Planning Out a Commercial Renovation for Your Office


In ideal situations, companies are always growing and changing. Eventually, these companies will either outgrow their current workspaces or they will need other environmental changes to meet the workforce’s expanding needs. Construction and renovation can be a complicated process, and each situation is different, but there are a few steps that are always worth keeping in mind. While you plan out your office renovation, consider the following tips:

Compare Renovating vs. Relocating

The first question to ask yourself is whether renovation is the best plan. In some instances, relocating may be the better option. Put together a list of potential sites, including your current site, and weigh the pros and cons of each against each other. Keep future needs in mind so you can hopefully avoid going through the exact same process in just a year or two. If you do these studies in tandem with your lease renewal, you may be able to convince your landlord to subsidize part of the work in order to keep you as a tenant.

Select a Project Manager and Team

Having more eyes on the work will help you to avoid missing errors along the way. Pick a qualified project manager to keep the work focused and moving forward and hard-working team members who can handle delegated tasks. Include team members from several levels of your organization to gain a wider perspective of what’s best for the workforce. Make sure your team is equipped with the proper tools, such as workflow management software to keep tasks organized. Encourage regular communication among the team so that they are able to catch and rectify problem situations early.

Determine Your Budget (with Contingencies)

The available budget will determine what you can actually accomplish with this renovation, so make sure to set it early. Make sure to budget high in the beginning and to negotiate rates from the start. Any sales training module will tell you that you need to negotiate before you begin. Otherwise you risk unexpected (yet necessary) costs and expenses you may not have accounted for.

As each step is completed, you can scale back the budget. Build contingencies into the budget in case of unexpected expenses that arise—which they will. An extra 10 percent is a good rule of thumb, but a bigger cushion is even better.

Weigh Wants vs Needs

What is the purpose of this renovation? Make sure that your team focuses on the goals this renovation is meant to accomplish. Put your goals down on paper and refer to them often. If you need to change them along the way, that’s fine, but always keep them in mind as the project progresses.

While you and your team members are in the mental state of renewal and change, it may be tempting to spring for expensive extras. Only spend money on those things that will accomplish your goals.

Make a Plan for Temporary Relocation

It’s likely that the space you are renovating will be unavailable for workers, so plan for this ahead of time. Where will your workforce go until the renovation is complete? When you are renovating, it can be a good idea to stagger your renovation plans. Doing this will allow you to maximize the remaining space. As each area is completed, move workers in to open up more spaces for renovation. Then, once all spaces have been renovated, you can spread your workforce into the new space again.

Get the Proper Building Permits

Depending on the type of renovation, you may need to acquire building permits. Your city may not require a permit for a small project like installing cabinets and built-in desks, painting, or small remodels, but it’s best to check with the city to be certain. If you are altering load-bearing walls, windows, or entrances and exits, however, it’s likely that you will need a building permit.

In some situations, your contractor will be responsible for getting these permits, but in others, it will be your responsibility. Consult with your attorney to determine which case applies to you.

Plan a Realistic Schedule with Your Contractor

Once you’ve laid out the project and decided on a contractor, make sure that your schedules align. Set up a specific timeline with milestones where different stages should be completed. Build in a cushion of time before you will actually need to use the space. If you are remodeling for a specific event, your schedule should allow for delays so the event doesn’t arrive before the work is finished.

Allow for tasks such as cleaning and debris removal, as well as redecorating and time for your staff to move into the new space. Over the course of the project, keep in contact with your contractors and hold them accountable for the deadlines built into your schedule.

Author Bio:

Carol Evenson is a consultant specializing in real estate and home renovations. She works with individuals and corporations within the US and UK.


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