Differences Between Commercial Refurbishment and Commercial Construction

Commercial Refurbishment Astrum Construction

You might have heard the terms ‘commercial construction’ and ‘commercial refurbishment’ before, but maybe you aren’t sure exactly what they mean and how they might relate to your business.

Read on to discover the difference between these two types of project, and how you might use them to improve your business or workplace.

Commercial Construction

When we talk about commercial construction, we are referring to the process of creating structures and buildings that are situated on land allocated for commercial purposes.

In other words, it means the design and build of properties that are used to make money in some way.

For example, a shopping mall is considered a commercial building as its primary function is to generate revenue. A multi-storey parking lot that is situated near a shopping mall is also an example of commercial construction. Retail isn’t the only form of commercial property – a hotel or an office would also fall under the same category.

Another less obvious example is an apartment complex. Even though apartments are generally residential buildings, their primary function is still to generate revenue through rent.

Now that we’ve covered some examples of what commercial construction is, we can look at how they are are categorised.

Categories of Commercial Construction

This type of construction typically falls under three categories: small-scale, medium-scale or large-scale.


Small-scale commercial construction does not necessarily describe the process of building from the ground up. More commonly, it describes interior design updates such as rebranding or minor renovations. For example – a fresh coat of paint in updated brand colours.


Perhaps your company has recently expanded, and you need to make room for all your new employees. You might decide to expand your current building by adding an extension. This would be a medium-scale commercial construction project. Another example would be building small business premises from the ground up, such as a retail store or a restaurant.


A large-scale project is one which is built from scratch. There is no pre-existing structure or foundation with this type of construction. Examples include hotels, hospitals, office buildings and even skyscrapers.

Commercial Refurbishment

While commercial construction describes the process of building or adding a new structure, commercial refurbishment refers to work that is done to improve the appearance and function of a building that is already complete.

While your commercial property may have been at the cutting edge of design and technology when it was first built, with time it may begin to appear tired or dilapidated. In addition, the size of your company may have expanded throughout the years – leaving little room for new employees.

A commercial refurbishment can breathe new life into your property. This could be as simple as changing aesthetics – the carpets and walls, for example – or it could be more in-depth, like changing the layout of your office to maximise the space available and provide a more logical layout.

This doesn’t just benefit your staff members. It can also lead to more business for you. An office or retail space that appears outdated does not encourage potential buyers to opt for your product or services.

If you find that your current building is no longer meeting your requirements, commercial refurbishment can be a much more cost-effective solution than moving your entire business to a new building.

Categories of Commercial Refurbishment

There are three types of commercial refurbishment.


Minor refurbishment refers to small repairs and aesthetic improvements. For example, the inside and/or outside of the building could be redecorated. This might involve a fresh coat of paint on the walls, new carpets, and replacement of some furniture. It may also include small repairs – fixing cracks in the walls, or minor leaks in the roof.


A medium commercial refurbishment might involve all of the above improvements and repairs, as well as the replacement of old fittings. It could involve the installation of new systems for heating or cooling the building.


A full refurbishment involves major building works. This could mean that walls and floors are removed and constructed in different places to change the interior layout of the building. When the walls and floors are rebuilt, it’s possible to lay extra hidden pipework throughout the building to improve the lighting, heating and cooling systems. A full refurbishment may include the above, as well as any combination of improvements from the minor and medium refurbishment section.

Similarities and differences between commercial construction and commercial refurbishment

Commercial construction and commercial refurbishment projects share some similarities, but they have plenty of differences between them as well.

Both types of works relate to commercial properties. In addition, both are categorised into three types. Commercial construction can be small, medium or large, and commercial refurbishment can be minor, medium and full.

Commercial construction involves creating a new building or extension from scratch. In contrast, commercial refurbishment involves making an existing space more attractive and functional.

Commercial construction is the first step – it always has to come before commercial refurbishment. You cannot carry out a refurbishment in a space that does not yet exist. Therefore, you can have construction without refurbishment, but you cannot have refurbishment without previous construction.


On average, you spend a third of your life at work. It’s vital that your workplace meets all of your needs. With over twenty years of experience in the construction industry, Astrum Construction is perfectly equipped to help you refresh and optimise your workplace – whether it’s an office, a retail store, a restaurant, or something else entirely.

Taking on a refurbishment project can feel like a large job – but Astrum can assist you every step of the way. We specialise in handling the entire process, from concept to completion. Want to maximise the space in your office, but not sure how to create the floor plan? We can help you design your dream workplace – and add finishing touches that make a room feel homely and comfortable. Want to revamp and modernise your gym? We can help you replace items that feel dated with brand-new fixtures and fittings. Need to change the layout of your restaurant? We can take care of it for you – and help you add ambiance with carefully chosen light fittings.

We’d love to see your workplace become the best place it can be for you and your employees. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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