20 Questions: Montana Commercial HVAC Contractors Weigh A New Build Vs. Preexisting Structure

If you own a business and are ready to buy your own property, you have some choices to make.  One of the biggest is whether to buy a pre-existing structure or build a new one. Let’s play 20 questions and see what works best for your business’s HVAC needs. The first 15 questions will be comparing the 2 options, while the last 5 will be questions specific to one option or the other. So, let’s jump in and see what Montana commercial HVAC contractors have to say about new builds vs purchasing a pre-existing structure.

1. Would I have a sooner move-in date with a pre-existing structure or a new build?

While this question may seem like it has an obvious answer, it is not so simple.  A new build is going to require the time it takes to plan and build a structure, coordinating among the various contractors through a BIM file. The purchase of a pre-existing structure might require time for upgrades or adaptation of various aspects of the structure to your business needs. For example, if you are a laboratory facility considering converting a shopping mall, you will have a massive job for Montana commercial HVAC contractors.  Overall, it is still probable for most businesses so well give this point to the purchase of a pre-existing structure. 

2. Would it be more cost-efficient to do a new build or purchase a pre-existing structure?

Generally, retrofitting HVAC systems in pre-existing structures can be costlier due to potential modifications needed. New builds offer the advantage of designing HVAC systems from scratch, potentially reducing long-term operational costs. However, a detailed cost-benefit analysis considering upfront expenses, energy efficiency, maintenance, and future scalability is essential for an informed decision. Purchasing a pre-existing structure gets this point, according to Montana Commercial HVAC contractors.

3. Would a new build or the purchase of a pre-existing structure require a smaller immediate investment?

New builds typically necessitate a larger upfront investment than if you’re installing HVAC systems from scratch. In contrast, pre-existing structures may already have some infrastructure in place, potentially reducing initial costs. However, retrofitting existing systems to meet modern standards could incur additional expenses, making the immediate investment comparable or even higher in some cases. This point goes to purchasing a pre-existing structure for generally having lower upfront costs.

4. Would a new build or the purchase of a pre-existing structure be better for the environment, as far as HVAC goes?

New builds offer the opportunity to incorporate the latest energy-efficient technologies and design practices, potentially reducing the overall environmental footprint. However, the construction process itself can generate significant emissions. On the other hand, retrofitting HVAC systems in pre-existing structures may involve upgrading older, less efficient systems, leading to energy savings and reduced emissions. Ultimately, the environmental impact depends on factors such as building design, materials used, energy sources, and operational efficiency. Contact Garden City Plumbing and Heating for a life cycle analysis to give you more information on your specific options.  We’re going to give this point to pre-existing structures.

5. Would a new build or the purchase of a pre-existing structure benefit my business more?

A new build offers customization opportunities to tailor HVAC systems precisely to your requirements, potentially optimizing energy efficiency and operational costs in the long term. However, it involves higher initial investment and construction lead times. On the other hand, purchasing a pre-existing structure might provide immediate occupancy and lower upfront costs, but retrofitting HVAC systems to meet your needs could incur additional expenses and operational inefficiencies. Because this question deems a specific answer for each situation, we’re going to call this one a tie.

6. Would a new build or the purchase of a pre-existing structure cause less frustration in the short term?

In the short term, purchasing a pre-existing structure generally causes less frustration regarding HVAC systems because it offers immediate occupancy and existing infrastructure. Retrofitting or upgrading existing HVAC systems may be less disruptive compared to the construction process involved in a new build. However, this can vary depending on the condition and suitability of the existing HVAC systems in the pre-existing structure. Contact a Montana commercial HVAC contractor to help you do an inspection and analysis today. Pre-existing structures get this point.

7. Would a new build or the purchase of a preexisting structure cause less frustration in the long term regarding HVAC?

In the long term, a new build typically results in less frustration regarding HVAC systems. This is because you have the opportunity to design and install state-of-the-art, energy-efficient HVAC systems tailored to your specific needs and building requirements.

8. Would a new build or the purchase of a pre-existing structure get me a better tax write-off?

Determining the optimal tax write-off for HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) expenses depends on various factors, including the type of property, its usage, and applicable tax laws. Generally, for a new build, you may qualify for tax incentives or deductions related to energy-efficient HVAC systems under certain government programs aimed at promoting sustainability. Pre-existing structures might offer depreciation benefits, allowing you to deduct a portion of the HVAC system’s value over time. New builds are going to get this point.

9. Would a new build or the purchase of a pre-existing structure interrupt business the least?

For a new build, you have the advantage of planning and installing the HVAC system according to your specific needs and schedule. This could potentially result in fewer disruptions since the installation can be coordinated with other construction activities. Keep in mind, however, that there is the time it takes to build the structure.

On the other hand, purchasing a pre-existing structure may require retrofitting or upgrading the HVAC system to meet your requirements. This process could cause interruptions depending on the condition of the existing system and the extent of modifications needed.  It is quite often, though, that you can just move right in when purchasing a pre-existing structure. Montana commercial HVAC contractors will give this point to pre-existing structures.

10. Would a new build or the purchase of a pre-existing structure be more negotiable?

With a pre-existing structure, negotiating price is a fairly common occurrence.  With a new build, you can get quotes from several Montana commercial HVAC contractors as well as for the other types of contractors you will have for the job, but you don’t really get to negotiate much.

11. Would a new build or the purchase of a pre-existing structure have lower maintenance costs?

In a new build, you may initially have lower maintenance costs because the HVAC system is brand new and likely under warranty. Additionally, newer systems often require less frequent maintenance due to advancements in technology and efficiency. New builds get this point.

12. Would a new build or the purchase of a pre-existing structure have more functional flexibility?

In terms of functional flexibility for HVAC systems, a new build generally offers more opportunities for customization and optimization. With a new construction project, you have the freedom to design the HVAC system to precisely meet your needs, considering factors such as building layout, occupancy patterns, and energy efficiency goals. New builds get this point.

13. Would a new build or the purchase of a pre-existing structure have a better cost-benefit analysis?  

The cost-benefit analysis will depend on factors such as the condition of the existing HVAC system, energy prices, local regulations, and your long-term goals for the property. Typically, new builds have higher upfront costs and lower maintenance costs, and vice versa for preexisting structures. Montana commercial HVAC contractors are going to make this a tie.

14. Is a new build or a pre-existing structure less likely to have delays, slowing down the move-in process?

A new build of any kind will typically have delays in the building process. Sometimes, the design needs to be amended, and sometimes, there are supply chain issues. For a number of reasons, purchasing a preexisting structure is less likely to have delays in the move-in process.

15. Which option can give me more tailored solutions to HVAC issues?

You are more likely to be pigeonholed if you purchase a pre-existing structure,  while a new build can be designed to your specific needs.  A new build gets this point.

Now, we’ll get into the general questions about HVAC systems in commercial properties.

16. What is future-proofing your HVAC system?

It means having a setup that can be modified if building codes change or needs change in the future. Some preexisting structures can only be upgraded to a certain extent before a massive overhaul is needed for certain upgrades. With a new build, you can have an HVAC system installed that will be able to be amended and adjusted as future legal requirements change.

17. Is having a known history with local Montana commercial HVAC contractors that important?

If you purchase a pre-existing structure, the previous owner has been in contact with 1 or more local HVAC contractors.  Being able to contact them and see what work they have done in the past or recurring issues will give you a clue as to different issues that come up.  Similarly, if you build a new structure, a local HVAC contractor can probably tell you the pros and cons of that system and give you an idea of what the weaknesses are and what to expect.

18. How do I determine if a pre-existing structure has an established service provider, and should I stick with them?

You can often find this information from a former/current owner.  There may be comfort in calling somebody who has already worked on a certain system, but there can also be complacency.  You will want to do your own research to determine what available contractor provides the best service. 

19. What unique HVAC needs should I be aware of when potentially buying historical properties?

While historical properties can bring visibility and more clientele, they often have strict regulations. You may not be able to put ductwork into the walls, requiring a ductless heating and cooling system. You also may be required to have HVAC equipment at strict efficiency levels beyond that of other buildings. On the other hand, you may get extra tax credits or even grant money if you upgrade the HVAC system.

20. How likely will unknown factors affect my HVAC system, whether in a new build or a pre-existing structure?

This question has a clear answer.  There will always be unknowns. We all map out plans and try to prepare for issues, but at the end of the day, the unknown is called that for a reason.  You will face unknown challenges whether you purchase a pre-existing structure or build a new one.  You should do your best to think through and praise for possibilities.  However, you should also understand that unknown factors will occur and issues you did not expect will come up.

A New Build Vs. Pre-existing Structure According to Montana Commercial HVAC Contractors

While our fun game of 20 questions shows a tally of 5 points to a new build, 8 points to a pre-existing structure, and two tie wins, but the real world is not so simple. Your business has specific needs, unique financial situations, and expectations. Give Garden City Plumbing and Heating a call at (406) 728-5550 or contact us online today to help determine how your HVAC needs will help you answer the question of building or purchasing a pre-existing structure.