Commercial renovations are similar to residential remodels in that there is a demolition and rebuilding procedure in both areas of construction. However, each process on the commercial side has many more layers and steps than the domestic counterpart because the codes for both public-accessible and industrial properties are much more in-depth. This adds to the cost of these renovations in both building expenses and lost revenues from the delay of openings which would not necessarily apply in building a home.
Large commercial chains have formulas which have been streamlined over years of experimentation. They also have large staffs of property managers, building consultants and commercial law experts that roll into an area when the decision has been made to expand there. These teams negotiate the buying or leasing of properties, hire the tradespeople, get the permits and renovate the space within a time-frame set out by the head office. Many of these success formulas are sold as business opportunities in the of franchises which saves the people taking on the business the pitfalls associated with doing it themselves.
For those who do not have a corporate juggernaut behind them the process can run smoothly if certain steps are followed and there is a legal paper trail. Because building a new business, although initially stressful, should be an adventure and an opportunity to make a great living.
Steps to Renovating Commercial Building Space
- 1. Requirements: When many people begin the search for a business location they have already made the decision of where they want to be. This is a separate process that follows the choice of business. Maybe this choice has been a lifelong dream or it may have appeared as an opportunity. Wherever it came from there will be a need for both equipment and interior design that will fulfill the needs of running that particular business.
For example, everyone knows that a medical clinic will have many different needs that a book store would not. While selling books, like a clinic, requires plumbing and electrical considerations the medical facilities will have more workstations which will necessitate a larger electrical panel and much more plumbing. And while a bookstore requires dozens of shelving units and a checkout counter a clinic will need a waiting room, file storage, examination rooms and, in some cases, an x-ray lab. This includes different commercial styles of painting, plumbing upgrades and electrical upgrades.
- 2. Lease: In many locations private space is either too costly or not available so the business owner will have to rent space. Armed with the details both necessary and desirable to conduct business the next step for a prospective business owner is to find qualified lease negotiator. Once a lease professional is armed with both the needs and financial considerations of the client he or she can negotiate the right deal with the commercial real estate agent. This takes the emotion and sales pitches out of the equation.
- 3. Planning: With the space in hand a designer can now do up plans based on the space that is being considered. This can either be done by an architectural firm or by the commercial contracting company who will have designers on staff. Another way to do it is to lay it out on a computer program so that both the client and the commercial contractors who are bidding for the project will be on the same page. This standardizes the project.
- 4. Hiring the Contractor: Based on the plans and the requirements of the project the contracting company is hired. Unlike a domestic contract the commercial version is an in-depth document that can include penalty and performance clauses. The contractor is basically responsible for renovating the space as indicated in the plans, and on time and budget. Another way to doing this saves a few steps. The commercial contracting firm has its own designers who can put the plans together. However, this takes a lot of trust on the part of the client. Having a complete set of plans beforehand takes the guesswork out of the process. It's just another safeguard.
- 5. Project Management: the successful commercial contractor will assign a project manager to the client's renovation and this person will begin the process of scheduling the job and hiring the subtrades. The time table includes coordinating the remodel with the building manager so that the service elevators will be available and that the other tenants are not inconvenienced. At this stage the building permits will be started so that they are ready when the project begins.
The project manager also fits all the elements of the remodel in place so that it flows like an factory assembly line. He or she also handles disputes and coordinates material shipments. Many commercial renovators are distributors for interior furnishings. If this is the case then they will have a professional interior designer who can meet with the client to go through samples of materials and colors for the furniture, flooring and walls. There is also a moving schedule for equipment, files and other material that need to be stored until the project has been completed.
- 6. Support Service: Every project needs to be tweaked after the occupants move in because the human element can often find flaws the inspectors miss. This support can be ongoing if requested.