Office renovation? Things you need to consider

By Ian Pearson

Whether the current office space is starting to feel a bit cramped, or you just feel like it can be better optimized, prior to starting the process of renovation, it is essential to have the entire plan in front of you. Smart planning is bound to contribute to carrying out a high quality and cost efficient project, thus enabling you to list all possible issues. So let’s get started:

Step 1: Define the goals and set the budget

First, lay out all factors that have motivated you to consider remodeling the office in the first place: is it the installation of new technology, update of infrastructure system, function changes, poor aesthetics? Whatever the reasons may be, don’t let them get lost in the process.

Next, it is essential to define the budget you are willing to set aside – will it include all available funds or is there a sum set aside for contingencies? Also, will there be any issues preventing you from continuing with your work normally during the renovations, or will you have to keep some money on the side for a rent of a temporary office? Do you have free storage space to keep the furniture or will you be in need of cheap storage solutions for the duration of remodeling?

Are there any outside entities who will be included in the process?

After you answer all questions above, you will get a clear picture of your needs and whether the budget will be able to support them.

Step 2: Hire a team of professionals for the job

It is of utmost importance to put together an effective team, a cohesive and hard working group as early as possible in order to develop a sense of ownership of the project.

You will need a professional architect or an interior designer who will advise you every step of the way. Solicit proposals and conduct interviews to find qualified people who you feel share your vision of the project. Also, it is advisable to hire a general contractor from the start, and not wait until after the documents are completed. Involving them early will maximize cost-efficiency and make sure that test-fit budgeting is done accurately. General contractor can also perform value engineering and validate the constructability prior to the finalization of the design, or the beginning of the construction.

Moreover, every remodeling project requires services from a facility executive who needs to establish a good relationship with the rest of the team and be in contact with them from the beginning until the end. This person will be informed of all plans, milestones and possible challenges. For very small businesses, this person will most likely be you, the owner. But for small to medium-sized businesses that have more management levels, you may want to delegate this role to someone else so you can concentrate on all the other duties that come with keeping your business up and running.

Step 3: Prevent issues from occurring in the first place

This you will be able to do only if you do your homework, which means researching the buildingIan that is being refurbished. Be sure to check the age and operating condition of all electrical and mechanical systems, the quality of utilities and historic elements.

This way your will not be unpleasantly surprised with toxic mold, asbestos, lead or anything else that might bring project to an end before it was initially planned, or cost you a (not so few) extra bucks. Consider getting in touch with a local building inspector and ask to have all seismic, ADA, and zoning requirements inspected. Moreover, if you plan on involving environmental or committee agency, make sure to include them early on so that all your team members could get to know each other – only this way will you build a cohesive team.

Step 4: Be realistic when setting the schedule

After carefully evaluating all issues, you should be able to set the deadline for the project completion more accurately. Start with the date you need or wish to have the office space ready and work backwards. The goal it to set aside enough time for each phase without sacrificing the quality or going over the planned budget. Make sure you include possible delays (it’s always better to finish early than late, right?).

Final tip: ensure you have a contingency budget

No matter how well planned the remodeling project is or how professional and cohesive the team you have assembled is, the unexpected is bound to happen. To cope with these unforeseen challenges, you will need to set aside some funds to handle any arising issues and still stay in the lines of the formal budget that has been initially defined. This contingency budget will leave you some room to breathe.

Following the above-listed steps and taking a proactive approach will keep you alert every step of the way and result in a satisfying renovation.

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Author bio: Aside from primary area of interest and expertise in business consulting, Ian Pearson could be tagged also as a passionate sports fan, nature and photography enthusiast, always trying to keep up to date with tech innovations and development.

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