Dos and Don’ts of Commercial Renovations

If it’s your first time going through a commercial renovation, or even if it’s your 100th, there are certain things that you definitely want to do. But conversely, there are also several important things you’re going to want to avoid.

Commercial renovations can be stressful and are filled with potential pitfalls. But there are ways you can minimize the negative and maximize the positive when going through this type of project.

How? We’re glad you asked!

Let’s look at a few things you should do and a few others you should avoid when taking on a commercial renovation project.

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DO determine a budget ahead of time

Commercial renovation projects have a way of getting away from you if you don’t have a predetermined budget established before getting to work.

Prior to contractors showing up and starting to renovate your space, be sure to have a budget in writing and then stick to it. You should also have a financial expert look it over to be sure you’re being reasonable and have established something you can easily stick to.

Now you will want to have a small amount of cash set aside for anything unexpected that comes along. But by and large, you’ll want to have your budget in place ahead of time and religiously stick to those plans.

DON’T be in a hurry

Renovation projects take time, so be sure to allow for this and don’t rush the job. Doing so is going to cause headaches in the short-term, as well as potentially inferior work in the long-term.

Patience is key here. You and your contractor have determined what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by. Stick to the schedule and prepare yourself for delays that could occur due to unforeseen circumstances.

Just as a carpenter measures twice and cuts once to assure the job is done right, so too must you show a certain amount of patience when going through a commercial renovation project.

DO have a signed contract before work begins

Before your contractor so much as picks up a hammer, be sure to have a written contract that spells out all of the important elements of the project. This includes cost, a timeline and exactly what will be done.

Before signing the contract, it’s a good idea to have a lawyer look it over to make sure everything is on the up and up.

If there’s anything you don’t agree with, talk it over with the contractor and make changes as necessary before work begins.

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DON’T ignore the job site while work is ongoing

Even if you’re extremely comfortable with your contractor, you need to check in from time to time and get updates on the work that’s being done. Sometimes, that might even include showing up to the job site unannounced and looking things over.

Hopefully the work is being done to your satisfaction. But if it’s not, you want to know sooner rather than later so any needed changes can be made.

And also be sure to communicate with your contractor regularly. Communication is key to completing the commercial renovation project in the manner you envisioned.

DO think about the long term

When you’re renovating your commercial space, it’s a good idea to think about things with a long-term perspective. Resist the urge to make temporary changes that will just need to be addressed again in a few months or years.

Instead of putting Band-Aids on any potential problems, consider a more substantial renovation now. Otherwise, you could be looking at several smaller renovations that will just create a greater disruption to your business.

If you’re going to be doing a renovation project anyway, get it all done at one time. It may lead to a greater disruption in the short-term, but you’ll be able to get everything done at once and not have to worry about additional renovations for several years.

DON’T have the work done during business hours

Now we realize this may not be possible 100 percent of the time. But don’t let your renovation project cause more of a disruption in your business than it needs to.

Allow your contractor access to the space in the evenings and over the weekends, or whatever time business isn’t being conducted on-site.

A substantial commercial renovation project is going to cause at least some disruption in your business. But do whatever you can to minimize these disruptions. 

A good way of doing this is by allowing contractors to work on-site during off hours.

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