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.

The Average Square Foot Cost of Remodeling An Existing Building Into a Restaurant

Remodeling an existing building into a restaurant can be a bold and creative endeavor for you. If you are wondering what can be the average square foot cost of remodeling your building into a stunning and professional restaurant, here are some guides you can follow to estimate the total cost.

The cost varies greatly depending on the different factors. Such factors include the condition of the existing building, the contractor you are working with, and the types of materials you are using. Let us go deep into analyzing this.

According to Building Journal, a 5,000 square foot restaurant with mid-range finishings costs $160 on average for full remodeling.

Cost of Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) Components

The general MEP for a restaurant ranges from $70,000 to $100,000 in the kitchen section. For the remaining restaurant space, the average square foot cost for MEP components is roughly $150.

General Construction Costs

Turning your existing building into a restaurant requires some additions for compliance with the law. For instance, the 1990 Disability Act requires the construction of wheelchair ramps, restrooms, and doorways to the building.

The average construction cost for this general construction will cost $50 per square foot.

Equipment Cost

The addition of kitchen space or bar are some of the major considerations during the remodeling process. Also, counters, burners, and ventilation systems, along with the espresso machines need to be factored in.

On average, the installation of such pieces of equipment in the restaurant will cost 480 per square foot on average.

If the cost is getting too high for you to purchase these pieces of equipment, consider looking for a second hand that is way cheaper and could help you stick within your budget.

Steps to remodel your building into a restaurant

1. Find the right contractor

Transforming your building into a restaurant is arguably the biggest remodeling project you will ever perform. So make sure you have looked for the most reputable contractor that will meet the standard you are looking for without compromising on anything. The best way is to search for online reviews, ask for their past projects, get some quotes to compare, and then make up your mind.

2. Have a clear flexible budget

Remodeling a building completely into a restaurant means complete transformation. So make sure you are financially prepared. The best way to be financially prepared and avoid unexpected expenses is to ask for quotations from the contractor.

3. Stay in control

The whole process will mean that you will have to close and relocate all the functions of the building to another place. With noise, dust, and smell, the best thing is to close and let the work be done.


Converting an existing building into a restaurant requires preparation and knowing the average costs that are required to complete the whole process. Having an idea of what you may incur in the end is the first step to setting up a budget to work with.

Benefits of Renovating a Restaurant

Whether you run a small or a large restaurant, it can be hard to find the right time to perform a renovation and give it even a better look. Renovation can be time-consuming and stressful, which can cost you money in the long run. However, performing restaurant renovation is more beneficial on a broader look. If you get the job done as quickly as possible, you will stand to enjoy several benefits. Here are some benefits of renovating a restaurant.

Better Client Experience

Customers are part of your business. An integral part that many businesses strive to maintain a good relationship with them. And it is not just about the sweet food you serve them. Customers also look at the environment in your restaurant. Renovations in your restaurant will improve this environment and make it more beautiful and appealing, matching your food. You will find that you do not just keep your customers, but you also attract new ones.

Optimum Space Usage

Having difficulties moving around your restaurants in the kitchen and storage spaces? Renovation can help you redesign your kitchen, restaurant space, and storage rooms, optimizing them for better use. This will also help you expand the space to accommodate more customers and employees.

Optimum Energy Usage

How about changing the old energy appliances and replacing them with energy-saving ones. Restaurant renovation can improve your lighting and electrical system and also help you conserve the environment.

Better Reputation

Your brand and business could massively gain from restaurant renovation. An improved look and feel of your restaurant can influence people’s perception of your brand and even convince them of better services and professionalism. Most people want to associate with good things. Associating themselves with a well-known brand brings them pride and feel like part of it. To make people have a good perception of your business, performing renovations can just solve this.

Improve Employee Productivity

When employees get enough space and better equipment to work with, one thing is certain; their morale will be boosted and therefore increasing their productivity. By creating a more conducive workspace for your employees and replacing broken equipment, you have boosted their working spirit. They will love to work in the environment, giving their maximum effort. This will ultimately increase your income.

Accident Prevention

Working in an unconducive environment is a recipe for accidents and disasters. When for instance, your restaurant space has become small, it can be hard for your employees to move around with hot plates and food. A slight knock by another person could cause accidents that can be prevented through renovation. The renovation will also help you repair damaged floors, furniture, and walls.

Avoid Constant Repair Costs

Conducting restaurant repairs is good also. But repairs only mean that just a damaged part is cared for. Repairs only take care of small issues that need to be addressed. With the renovation, the underlying issue is solved and constant repairs are avoided. As a result, you will have avoided the additional costs.

Stay Updated

Running an outdated restaurant building and equipment can send a wrong message to your potential customers. Using out-of-date equipment can make your customers think you are going out of business. The renovation will bring a new, modern look to give a great first impression to customers.