Why does it cost so much more per square foot renovating rather than building new?

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Old tools on a wooden table

Interestingly enough there are many good reasons why it costs more to renovate. 

Economy of Scale 

Certainly most remodels are small and compact in nature and if you had to bring in each specific trade to do their own work, that little Reno could seem to cost much more than what it should. With a renovator there usually is some overlap in what he or she is capable of doing and that reduce some of that cost. But bear in mind that some work still should be done by certified trades people. There’s nothing more satisfying than turning a light switch on and the lights actually do come on. 

Demo or Deconstructing

Simply put,  somebody’s got to take out the old to make way for the new. There is cost associated with that. 

Marrying the New with the Old

With new construction, everything is built with technologies that work well with one another, whereas remodeling can sometimes present challenges, trying to use older building techniques with new products in the same structure. 

Knowledge

In new construction each respective sub trade completes a lot of their work with apprentices or unskilled employees as part of their crew, which is very cost effective. When renovating if your project is smaller in nature you definitely need fewer people and they need to have skill sets to do the job at hand. 

Protecting the Project 

In new construction, a home is built in a specific order, where finished products aren’t exposed to the elements (eg. you wouldn’t lay carpet before you put the roof on). In renovations, sometimes this isn’t the case. Quite often adequate protection for rain, snow, dust or other elements must be provided from entering the work area. Putting this protection in place can cost time and money. 

If you’re in the Greater Edmonton area and are looking for a contractor for you renovation project, visit our website at www.nordalta.com/contact.php to find information on how to contact us. We’d be happy to speak to you about what we can do to get the ball rolling on your next home or office project. You can also leave comments with us at info@nordalta.com.

Michael Breault is a project coordinator for Nord Alta Construction. You can find the company website at www.nordalta.com. You can also find Michael and Nord Atla Construction on facebook at www.facebook.com/NordAltaConstruction, on twitter at www.twitter.com/Nordalta, and on LinkedIn.

Robert Breault is the president and owner of Nord Alta Construction. You can find the company website at www.nordalta.com. You can also find Robert and Nord Alta Construction on facebook at www.facebook.com/NordAltaContruction and on LinkedIn.