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Commercial Renovation 101: How to Plan for a Remodel of Your Business Property

The average person spends more than 90,000 hours at work during their lifetime. And the quality of the work environment can make or break their experience with a company.

As an employer, you want to do right by your team. And that means that you might need to make some improvements to your office space to foster better morale and productivity.

But planning a commercial renovation can be tough. And there’s a lot that can go wrong.

Don’t panic! Here are a few simple tips to help you plan a successful, affordable, and amazing renovation for your company.

Figure Out What You Want to Accomplish

When planning an office renovation, it’s tempting to let your imagination go wild. But doing so can be both expensive and time-consuming, taking a major chunk out of your productivity and bottom line.

Instead, look at what you need the renovation to do. If you need more space to accommodate a growing company, prioritize those additions. If you’re looking to make the office more comfortable for your team, put those improvements at the top of the list.

When in Doubt, Go Green

Prioritizing eco-friendly and energy efficient improvements is a great way to get the most out of your renovation. They help you save money each month on utility costs, helping you maximize your operating budget every month.  

If you’re not sure where to start, prioritize your windows. According to the folks at Ecovue, double-glazed windows are better equipped to keep your building cool in the summer and warm in the winter without increasing your energy bills.

Even if your other renovation plans are purely cosmetic, updating the windows can have a huge impact on your future costs and operating budget.

Once you have those clear goals in mind, ask your team for input. Remember, your employees use the space every day and may have suggestions that can streamline the operation without increasing your renovation budget dramatically.

Establish a Firm Budget

Before you start planning any renovation, you need to know how much you can afford. This means looking at your operating budget, how much you’ve set aside for the improvements, and how much downtime you can realistically afford.

You’ll also want to budget for unexpected repairs that pop up during the renovation. Sometimes, issues get missed during the initial inspection. But they’ll still need to get fixed before renovations wrap up.

Once you have a firm number in mind, take a look at the improvements you’d like to make and prioritize them. You may not have enough money to cover the entire list. But this way, you’ll know which ones are must-haves and which can you can put off for another year.

Get Estimates From Multiple Contractors

Not all contractors charge the same for the same renovations. That means you’ll want to get estimates from multiple companies before deciding who to work with.

When getting estimates, make sure the contractors provide them to you in writing. Ask about the cost of materials, who will be doing the work, labor charges, and any other costs you can expect.

Then, compare each estimate and pick the one you’re most comfortable with.

Remember, it’s always best to focus on the quality of the company rather than the price alone. Choosing a contractor because their prices are the lowest often puts you at risk for shoddy workmanship.

Make Sure Your Current Space is Up to Code

Before you can start making improvements, you need to make sure your building is up to code. If the building is more than a decade old, the building codes may have changed.

Getting the building up to modern standards should take priority over other renovations. Otherwise, you could face fines and legal ramifications with the county or city.

Once you decide on a contractor, let them inspect the building before any renovation work starts. This allows them to address code issues before committing to new improvements.

In some cases, building codes can alter your initial renovation plans. It’s always better to know beforehand so you can make changes early on. This may delay your renovation, but it will save you money and stress in the long-run.

Focus on Realistic Commercial Renovation Deadlines

Unfortunately, renovations often mean a loss of productivity for your company until the work gets finished. That makes it tempting to get everything done at once and create a schedule accordingly. But it’s not always possible.

In fact, most commercial building renovations happen in stages. This allows your team to keep working, even when part of the building is under construction.  

Work with your contractor and plan out your renovation schedule. Remember, they know how fast their team can get the job done without compromising on the quality of their work.

Regardless of the schedule you plan, remember that delays are normal. It’s part of the process and even the best contractors can’t foresee every possible issue. Be patient, stay up-to-date on the work, and know that your contractor is doing their best to stay on schedule.

Think About the Long-Game

When you’re renovating a building, the design is likely centered on improving your business. This is great in the short-run. But if you plan on selling the building in the future, you want to be cautious.

Whenever possible, make sure the improvements add to your property value. This will make the building more sellable when the time comes to find a new location.

The last thing any business owner wants to do is make a bunch of improvements only to find out that it hurts the resale value.

Final Thoughts

Successful companies often grow out of their original office spaces. But a well thought out commercial renovation can help you stay in your current space just a little longer. Use these tips to make sure your renovation goes as smoothly as possible.

Once you’re done and you’re ready to focus on further expanding your business, check out our latest posts for more helpful tips.