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Business Owner: Is It Cheaper to Build a New Commercial Dwelling or Renovate an Existing Space to Fit Your Needs?

REALIZE the Possibilities. DESIGN Your Reality. INFLUENCE Your Life & Community


Recently, we were having a conversation with one of our networking partners. They posed this question:

"Would It Be More Affordable to Build a New Commercial Dwelling or Renovate an Existing Space to Fit Your Needs?"


This specific networking partner stated that this information would help with guiding clientele in the proper direction. So we thought, why not write an educational piece on this topic.


The answer is actually straight-forward and simple. The most expensive aspect of construction is the excavation and concrete cost. This is 100% necessary with any new construction development. So...this has to mean it's more affordable to renovate an existing space, right? That is CORRECT.


However, let's address a few things before we close the book on this.


  1. You might think it's not possible to create the space you need within the confines of an existing building.

    1. With an architect by your side from the beginning, you will know whether or not an existing building will accommodate the program you envision, which provides your commercial real estate agent with more information to find the 'right' property.


  2. The 'shell' of the building is already in place - even if an addition is necessary to achieve program goals, it is still more affordable than new construction.

  3. Think of the existing structure as four walls with a roof. The rest is your blank canvas waiting to be designed to fit your needs.



With this said, new construction still serves its purpose. We simply bring this educational piece to forefront because there is an extensive amount of existing inventory awaiting redevelopment.



Until next time,


Jose R. Pareja, AIA


JP Architects, Ltd. was founded in 2015 by Jose R. Pareja, AIA. We specialize in and are passionate about residential design, commercial architecture and public sector planning / capital improvement projects. Located at 7250 College Dr., Palos Heights, IL 60463, we serve North and Central Illinois. We complete hundreds of projects per year and bring sound principles of design, resourcefulness, reliability, unmatched quality and enthusiasm to each project. JP Architects, Ltd. realizes the possibilities, designs your reality and influences your life and community.