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Contrasts in Ground-Up Construction & Renovation

Contrasts in Ground-Up Construction & Renovation

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Trying to decide between renovating your current structure or constructing a brand new building can be difficult. Your existing location may be too small or lack adequate facilities for daily operations, but the tough choice delays the project. The first place to start is learning the difference between ground-up construction and renovation. Differentiating between the two will help you focus on the best solution for your business needs and assist in your project’s budgeting and planning phases.
What is Ground-Up Construction?
As the name suggests, ground-up construction involves building a structure on an empty lot or patch of land. Ground-up construction involves more planning than renovation, which is why it can take months before the project can move forward. In some cases, ground-up construction consists of knocking down an existing building or structure before starting.
What is Renovation?
As for renovation, you don’t have to create an entirely new structure – instead, you look for ways to adapt and expand your existing building. It’s the alternative that many contractors prefer because many of the critical elements are already in place, like electrical and plumbing.
Benefits of Ground-Up Construction
If your project involves ground-up construction, there are several benefits – you know you are working on a solid foundation and following industry-standard protocols. Your contractor uses brand new construction materials to create your building so you can be confident in the structural integrity and minimize repairs on the structure through regular maintenance.
Besides creating a well-built structure, you can also outfit it with more advanced materials and technology, such as energy-saving appliances and fixtures, adding stucco access doors and panels to provide easier access to building components and more. You have free rein to have the structure built just as you envisioned during the initial planning stages.
Benefits of Renovation
Conducting a renovation project also has many benefits – since you’re not building from scratch, renovation can have a much shorter timeline. If you’re on a strict schedule, renovation of an existing building may require less time and expense. A contractor can look at your requirements, work within your budget, and plan a renovation that best suits your needs, usually in less time than ground-up construction.
When you choose renovation, you will save money since it only involves a building section, reducing the materials required. Some examples of low-cost renovation projects include repainting one side of a wall or replacing flooring in one area.
Drawbacks of Ground-Up Construction
While ground-up construction has advantages, it also comes with its fair share of disadvantages. One of those is the many permits you have to acquire before starting with the project. Some licenses you will need to get include paving, landscaping, building, plumbing, and electrical, to name a few.
Since you have to get so many permits, this can cause delays in your construction project, increasing costs since some permits take weeks or months to process. That’s why many contractors gather all of the necessary licenses as early as possible to ensure they can reduce the project’s timeframe.
Drawbacks of Renovation
While you may consider renovations to be cheaper and quicker than ground-up construction, remember this: renovating means working on an existing building that may have hidden issues that your contractors only discover during the reno process. If there are structural issues, this can mean a massive setback in terms of your budget and your timelines. If your building lacks structural integrity, you may have to demolish sections and rebuild. Doing so will add unexpected costs to the renovation and slow down the entire process.
When you have an old building in desperate need of repair, your contractors might recommend tearing down the entire building because it’s so severely damaged. You will have no choice but to construct a new building on the land, which consumes more money than renovation. If you don’t want to end up with a demolition project, take your time and find a structure with enough integrity for your contractors to push through with the renovation project.
Be sure to discuss your renovation or ground-up construction plans with your contractor or construction team. Determining the differences between the two and your end goal will help you choose the right option!


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