With many communities offering incentives for businesses to repurpose older commercial buildings, many entrepreneurs are looking at renovations to existing buildings as opposed to building new for their company. In addition, businesses are finding that renovating an existing space is a great way to revitalize the business and create a better working environment for their staff as well as a more enjoyable experience for their customers. If you are considering a commercial building renovation, these four tips can help you complete the project under budget and with less interruption.
One of the biggest mistakes owners make when they decide to renovate commercial space is not talking to their staff. Your staff is your greatest asset and can provide you with valuable information regarding what works for customers as well as what meets their needs to perform their jobs correctly. Put a good team in place to get the best advice not only on what your staff needs but what customers need in your business. This will help you save energy, time and money.
If you have decided to renovate an older building, especially one with historic connections, you want to be sure to choose a contractor who has experience in those areas. You may need to choose a qualified concrete cutter such as Greene Concrete Cutting Inc. or someone similar to break through walls originally designed for something else, such as in an old ice house or storage facility.
You want to choose a contractor who has extensive experience in commercial renovations, not one whose focus is residential renovations. This is because commercial buildings have specific building codes, handicap access requirements and other issues that a residential project may not have.
Building codes are not the only ones you need to know before you choose a commercial property to renovate. You will want to be sure that the building is zoned for the type of business you intend to operate. Not all commercial zones allow for all types of commercial property.
Check with your municipality to be sure your building has the proper zoning before you begin renovations. When it comes to building codes, if you can reuse a system that is currently operational, it is always better to do so as it can save money during the renovations. However, keep in mind older systems may be less efficient than newer ones and could cost you more down the road.
Create a budget but include a contingency fund of between 10 and 25 percent of the entire budget to allow for any surprises you encounter. Check with the local government to see if there are incentives for the renovation, especially if you are working in an historic district. There are often incentives and grants available to businesses who are upgrading buildings in downtown areas, historic areas and others designated by state and local governments as improvement areas.
Be sure to create a realistic schedule in order to minimize interruptions which can also save you money. Plan the renovation in phases so that you can address issues easily.
These tips are just a few that can help your office renovation go smoothly so that you can get back to business as soon as possible. These tips can also save you money and aggravation as you improve the work space for your staff and the experience of your customers.
Stories by Kara Masterson