As I mentioned in a previous post I have been managing commercial remodeling projects for about 15 years now. Although I have seen pretty much everything under the sun as far as how we transformed a space or what needed to be replace or fixed within a commercial space, each commercial remodel that I have been a part of tends to have a few common characteristics. Here is a quick list of facts or observations that I have made about commercial remodeling that would be helpful for you to think about before you take the plunge in your space!
What do you really need done?
- Need More Space – If you need to expand into another floor, another leased space, or if you need to put an additional onto your building because you are out of space for additional people and are growing! These are the fun ones because we typically get the whole “addition” space to work with and so they are usually the most flexible as far as choosing the layout, the ceiling height, and the infrastructure since everything is essential “ground up”
- Don’t Have More Space but Need to Fit More People – We usually call this “compression” and it is not always that fun! If your company is capped out in terms of SF you can lease in a particular location but you continue to grow in terms of number of employees then your best option is “compression”. This typically means turning “single” offices into “double” office, double offices into triple offices, or taking down ALL of the private offices and going to a full “open” office with cubicles or what the furniture companies like to call “workstations” now.
- Finish Refresh – Still rocking the shag carpet from the 70’s, or the dark cherry millwork from the early 2000’s with the natural slate floors (don’t worry I still like that look!) sometimes your space just needs a nice “finish refresh” when we pull out the “finishes” – floors, ceilings, paint, fixtures, and replace with new, updated finishes. This doesn’t always add space or change the function of your office but it sure does look great when we are done!
- Energy Efficiency Upgrades – If you are getting a lot of complaints from your employees about the dim lighting or if you are getting temperature complaints across your space then it’s probably about time to include some “Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing” or MEP upgrades in a remodel. The good part about these upgrades is sometimes they are tax deductible or at least different funding options are available with these type of remodels since local utilities are all for people replacing their old, inefficient MEP equipment for new efficient equipment. Remember those residential credits? Well they apply in the commercial remodeling world, too, and they are usually a lot more significant.
- Change of Use – Does your company suddenly need a lot more office square footage instead of data center? Or is your warehouse full of paper need to get replaced by a data center? In that case your commercial remodel would fall into the “change of use” category. Unfortunately this one is usually one of the more expensive remodels because all of the “unseen” items such as mechanical and electrical infrastructure start adding a lot more expenses to the project, especially when most of it is hidden anyhow!
There are a few major reasons why we get calls for a commercial remodel. I always recommend that our clients figure out what they “need” and what they “want” and then ask for an “Add-Alternate” price for the “like to have items to see if the “wish list” items can fit in the budget or not. Here are a few of the reason why people are requesting commercial remodeling:
There are a multitude of reasons why your commercial space would need some remodeling! Please feel free to send me a comment below and tell me what I am missing!
- What questions do I need to ask myself before performing a commercial remodel?
In order to figure out exactly what you are looking for in a remodel I would recommend asking yourself the following questions:
- Who do I want to design the space? Almost all remodels above require permitting in your specific city or local jurisdiction. Do you know any good architects or interior designers? Otherwise it may be best to reach out your landlord and ask him if he knows of any GC’s available to provide a proposal. Another options is to hire a general contractor “turnkey” and you won’t have to worry about.
- What is my budget? So often we see these great projects come around with great design and ideas, but unfortunately never get off the ground because the scope and required budget for the commercial remodeling work is more than anticipated.
- Where do I go when the remodel is taking place? Unless you are moving out of the space while the remodel is going the last question you need to ask is how are your employees going to move around to make space for the remodel to take place. Most of the remodels we have done lately include this challenge because we usually come in to “ fully occupied” spaces that can’t afford to lose any more space!
In summary it is a great idea to consider why a remodel need to take place ahead of time, and there are a few key items that you need to ask yourself before partaking in a remodel for your office or company space. Am I missing something or any further questions? Please feel free to write a comment below!