Building a new facility or remodeling an existing one can be an exciting and challenging process for any ministry. Both options have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Below are some pros and cons for both new construction and remodeling. Hopefully, this will give you something to consider as you move forward with your planning process!

New Construction Pros & Cons


  1. CUSTOMIZATION: You can create a facility that meets your specific needs and preferences from the start of the planning process to the end of construction. New construction is more flexible to your needs of layout and materials.
  2. ENERGY EFFICIENCY: New construction is required to meet the existing Energy Conservation Codes. In doing so, they will use more energy efficient materials and systems which can help you save money on utility costs in the long run. Many of these same features can be accomplished in a remodel. However, the cost will be higher because of the necessary demolition and potentially more complex installation requirements.
  3. LOW MAINTENANCE: With new construction, standard wear and tear repairs and replacements can be deferred since all components will be new. 
  4. MODERN FEATURES: New construction can be tailored to the latest design and technology needs. The provision of your technology needs can often be more easily accommodated in new construction.


  1. HIGHER COSTS: Building new can be more expensive than remodeling an existing structure. This is far more true in recent years than it has been in the past. If new construction is planned at the site of an existing building, the cost of demolition needs to be factored into the budget.
  2. LONGER TIMELINES: The construction process can take several months (or years) depending on the size and complexity of the building. New construction is also more susceptible to weather delays and construction schedule coordination delays.
  3. LOCATION LIMITATION: In situations where your ministry does not currently own property, or sufficient property for the new facility, finding new land in a desirable location can be a challenge.

Remodeling Pros & Cons


  1. LOWER COST: In many cases, remodeling can be less expensive than building new, especially if the existing building can meet your ministry needs with minor changes and cosmetic upgrades.
  2. FASTER TIMELINES: Remodeling projects can typically be complete in a shorter timeframe than new construction. 
  3. LOCATION FLEXIBILITY: Since you already own the facility, you do not have to worry about finding a suitable location.
  4. ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS: Remodeling and existing facilities can be a more sustainable option, as it can help reduce waste and conserve resources.


  1. LIMITED CUSTOMIZATION: You may be limited by the existing layout or structural features of the existing facility. This can make it challenging to create a space that meets your ministry needs.
  2. HIDDEN COSTS: Remodeling projects will often uncover unexpected items. Even with the best of practices from the architect and contractor, it is often impossible to know what will be found until demolition begins. These discoveries can range from hidden mold, asbestos, structural damage, or other building systems damage. Remediation and repair of these unexpectedly will add cost and time to the project.
  3. HIGHER MAINTENANCE: Older facilities may require more maintenance and repair soon after completion of construction. Even when the best care is taken during construction to shore up and repair aging materials and equipment, there reality is the building may still have potential maintenance issues down the road.
  4. LIMITED ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Older facilities can be made more energy efficient during remodel but this can often be a challenge with the required demolition and coordination of installation around existing construction. Any updates will be beneficial but the impact on utility bills may not be as pronounced.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, the decision to build new or remodel will depend on your ministry’s needs, preferences, and budget. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of each carefully as you work through this process. Engaging a licensed architect early in the process can help you make a more informed decision!

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