When considering office renovation, people tend to forget the most important aspect of any large-scale venture like this one—pacing. Laying out a well-thought-out plan is beneficial both in the short-term as well as the long-term, making it easier for everyone involved while also providing a clear idea of the end-result. This plan will set guidelines in place and help the transition be as smooth as possible while providing contingencies should anything go amiss.
Set your goals early
As with any project, setting clear goals is crucial to the success of any undertaking, big or small. Consider which factors set off the need for renovation, from new tenants or installing new light fixtures to updating the infrastructure, each of these will have a widely diverse time frames, costs, regulatory hurdles and manpower required. Without a clear goal, the entire project has much greater chances of running into unforeseen delays which have the potential to make a much bigger dent in the project’s budget than the time it would have taken to chart a course before setting off.
Assemble a good team
However obvious, having a well-assembled and capable team is paramount to the success of any project. Establishing a qualified workforce early on creates a strong and professional group who can complement each other’s strengths while taking some semblance of ownership of the project—making it their own. This sense of ownership will bolster the guidelines previously set, further pushing the people involved to avoid shortcuts and fully commit to the task at hand, working towards something they can all be proud of.
When assembling a good team, it is often a good idea to first look for an experienced general contractor. A contractor, experienced in the type of renovation that the project entails, will provide immeasurable insight into the inner-workings of such projects as well as maximize cost efficiency. Contractors can also have connections to architectural and interior design teams, vouching for the quality of their work from previous endeavors. Working hand in hand, these people can help you reach out to an often overlooked piece of the puzzle – the local building inspector.
The local building inspector, while not exactly a member of the team, is someone of high value and a crucial factor in the project. Informing him of your intentions early on, as well as requesting to see if the building meets the zoning, fire, seismic, and ADA requirements will put you on good terms. He will point out any major concerns early on, and when these concerns are met, will help push the project along in accordance with the building regulations of the state.
Do your research
When the plan has been set and the team has been assembled, consider planning a meeting. Employee input will provide a different perspective and will sometimes dish out great ideas relative to their respective station. From obtaining FEED certification for resource efficiency to super cheap storage solutions for cleaning out the building while work gets underway, giving everyone a chance to share their input will solidify the previously mentioned bond to the project and make them feel as a unit rather than a group.
Expand your budget
When all of their concerns and ideas have been noted, round up your budget. However good your plan and staff are, problems can and will arise, this is why it is wise to add another 10% to your estimated costs. This extra legwork and funneling more money into a project may seem unreasonable, but this small percentage of the total cost will provide breathing room and cover any extra expenses while not going over your formal budget. This will act as a proverbial “safety net” and will ultimately save money in the long run.
Step by step
Renovation has been, and always will be, a challenge. However straightforward it may seem, the blessings of working over a previously constructed project can also be a curse. Thankfully, with careful planning, the right people, and a little legwork, a vast majority of pitfalls can be avoided; all we have to do is remember to take it one step at a time.
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions
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