating vs. Building New Commercial Properties

June 08, 2023
Skyline view of the hotel zaza in houston

Renovating vs. Building New Commercial Properties

There comes a time when a developing business is faced with a decision — should they renovate an existing space or build a brand-new one? Instead of looking for a one-size-fits-all answer to this decision, break down both choices to understand what each can do for you. With this guide, you’ll gain valuable insight into the pros and cons of renovation versus new construction that will help you make the right choice.

Renovation vs. Building New

When renovating a commercial property or building a new one, understand what each option entails and what you can gain from them.

What Does Renovation Include?

Renovation focuses on refreshing and upgrading a commercial space. This can include repairs, replacements, upgrades and layout changes. Renovations can include large-scale changes or minor touch-ups and encompass different work, like:

  • Painting or moving a wall
  • Installing a new floor
  • Repairing damaged structures
  • Removing damaged materials
  • Replacing cabinets
  • Updating decor

What Does Building New Involve?

Building new might involve demolishing and rebuilding an existing commercial property entirely or constructing a new building on a new piece of land. There are different reasons to consider a new build, like needing more land to work with, building a second commercial space or rebuilding to optimize your current space.

Reasons to Renovate or Build New

These are the shared benefits of renovating and building new commercial property:

Create a Better Workplace

A newly renovated or completely new workplace goes a long way toward motivating employees. Through renovation and rebuilding, you can:

  • Provide better facilities for workers: Upgraded and new facilities like staff kitchens, breakrooms and bathrooms make life much easier for staff working at your commercial property.
  • Improve morale and motivation: You can achieve more natural light, better aesthetics, more collaborative spaces, open and accessible spaces and a better layout through reconstruction and renovation. These factors affect staff morale, mental health and employee motivation.
  • Attract employees: A modern and well-designed work environment is far better at attracting and encouraging new and prospective employees than an outdated workspace.

A workplace that addresses the needs of employees and provides them with an optimized and comforting working environment does wonders for productivity and morale. These benefits affect your business’s bottom-line results.

Make a good impression on clients

Your workplace says a lot about your company, and construction or renovation helps make a striking first impression on prospective clients. Changes to your commercial property show existing clients you’re dedicated to your work and your employees and that you are willing to invest and update your work areas.

Improve efficiency

Renovations and new buildings can improve the efficiency of your commercial property by maximizing storage space. Plan your property’s layout to optimize equipment accessibility.

Conserve Energy

New energy-saving and eco-friendly options are constantly being developed for businesses. These can be installed in your commercial property through renovations or built into your newly developed building. Depending on the size and scope of your eco-friendly changes, you may find renovations more cost-effective than rebuilding.

Gain an Advertising Opportunity

Improvements to your commercial property are a sign your business is thriving. Renovations and new buildings show you have the money to make these changes and are confident enough in your company’s future to justify needing these adjustments.

Benefits of Renovation

Here are the most significant advantages of a renovation:

Renovation Is Cost-Effective

The cost of land, labor and materials have increased over the last few years and are affecting building costs. So is it cheaper to add on or build new? Renovations, even significant ones, won’t typically need as much time and resources as building new because the projects are smaller in scale.

Renovation Is Fast

Buying and improving a building will typically take less time than building it from the ground up. Time is an important factor to consider for businesses needing access to their commercial property to work. It is still possible to work on a property during renovations, depending on the project.

Renovation Lets You Customize

There is still room for customization through renovations. Building your dream office or workspace has unlimited potential for customization, but renovation allows for more of it than you might think. If customization is a priority for your business, renovations are still a viable option to consider. Your ability to modify and update can offer just as much room for customization as designing a new building does.

Benefits of Building New

If your company needs its own dedicated space to grow, building new might be the best option. Building new is a time-intensive investment, but having your own headquarters or a brand new place to flourish and develop comes with many benefits that make this an attractive option.

You Can See a High Return on Investment (ROI)

Depending on the real estate market in the area you’re building in, your newly built facility has the potential to appreciate. If selling your commercial property is possible in the future, the ROI is definitely worth considering.

You Meet Your Business Needs

Building new allows you to plan a space with the perfect style, size, layout and the ability to accommodate every feature you might want. The customization options are limitless, and you won’t need to worry about working around the limitations or specifications of an existing building plan. If your business uses large equipment, for instance, building new will give you the freedom to house everything your business needs and provide room for development and growth.

You Gain Sustainability

Reusing and renovating a building might seem more sustainable than building a brand-new commercial space, but there is a lot you can do to ensure your new building will be sustainable from the start. From energy conservation to environmentally friendly building materials, a new, modern building can run more sustainably than an older one.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Renovating or Building New

The advantages of building new versus a renovation are the easiest factors to consider when choosing one, but other factors are just as important.


Conducting a thorough cost comparison is one of the most valuable things you can do to approach this decision. Will your investors be more willing to invest in a renovation and new building? Can you get a loan from the bank for your construction plans? How much will be lost if there are delays? These are critical questions to consider before you can determine the true cost of one project over the other. ROI and budget are two other factors to consider before picking an option.


Building a structure and renovating an existing space have vastly different timeframes depending on their scope and scale. Planning out a timeframe for your construction projects might help you justify one project over the other. If time is a factor you need to consider, it is smart to have a thorough breakdown of how long each project will take and decide if you can spare the time and resources for a bigger upgrade.


Space, laws and building codes are vital to consider when planning your construction projects, as they can make building something new seem more appealing than renovations in the long run. Getting the right permission is required for renovating or building a new space and may hinder your project more than expected.


A recession can interfere with your construction projects and pose a considerable challenge for businesses and contractors. Whether you are investing in a new building to prepare for a recession or if your plans are interrupted by one, there is a lot you need to know when it comes to building in a recession.

Trust Anslow-Bryant With Your Commercial Renovations and Building Plans

Whether your business needs a new building or an add-on, trust in Anslow-Bryant. Rely on our expertise and dedication for the best commercial construction in Houston. We’re a family-owned construction company with more than 27 years of experience working with commercial properties that can offer your business any building services you might be looking for.

We aim to help our clients save wherever possible while giving them the best quality possible. To find out more, contact us online or call us at 713-626-1216.