Factors affecting the decision to demolish or refurbish a building

Building refurbishment is the process of renovating older buildings to make them more energy-efficient and modern. Buildings that are designed today should be able to meet the needs of future generations, but many old ones do not.

Some older buildings may not have been built with certain features, such as being wired for computers or having central heating. Building refurbishment is often used to make older offices more efficient in terms of the amount of energy they use and the costs involved in running them.

Demolition or Refurbishment: What factors affect the decision?

The decision to demolish an old building or refurbish it largely depends on the costs involved in each option. Demolishing a building is usually more expensive than renovation, but at the same time demolition can help you build something new and with better design and facilities.

One of the major factors that can influence the decision to demolish or renovate an old building is its location. If a building is in an area where new buildings are unlikely to be built in the near future, it may be more economical to refurbish it rather than remove it.

Other factors that impact whether demolition or renovation is more economical include the size of the existing building, its condition, and whether it is currently occupied.

If a building has an area that needs to be demolished to create another space, then demolition may be more cost-effective than refurbishment.

Important factors that can affect the decision include-

Condition of the building

If a building is in good condition and does not need any major repairs, it can be refurbished to save money. This is also true if the building only needs minor repairs to make it fit for use.

The condition of the building depends on its age and the way it has been maintained.

For example, a building that is old but well-maintained may be in better condition than one of the same age that has never had any repairs or maintenance work done on it.

The physical condition of the building is directly related to the cost of refurbishment. A building that is in good condition and does not need any major repairs can be refurbished at a significantly lower cost than one that needs work done on it, such as by removing asbestos or lead paint.

The materials that are used in a building can also affect its condition.

For example, if a building was built with brick and stone, then it is likely to be in better shape than one made mostly of wood or plasterboard.

Older buildings constructed before the late 20th century were usually made of stone and brick, while those built after this time were often constructed with concrete or steel.

Size of the building

The larger a building is, the more it will cost to demolish or refurbish. It can be difficult to find another use for buildings that are too large, so they tend to get demolished.

Smaller buildings can be refurbished, especially if the refurbishment work involves additions such as an extension or a loft conversion.

If you are planning to buy an older building, then consider its size and what you intend to do with it in order to make the right decision about either demolition or refurbishment.

If a building is too large for its purpose, it may be more economical to demolish and rebuild than refurbish the existing structure.

This is true if you want to build a larger property or add additional facilities such as an extension or loft conversion. The old building can then be demolished and replaced by a new building that is the right size.

Safety Concerns

If the building has a lot of asbestos or lead paint, then it will be more economical to demolish rather than refurbish it.

In these cases, you can save money by removing the materials and then demolishing the structure.

If you are planning to sell the property after redevelopment work is complete, having to remove asbestos or lead paint can be a disadvantage because it can affect the value of the building.

If you are planning to refurbish an old property, then consider whether there are any significant safety concerns that will be difficult and expensive to fix.

If the building has fallen into disrepair, you may need to undertake structural repairs that cannot be done without demolishing a part of the building.

If you are going to refurbish an older building, then it is recommended to take steps to make sure it is safe for use by your future tenants.

If a property has unsafe electrical installations or broken windows and doors, then it will not be worth the cost to refurbish it.

If this is the case, you should consider demolishing and rebuilding rather than renovating.

Environmental Sustainability

If you are concerned about the environment, then it can be a good idea to refurbish an older building rather than demolish it. This is true if the building has been well-maintained and does not need any major repairs.

If demolition would involve clearing away large amounts of material that could otherwise be recycled, then it could be more cost-effective to refurbish and make use of the materials.

Resale value of deconstructed materials

If an older building is demolished, then it will be more difficult to reuse the materials that are removed.

This can be a problem if you want to resell the property after redevelopment work is complete because buyers may not want a building made of recycled materials.

It might make sense for you to spend more money on demolition rather than refurbishment if you intend to sell the building after redevelopment is completed.

Disposal Cost of Demolition

If the building is demolished, then you will have to pay a disposal fee for the materials.

If this cost is relatively low and you can reuse them, then it may be more economical to demolish rather than refurbish an older building.

At times demolition work can be done at no extra cost if the material is reused on site.


What causes demolition?

Demolition is the tearing down of buildings and other structures. It generally involves taking apart a structure by hand or using heavy equipment, such as cranes and forklifts. Demolishing old or neglected buildings pose a significant safety hazard to those involved in the process.

Demolition is usually caused by a building being deemed unsafe, destroyed by fire or other natural disasters, not suited for use anymore, or simply outdated and no longer useful. Other times demolition occurs when a company wants to build something new on the land that the old structure occupies.

What are the methods of demolition?

There are many ways to destroy a building. The method used depends on the type of structure and its surroundings, as well as the intended use of the land afterward. Some of the most common methods include- wrecking ball method, pusher arm technique, thermic lance technique, concrete sawing method, pressure jetting, etc.

What are the factors affecting the selection of the demolition methods?

Major factors that affect the selection of the demolition methods include- the size of the building, condition of the building, location of the building, age of the building, type of structure, and costs.

How do you choose a demolition method?

Before demolition, a structural engineer may assess the condition of the structure to make sure it will be safe for workers. If there is any doubt about whether or not it is structurally sound, then more extensive testing and analysis are usually performed before making a decision on how best to proceed with demolition and the method.


The decision of whether or not to demolish an old building largely depends on the costs involved in each option. Demolishing a building is usually more expensive than renovating it, but at the same time demolition can help you build something new and with better design and facilities. Several factors influence your decisions as a business owner and developer, but the most important factors are your requirements & idea, condition, structure, & size of the building.

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