Renovating and repurposing old warehouses can result in stunning new spaces.  However, creating a new home, office space or business location from an old warehouse requires a considerable amount of foresight, planning and imagination.  Before taking on a warehouse for conversion, here are some things to keep in mind.

Zoning Regulations

Knowing that you’ll be able to get planning permission to convert a warehouse for your intended use is probably the most important first step.  If the warehouse you’re eyeing is in a zoning area that doesn’t allow you to create the complex of your dream, the whole idea becomes a non starter.  Similarly, knowing whether the structure is classified as a heritage building will play an important role in what you can and cannot do regarding modifying or altering its character.  Ensure you’ll be allowed to do what you plan before you sign on the dotted line.

Building Quality

Having an inspection done on the building you’re hoping to renovate will allow you to know of any faults or defects before entering into a real estate transaction.  A comprehensive survey of items such as roofing, plumbing, ventilation, heating, foundation, electrical, insulation and more will let you know what kind of shape the warehouse is in and what you might need to repair before any renovation work begins.  With warehouses it is also important to ensure the area hasn’t been contaminated with industrial chemicals, solvents or other hazardous materials.

Infrastructure Considerations

Depending on what the final usage of your converted warehouse will be, it’s important to realize that some buildings are more amenable to conversion than others.  A warehouse that is already equipped with flooring, plumbing, ventilation and electrical systems will require less cost and labour than one that is simply a shell that houses no internal infrastructure.


It’s important to make sure that you’ll be able to finance your warehouse renovation project.  Some financial institutions view warehouse conversions as risky and problematic.  The processes and rules regarding the financing of a warehouse renovation may be quite different than that of renovating or even building a regular home.  Knowing how your financial institution views warehouse renovations beforehand can save yourself from an embarrassing situation on closing day.

Construction Codes

Understanding construction code compliance, or at least employing someone who does, is imperative when it comes to building, renovating and converting structures.  Ensuring compliance with building, fire, plumbing and energy codes from the beginning of a project will prevent any problems from manifesting later on.

Redeveloping a warehouse for residential or retail use can result in a unique space that revitalizes a currently underused area.  By renovating an existing structure, it is possible to save money on construction costs and end up with a finished project much sooner than building from the ground up.  As long as certain considerations take place before jumping into the venture, warehouse renovations can produce amazing results .