It’s important for businesses to optimize their use of space. Installation of custom cabinetry, reshaping or redesign of an attic or storage area, and even redesign of offices and cubicles are ways that a commercial renovation project can free up space in the office.
Cosmetic improvements should be performed on a regular basis to prevent a building from looking dated or poorly maintained.
Typically, these improvements will be minor, but every so often, dramatic action must be taken. This may include replacing the flooring, painting the walls, installing modern light fixtures, replacing dated furnishings and so on.
Sustainability and efficiency have become very important in recent years, but this was not always the case.
Older fixtures and older buildings tend to be less efficient because these structures were not designed with efficiency in mind. Remodeling is an excellent opportunity to improve efficiency and sustainability.
When companies go through rebranding, one of the first things they typically do is change the look and feel of their workspace. Matching the look of the business to the brand is one way that companies spread and reinforce their message.
Older buildings are often unsafe in various ways, because they do not meet modern safety standards. Many companies remodel to improve the safety of their workers and customers. This is a good way to prevent accidents in the workplace.
Remodeling projects happen in phases. No matter what type of work is being done, the phases are predictable.
The preparation and pre-construction phase consists of planning, drawing, and sampling of materials. Typically this is about 10% of the overall construction process, but sometimes, the planning phases are years in the making.
During this time, the property owner collaborates with other investors, stakeholders, designers and contractors to create a successful design.
To begin this phase of your project, create your commercial renovation goals. Knowing your primary goals and making a commercial renovation checklist will help you set priorities.
Your construction project will consist of many choices, and these choices will be made easier if you know what you’re trying to accomplish. Talk to your business partners or other people in your organization to set a vision for your project. Typical goals for commercial construction include:
After broadly deciding what needs to be done and what is the goal of the remodel, it’s time to start initial discussions with experts. Meeting with designers, architects and commercial remodeling contractors can help you flesh out the details. This is the drawing phase, when your experts will produce some initial designs that can help you decide what you want, and what you don’t want.
Following the drawing phase comes the bidding. You should meet with several contractors to get the best sense of whom to hire, and how much your project should cost.
A lot of budgeting goes into the pre-construction and preparation phases, and many commercial property owners seek financing to pay for their construction project.
In order to know how much you’ll need to borrow, you should know approximately how much your project will cost. This is why bidding must come before financing.
The preparation and pre-construction phases should end when you sign a contract. Once you’ve signed, you’re ready to get started with the demolition.
The demolition phase for a remodel is very labor-intensive. At this point, the construction crew will remove everything that could impede future construction.
Demolition can take days or weeks, depending on the size and scope of the project. Usually, demolition takes up about 15% of the total remodel time. This phase can be very noisy and disruptive, and may even require the electricity or water to be shut off for a portion of the time.
Demolition impacts indoor air quality. Demolition dust can contain asbestos, silica and other products that are hazardous to human health. There are many precautions that must be taken during this portion of the construction project.
Particles from the demolition can infiltrate the HVAC system, impacting its functionality. Leaks in the ducts can spread dust from the demolition around the facility if the HVAC system is running while demolition is taking place. This can have a long-lasting impact on the environment in your building if precautions are not taken.
It’s critical to work with a contractor who follows mandated procedures to protect employees and building tenants. Look for a contractor who has a record for safe construction practices and who is well-respected in the field.
It’s common for commercial remodeling contractors to uncover damage inside the walls during the demolition phase. This can come from plumbing leaks, pest infestation, roof leaks, poor wiring and other problems.
Sometimes contractors uncover code violations and poor workmanship. When this happens, the scope of the project may grow. Contractors must fix whatever is wrong before they can move forward with their project. This can increase the cost of the project and can also extend the duration of the project.
During the framing phase, the walls and floor are built. This takes up about 20% of the total remodeling job. The word “framing” generally refers to the studs in the wall that form the visible frame of the structure. In new construction, framing includes any subfloor or roof. In an existing structure, the subfloor and roof may already be in place.
When framing is finished, it will appear from the outside that much of the work is already done. However, the majority of the remodel has yet to be completed. Typically, frames are built from wood. These frames make up the “skeleton” of the building.
Before the project can move on from the framing to other phases of construction, building inspectors may come to ensure that the work is being done to code. This will likely happen several times throughout the remodeling process.
Permitting is an important part of many construction projects. It’s up to building inspectors to ensure that the construction work is done properly and safely.
Your contract should specify who will be responsible for obtaining the permit. If your contractor is obtaining the permit, the cost of the permit will be wrapped up into the cost of your construction project.
In New Haven, the permitting is done through the city offices. You can find out more about obtaining a permit from the City of New Haven website.
Before the drywall is put up and after the framing is in place, the mechanical aspects of the building must be installed and connected. Typically, this includes wiring, ductwork, heating, air conditioning, plumbing and more. At this phase, insulation is installed in the walls, but the drywall itself is not put up.
This is a time when many subcontractors may be in and out, though some larger contractors keep electricians and plumbers on staff. Communicate with your contractor to find out who will be on the premises, and whether they will be subcontractors or employees. Stay informed throughout the process to ensure that you’re comfortable with the way the remodel is proceeding.
The mechanical phase of construction makes up about 25% of the total construction time, so by the time this phase is over, the work is nearing completion.
The finishing process is typically about 20% of the total project. During this time, drywall is put up, outlets are installed on the walls, baseboards are installed, the walls are painted, stone veneer or tile is installed, and the room or rooms take on their final appearance.
Emissions from the various paint products will affect the indoor air quality in your building for a while. You can reduce the emissions by working with your contractor to select low VOC products, and by running your HVAC system continuously throughout the finishing process.
When all is said and done, your contractor should walk through the remodeled space with you to ensure that everything has been done correctly.
Many things can cause delays during a commercial construction project. Perhaps the most common reasons that projects are delayed have to do with ordering supplies and materials.
Some materials, particularly complex products like elevators or specialized windows, can take a long time to produce and deliver. If the contractor fails to order these items far enough in advance, the construction project may be delayed while the materials are being delivered.
It’s important to work with your contractor throughout the planning stages so that your contractor knows what to order and when. Deciding too soon before construction begins to change the plan could result in delays.
It’s time to worry when communication between you and your contractor has broken down. If you can’t get answers to your questions or promises to deliver from your contractor, this is often a sign that something is going wrong. Hiring a respected contractor can help you avoid these problems.
Project closeout is the final phase. This phase takes up approximately 10% of the total project. During this phase, the contractor puts finishing touches on the walls, corrects problems from the punch list, and cleans up debris. The final walkthrough takes place near the end of the project closeout phase. A good contractor will work hard to resolve issues that are raised during the final walkthrough.