Is It Harder to Build New or Renovate?

By Barron Schimberg, AIA

Considering how many decisions are involved in new-building design, you might assume that it’s easier to renovate. But that’s not always the case.

Renovation and new building projects usually incorporate many of the same components; architectural design, interior design, construction, financing, etc.

While renovations are often perceived to be simpler, in many cases, improving existing conditions requires more attention than building new.  An architect or engineer may reassess the site for parking issues, setbacks and/or drainage and retention.  We review the condition of the interior, structural components, and Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing systems.

The time associated with renovation projects versus new building is often equal or more than starting from scratch.  Clients should understand this up front with regards to time, fees, consultant involvement and ultimately the construction costs.

(Above) Photos of current and past renovations The Schimberg Group has redesigned and managed.