Skip Navigation

My Commercial Project: Should I Build-Up or Build-Out?

commercial project encore construction

Need help deciding whether to build your commercial project out or up? Encore Construction is here to help.

Building-up and building-out are entirely different. Depending on where you want your future commercial project to be located, it’s important to understand the differences between building up or building out. There are also different considerations, such as federal and local construction guidelines and many other factors to consider when contemplating which frame to build your commercial project on. Need help deciding whether to build your commercial project out or up? Encore Construction is here to help.

Key Differences as a Commercial Project

The best way to think about the difference between building out or building up is to think of the building by shape. “Building-out” is a longer, mainly horizontal building with only a few stories, whereas “building-up” is a shorter width, taller vertical building with much more capabilities for stories. For example, a typical strip mall is a “build-out,” whereas a skyscraper you’d see in a city is a “build-up.” As you can probably tell, both are advantageous for different situations and types of commercial properties or businesses they will house.

When to “Build-Out” 

Building-out is useful to your commercial project if you have a lot of room to build on. For example, if you have purchased your lot in a more rural area with plenty of room for the development of the commercial property, a long build-out is a great idea. The pros of long, low floor properties are that they are much more easily accessible for people with walking disabilities, and everything is conveniently located on one or two floors for easy guidance. Some of the cons include that employees, customers, and/or clients will likely have to cover quite a bit of distance before reaching their destinations due to the size of the property, as well as a generally larger budget that is associated with the larger building and land size. 

When to “Build-Up”

Building-up is a great solution for any commercial project that does not have a lot of space to work with. These types of properties are ideal in cities where room and land are scarce, and each square foot must be used practically. Pros of building up include maximizing space in a small area with higher populations and foot traffic. Cons include more law and zoning restrictions, such as height, and extra costs associated with accessibility, such as elevator installation and maintenance. 


If your commercial project construction includes retail stores, shopping centers, or restaurants, build-out is probably the best option. However, if you are in a limited space or want to fit a variety of different businesses in one small area, a build-up is another great option for your commercial project.

Work With Encore Construction

As a premier commercial general contractor, Encore Construction is proud to provide interior and exterior services in Baltimore, Maryland and beyond. We have an impeccable track record, an impressive portfolio, and an experienced team that is ready to tackle your next big project. Our results speak for themselves, and we’re proud of the work we continue to produce for our clients.

Our office is located in Annapolis, MD and we are happy to serve Baltimore, Bowie, Columbia, Rockville, Washington DC, Tysons Corner VA, Northern VA, and surrounding areas. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for news and updates! Do you want to discuss your project with a member of our team? Visit our website, and call us at (410) 573-5050. We look forward to hearing from you!

This entry was posted on Monday, June 28th, 2021 at 2:57 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.