Most people overestimate the value of an existing building and underestimate the cost of renovating it for swine housing, says Robert Graves, agricultural engineer, Pennsylvania State University.

Before you renovate a building, ask yourself these three questions to determine if it’s a good idea or not:

  • Why is the building available for renovation? Oftentimes, the building is available because it was replaced with a new and improved facility. Be sure that the building’s past problems don’t become future ones.
  • Are there other facility needs on the farm? The building may be better suited for some other use than raising animals.
  • If you didn’t own it, how much would you pay someone else for the building? Working through this question forces you to put a value on the building, the business impact and debt load.