Advantages and Disadvantages of Demolishing an Old Building Vs Renovating It

When you buy an old building, you can face an uphill task of whether you should salvage it by renovating it, or demolish it completely and rebuild it from the ground up.

Demolishing an old building comes with both disadvantages and advantages. Before you decide what to do, you should consider both sides. We are going to discuss both the advantages and disadvantages to help you make a concrete decision.

Advantages of demolishing an old building

Whether to demolish an old property or not can be a very difficult decision to make. But sometimes, going ahead to demolish it may be the only better decision to make.

For Safety

Old buildings can cause a threat to the safety of the public in many ways. The old building often has old materials that contain harmful asbestos and also cause other health issues.

To increase the value of nearby properties

No one wants to live near an old building that poses a threat to them. Demolishing an old building that is tough to look at only increases the value of the nearby properties.

To make way for other beneficial projects

Other than demolishing to build a new and a better house, the land an old building is standing on can be used for other beneficial projects such as a community garden and a local park.

Disadvantages of demolishing an old building

Sometimes, it is not best to demolish an old building when it can be renovated back to a perfect condition.

You could be wiping a piece of history

Old buildings sometimes are marked as ‘historic buildings.’ Most people believe that destroying such buildings is not just right as you are wiping history forever.

If the building can be restored, performing renovations on it is always the best option than demolishing it.

Conducting renovations could be cheaper

When building a new home after demolishing the old one is what you are going with, then consider comparing the cost of building a new house from the ground to the top, with the cost of renovation. Sometimes, renovation costs tend to be cheaper.

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Things To Consider

There are a few factors you will need to consider before making your final decision.


If the old building is in a bad condition that its foundation has also been damaged, then demolishing it to build a new one could be much cheaper than renovating it.

Is the house protected by law?

Some houses are protected by law as ‘historic buildings’ and any planned changes will need to be authorized.

Even small renovations on such houses will need you to find out whether they are allowed.

Choosing what to keep

Provided some parts of the house are structurally sound and strong, you can partially demolish the weaker and totally damaged areas and just consider renovating others. Small renovations can be done for your kitchen, bathroom, dining, and living areas.