Remodeling? 5 Steps to Reconstructing Your Commercial Space

There are plenty of reasons to remodel a commercial building. You may want to update the building's interior, repair or replace the roof, add a bathroom or kitchen, or make the building compliant with accessibility laws. If you plan to use a building for something other than its original purpose, you will likely need to make some changes to the interior.

No matter the reason for renovations, the commercial construction process can seem overwhelming, especially if it is your first time tackling such a large project. Use this office renovation checklist to ensure the project goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Initiate Your Project

Before you can begin the remodeling process, you need to define your goals for the renovation. During this stage, decide what changes you want to make based on the budget and intended use for the building. This may include making a list of features the building should have and gathering commercial building remodeling ideas.

Once you know what you hope to accomplish, consider any preliminary issues that must be resolved before you can move forward with the project. Start by checking the building's certificate of occupancy. This document will tell you what you are allowed to use the space for. If you want to remodel the building to house a different type of business — such as a restaurant instead of a retail store — you will need to change the certificate, which can take time.

You should also check local zoning laws and make sure your commercial building does not have any unresolved property violations. Reviewing commercial building renovation rules early on helps prevent unpleasant surprises down the road.

2. Develop Your Design

Once you have checked to make sure the remodeling project is feasible, you can contract an architect, engineer or designer. With your guidance and input, these professionals will prepare design documents and cost estimates for the remodel. At this time, you will need to finalize the plan and budget for the project. Make sure to include a contingency budget in case any unexpected problems arise.

When the designs are complete, you can begin getting quotes from contractors. Different companies may offer different prices depending on the products and materials they plan to use, so it is a good idea to consult several options before making a decision.

3. Obtain Permits

There are certain commercial building renovation rules you must follow when making changes to a building. Before any physical work begins, you need to obtain all necessary permits. If you hire a contractor, they will usually obtain the permits for you. You can also obtain the permits through your local government.

Depending on the scale of the remodel, the location and the specific type of building, there may be other steps you need to complete before construction begins. For example, the local government may require you to conduct an environmental impact study or a hazardous materials survey. Keep in mind that these legal processes take time.

4. Complete Construction

Once you have obtained permits and finalized the renovation plans, you can begin construction. Unless you plan to complete the work yourself, you will not have much involvement at this stage. You may choose to check up on the contractor throughout the process to ensure the project is progressing on schedule and the results meet your expectations.

Architects and engineers will also stay involved at this stage, guiding the project and issuing change orders as necessary.

5. Conduct Inspections

While you conduct informal inspections of the finished or partly finished remodel, code officials conduct their own formal inspections to make sure the work meets code requirements. Your contractor is responsible for building to code. If an inspector finds an issue after the building is complete, you may be liable. As a result, you should make sure that your contractor fixes any issues promptly.

You can expect to receive a new certificate of occupancy after the building passes its inspection. Then, you are free to begin operating your business inside the remodeled building.

Make Your Commercial Building Remodel a Success

A commercial building remodel can prove rewarding, especially if you plan carefully and follow all applicable rules and regulations. The success of your remodel will also depend on the design elements you choose. At DoorStop, we offer short lead times on interior doors in a variety of styles. To learn more about our selection, contact us today.

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