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May 1, 2024

The Dos and Don'ts of Commercial Remodels

Commercial remodeling projects are a significant undertaking - regardless if it is your first project or if you’re experienced in renovating buildings, the amount of careful planning along with the extensive coordination, budgeting, and legal responsibilities can quickly become overwhelming. The outcome of such a project is incredibly rewarding, both in the satisfaction of employees and customers that use the building but also the increase in value that the property receives, but if done incorrectly and without proper guidance, it’s easy to make mistakes that could lead to depreciating value or even financial and practical project failure. 

In the following guide, the commercial building experts at Mighty Hand Construction will lay out the major Dos and Don’ts of commercial building remodels, so that you can ensure your property renovation stays on track and has the best possible chance for success. 

Why Remodel a Commercial Building? 

Remodeling a commercial building has several advantages for your business, such as: 

  • Enhanced functionality that allows the space to be tailored to your needs and that of employees and customers.
  • Improved aesthetics that create an enjoyable experience, increased value, and a more positive environment.
  • Increased energy efficiency and sustainability. 
  • Compliance with legal requirements like accessibility features and safety infrastructure. 
  • Rejuvenated brand image. 

By investing in a remodeling project for your commercial property, you can create a building that better aligns with your vision. By investing in a building that brings you closer to your vision, your business has a better chance of creative and operational success. 

Dos of Remodeling a Commercial Building

Before beginning your commercial remodeling project, keep in mind that there are certain things you should always do, regardless of the size of the project or industry that your business is in. Be sure to do the following in order to make the most informed decisions and have the best chance of a successful transformation of your property. 

Conduct Research and Set Goals

All commercial remodeling projects require careful research and planning before getting started. Even if the project initially feels simple, small in scale, or straightforward, you should be considering the current condition of the building, what exactly will be required to get the project through the finish line, who will need to be involved, and what legal responsibilities and regulatory requirements will need to be met. 

On the other hand, you should be solidifying what your goals for the project are, both from an aesthetic and utility perspective. Is your goal to increase value? Or is it to increase its operational capabilities? When would you like the project to be completed, and what are your priorities in the overall workflow? 

By creating concrete goals and objectives, backed by thorough research and planning, the chances of a successful project are greatly increased. 

Understand Budgeting and Timeline 

With the help of your chosen commercially licensed General Contractor, you need to establish budgeting goals along with an expected timeline for completion. Costs associated with remodeling projects, such as materials, labor, permits, and more should be carefully calculated. Depending on the size of your institution, this can be done internally or with the help of a contractor. 

Any professional General Contractor should be able to stick to the plan when it is initially conceived in collaboration with your trusted Contracting Partner when it comes to finances and time. However, there can still be some instances that cannot be foreseen or avoided. It’s important to build readiness for unavoidable budget and timeline fluctuations in your budgeting and timeline planning. The timeline should include an outline of each phase of the remodel, from initial planning and design to construction and final inspections. 

Consider Sustainability and the Environment

When planning your remodeling project, it is well worth considering using more sustainable materials and building practices. If sustainability and environmental consciousness are something you’re keen to have as a part of your remodel, be sure to specify that you want materials that are durable, reusable, recyclable, and renewable, along with remodeled features that help increase efficiency and sustainability. For example, investing in electric vehicle charging stations or more efficient energy features are great ways to encourage sustainability with your remodel and may even be required in some jurisdictions. A trusted General Contractor, engaged early in the planning process, should be able to help you analyze the benefits of specific energy upgrades to your space as well as understand any required upgrades.

Choose the Right Builder for the Job 

It may seem obvious, but one of the most important decisions you can make for a commercial remodel is the partners you choose to work with. Consider choosing a professional, commercially licensed General Contractor with a good reputation, personal experience, and a commitment to quality and ethical workmanship. It is likely that your contractor utilizes subcontractors, so you should be sure to understand how their values and accountability extend to their work as well. Remember, choosing the cheapest number is not always the best decision for the project. We recommend spending time with the contractors you are considering to see how well you can work together as a team and how well they can understand the needs of your specific project.

Don’ts of Remodeling a Commercial Building 

There are also several things you should not do during a commercial remodeling project, including: 

Overlook Legal and Regulatory Responsibilities

Legal and regulatory requirements can be what makes or breaks a commercial remodel. While the cost and time savings of overlooking legal and regulatory responsibilities may be enticing, it is never worth it. Not only can overlooking these responsibilities lead to higher costs in the form of fees and fines, but it can also lead to health and safety risks for employees and customers for which you will be liable. Even requirements as small as securing a building permit and verifying your contractor is licensed for your chosen project should be done with the highest possible attention to detail and promptness. 

Forget Post-Construction Details

Once the remodeling project has been completed, there are further steps that are required such as final inspections. This is a responsibility from a legal standpoint, but it is also important to make sure that you are content with the final result. Be sure to coordinate this with your Contractor along with key stakeholders of the business and project.

Cut Corners on Safety 

Similarly to your legal and regulatory responsibilities, safety should be one of the most important factors of your remodeling project. Cutting corners on safety, such as skimping on employee provisions and safety infrastructure during the construction project, will inevitably lead to health and safety risks and ultimately legal liability that increases the potential costs of a project exponentially. Between rising costs and unexpected emergencies, safety should be a cornerstone of any remodel. 

Compromise on Quality

A common thread for these Don’ts is an attempt to cut costs on the project. Compromising on the quality of the materials used in the project is a frequent mistake owners and managers make. They believe that certain materials may not be seen in the final project and therefore will not make a difference in performance. However, the short-term cost savings are always outweighed by the substandard results that tend to lead to less durability and longevity. Be sure, therefore, to invest in quality materials, and don’t always choose the contractor that comes forward with the lowest bid - consider their proposal carefully and choose contractors with a proven track record of high-quality projects. Partnering with a professional General Contractor early is a far more cost-effective option to find ways to lower the overall project budget as they will be able to offer solutions that are specific to your project and needs.

Disregard Ethics 

The X factor in many projects is not something easily seen on paper: ethics. Variables such as costs and timeline are perhaps more accurately tracked with proper measurements, but ethics are a variable that makes a bigger impact on the final product than most people realize. Working with a builder with high ethical standards will provide more peace of mind that you will be getting the project you’re paying for, even if there are times when the work is harder and requires more effort on behalf of the builder. Ethics lead to quality and higher value as well as a more enjoyable project experience, so never disregard ethics when beginning a commercial remodeling project. 

Choose the Fort Collins Expert Builders

It cannot be emphasized enough that the majority of downfalls and the most exciting successes can be attributed to the builder who works on a commercial remodeling project. One of the most important decisions you’ll make, therefore, is choosing a reputable contractor dedicated to your project’s success. If you’re in Northern Colorado and have a commercial remodeling project on your business’s horizon, don’t hesitate to contact Mighty Hand Construction and learn why our clients love working with us.

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