Are you looking to expand your current commercial space?
There are two ways to add to a building: horizontally and vertically. The design a person chooses is often dictated by the purpose of the addition – for example, a restaurant kitchen addition will invariably go out – but it’s not always this straightforward.
In building out, the vast majority of the additions will involve increasing the building’s footprint at the ground level (horizontally). In building up, additions can happen without necessarily increasing the footprint. You can add one or more stories to your establishment (vertically).
So, which one is best for your commercial space?
What are the Factors to Consider When Building Up or Building Out?
There are factors to consider when building a commercial building vertically or horizontally. These factors will guide you to make the best decision as far as the construction of the building is concerned:
Make sure that your finances are in order before undertaking any commercial building project.
It can be difficult to determine which project will be more costly between building out or up, especially with the varying business sizes. Building out requires excavation work and the construction of an additional foundation. On the other hand, building up can also be expensive in situations which demand heavy-duty support systems in addition to the foundation wall.
Factor in whether it’ll be convenient to stop business operations during the construction period.
If you’re building up, keep in mind that it may necessitate halting operations. Some projects take as much as six months. This is because the contractors will have to bring the roof down to add the stories. In most building out projects, business operations may not be drastically affected. The construction area simply needs to be protected from the rest of the useable space.
Depending on the location, certain requirements may restrict how close the building is to the property line. There are very few areas where building up or building out might be an issue because of local regulations, especially in cities.
Is It Cheaper to Build Up or Build Out?
On average, building out is less expensive than building up per square foot. This is because the story additions will typically cost more since the existing roof must be removed and replaced. Other potential costs include an additional staircase, additional support structures, costs of a structural engineer, plumbing systems, new HVAC, and building permits. Keep in mind that this process may also pause business operations, hence no money coming in.
In comparison, major building out costs includes the loss of yard space, additional plumbing work, pouring a new foundation, permit fees, and upgrading the HVAC.
Understanding the Costs of Building Additions
It’s important to understand what’s involved when performing build-up or build-out additions to make a more informed choice:
Build Out Additions
For rarely used yard space, a build-out or horizontally extending a business may be an excellent choice considering you’ll have less landscaping to maintain.
When building a typical horizontal addition, the foundation is poured first. Then, the walls get framed, and any required electrical wires or plumbing systems are installed. Lastly, a roof is installed over the new addition.
The horizontal addition’s design needs to flow with the existing one. This means the bricks and roof must match the existing exterior. Not matching the current building with the additional building will result in a structure that’s visually and functionally disconnected from each other. This may be bad for business.
Build Up Additions
If a commercial building is on the ground floor, adding a story will involve the installation of a staircase in the already available space. The staircase will occupy part of the floor space, reducing the available square footage of the property. If there’s adequate space in front of the main entrance, a staircase can be installed near it. Alternatively, work with an architect to find a suitable spot to put the new staircase.
Restaurants, Retail, and Convenience Stores
Whether to build up or out may depend on the building’s size, shape, design, and available lot space. Always aim at improving the customer experience with the new design.
Building Up vs. Building Out for Restaurants
When expanding a restaurant, take into consideration factors such as kitchen space, furniture, ventilation, electrical lines, and sewer pipes.
When building out, consider turning large, noisy dining areas into several smaller cubicles for a nice, warm, and comfortable dining experience. You can also add an outdoor seating area to give customers a breath of fresh air while enjoying their meals.
If you’re building up, consider taking the customers’ dining experience to higher heights – literally. This will add interest to your business space and may significantly boost sales.
Building Up vs. Building Out for Retail
It’s easy to dream big when planning to expand a retail space, but it’s always important to recognize the difference between wants and needs. From storefronts to floor plans, sometimes unavoidable constraints and specific requirements that are mandated both by the retailers and law can factor in when deciding whether to build-up or build-out your retail store building.
Nonetheless, building up is always a good idea for retail space. It makes the establishment look more compact and organized. The customer shopping experience can also be made easier with elevators and escalators. Building out will not only occupy a lot of unnecessary yard space but will also span out the usable space, which may make it a little uncomfortable for shoppers.
Building Up vs. Building Out for Convenience Stores
Expanding a convenience store space entails coordinating several different phases of the project. Typically, this involves building out. This includes expanding the actual store, building the fuel pump area, installing the canopy over the pumps, and more. Considering how this business model works, it’ll make no sense to build up – unless it’s for storage.
Why Should You Consider Building Up or Building Out for Your Business?
Ask any business owner who’s currently doing an addition onto their commercial site, and they’ll probably give a different reason for wanting to build-up or build-out. However, some of the more popular reasons include:
Raising Property Value
When done right and professionally, any construction addition to the commercial space will improve the real estate value of the property.
Storage Space to Hold More Stock
If there’s too much demand for your business with little space to store your products, building up or building out might be advisable. While considering your store’s interior and exterior design, build up or out to have a large warehouse or building to accommodate everything. This will be more cost-effective in the long run compared to renting out.
Improving Customer Experience
A build-up or build-out might just be the thing you need to increase traffic in your physical store. For example, more customers may prefer a specific restaurant because it has an elevated or outdoor dining area. This will give the business the competitive edge it deserves.
Final Verdict: Build Up or Build Out
For many, it’s building out because it’s the more affordable option. Nevertheless, having it as the more economical option doesn’t suggest that it’ll be the best workable solution for everyone. Besides the budget, it’s important to also look at the reasons for expanding, available yard space, type of business, building laws, and more.
It’s also crucial to find an experienced, licensed, and reputable commercial construction company for your build-up or build-out project like Stovall Construction.