Since you play Dwarf Fortress you get a free pass from my usual snark. In fact, I instinctively like you now.
Pretends to faint in relief
I think taking the station apart and putting it back together is still something a constructor would be able to do. So on that point, I do not accept your explanation as a reason for constructors not to be able to modify/rebuild a station in space.
I also do not subscribe to your theory that upgrading is internal and construction is external. How do you upgrade a space port to have a long range scanner from inside the space port? Or a solar panel?
I did not mean that they can't or shouldn't, it's just isn't cost effective compared to spacesuiting the grunts and letting them at it. There is always a limited amount of CS, and they may have more important assignments. That's why I threw in the idea of corporate management.
Speaking of which, it's interesting to discuss the niche that the CS take up between the state and private sectors. It's not satisfying for a private firm to wait for years for a new improvement, and, more so, rely upon the military's whim to install it. On the other side, the military is not interested in things that distract its vessels from matters of national security. So, private/corporate CS. In the early stages of the game, space is lonely and dangerous. Later on, think EVE-O, megacorps with private "security" fleets... Am I talking about a fourth expansion for DW?
If you guys want to argue that massive and complete overhauls of ships, bases, etc. should not be possible with the retrofit/upgrade command, that is an entirely different discussion.
Definitely not, it's not about the principle of the command, but the process behind it.
"Only an idiot fights a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts," - Londo Mollari