When business owners are faced with the prospect of building a new office, they generally have to options – build a new structure from the ground up or retrofit an existing space. Each has their own pros and cons business owners need to be aware of. Retrofitting is typically cheaper and faster, but starting from scratch offers more customization.

If you’re faced with this decision here are a few factors you can consider.

Size- Think about the number of desks, conference rooms, and offices you need to fit in the new space. You also need to consider how an existing space can be configured. Are there any load-bearing walls that can’t be removed? Will those walls stop you from arranging the office in the most efficient manner? Sometimes these factors are too much work to deal with, and it just makes more sense to build it the way you want it.

Cost- Retrofitting is generally cheaper, but this isn’t always the case. Occasionally a building is so old and outdated that it requires a lot of expensive upgrades and repairs. These upgrades can add up quick and negate the money you would save by retrofitting.

Location- Unfortunately, there aren’t always empty lots or buildings where you would like them to be. Regardless of the two factors above, sometimes it simply comes down to what’s available in the location you want.

Operating Cost- Retrofitting an older building can save money upfront, but sometimes you pay for it over time. If you don’t replace some of the key infrastructure pieces like plumbing and electrical, the cost of maintenance and utilities can get expensive. A new construction building will have fewer maintenance problems and you can opt for more energy efficient materials.

Deciding between retrofitting and new construction isn’t always an easy decision to make. If you’re looking to retrofit or build call Cowen Construction and we can help find the best solution for you.