Why Demolition May Be Better Than Remodeling For Old Properties

6 October 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


If you have just bought an older building, be it a house or a commercial property, you might be thinking about remodeling it and turning it into a gorgeous property that everyone will adore. But sometimes restoration and remodeling is not the way to go. There are conditions surrounding the building, both figuratively and literally, that could make demolition a better route.

Structural Issues

Most parts of a building can be remodeled or repaired if they're in bad shape. But if the foundation itself is severely damaged or if the frame of the building is ready to collapse, full demolition is better. Sometimes repairing the building would be so complicated that a full tear-down and rebuild would be easier and possibly take less time to complete.

Soil Issues

Unstable ground may also be another reason to demolish instead of remodel, but you have to have the ground evaluated carefully. If the problem is that there's been some erosion or something similar, that can be filled in. You'd just have to get a landscape engineer to stabilize the soil. However, if the entire lot seems to be unstable — maybe there's a new sinkhole opening up on the property next door or there's been a quake that made the soil unstable — then the building may need to be torn down. It would cost too much to lift out the entire structure and its foundation to move them to a temporary site while the ground issue is taken care of.

Societal Issues

Sometimes it's not the building or the ground but what the building represents. If the family that used to live in a particular house caused a lot of problems for the city, for example, or if the factory that used to be located in a commercial building was the site of a horrendous crime, the mere sight of the building or home could be a sore spot for many people. If there are too many bad memories associated with the building, it can be to your advantage to just knock the thing down completely and build a new structure. While the costs might be higher to build something new, they could be less of a hassle to deal with than having people avoid you because of the building you bought.

Demolishing a building with an undesirable past can also save you the trouble of dealing with pranksters. Sometimes younger people will try to scare themselves or pretend they're on an adventure by checking out the location of a crime or other bad event. If you tear down the old building completely and build a new one with a different layout, there's nothing left for pranksters or trespassers to look for. That can dissuade them from trying to enter the property.

If you're not sure about the state of the building's foundation or the ground around it, get those inspected immediately. Talk to demolition and remodeling contractors about what they think they could do with the site to get a better idea of whether or not the building is worth saving.