5 tips for planning a successful office renovation
Have you heard of the adage that says, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail?” The same principle goes for your office renovation. Taking time to plan ahead will help you manage the various tasks required to remodel or expand your office space. It will help you tackle challenges before they raise their ugly heads. These five tips will help you handle your office renovation project successfully.
List out your goals
These questions will help you identify and prioritize the goals for your office renovation project.
- Why do you want to renovate your office? You may want to renovate your office to add new office infrastructure or technology. Perhaps you want to improve the aesthetics or make the space more suitable for a new function. List all your reasons and prioritize them accordingly.
- Are there any hindrances to the renovation schedule? You should determine if the renovation job will disrupt your daily business. In that case, you may need a temporary space or carry out the renovation in phases.
- What is our budget? Determine cost and your ability to bankroll the renovation project. If you do not have the money, how do you plan to cover the renovation expenses? Perhaps you need to take a loan.
- What are the third parties you may be dealing with? Think about the municipal authorities, do you need a permit for the renovation? Courtesy demands that you inform your co-tenants or neighbors.
- What are your expectations for the renovation? Renovation can be cost-intensive, depending on your choice of materials. Do you think you have the budget to achieve the quality delivery you expect?
Create an Ad-Hoc Team for the Project
Having a project team goes a long way in removing the hassles from your renovation project. Create the team on time, and let them know they will be working together. This will make it easy for the various teams to communicate seamlessly and reduce conflict when the work is in progress.
Get your interior design team together if you do not have one already. The interior design is one of the most critical services you need for your renovation project. You may have to get proposals and conduct interviews to streamline your prospects.
The general contractor is another vital role you should add to your team. It is essential to have a qualified and reliable general contractor right from the project conception. The service of the general contractor will also be useful during the design and bidding for various aspects of the job. The contractor will help you maximize cost-efficiency by ensuring accurate test0fit budgeting. They can also help you ascertain the practicality of design concepts and do value engineering before finalizing the design and mobilizing to the renovation teams site.
Another vital issue you should consider while hiring the designer and the general contractor is cognate experience. Forget sentiments and use the service of the firm that has previous experience in handling your type of renovation. While interviewing the prospects, delve into specifics about budget, schedules and previous projects. Make sure you crosscheck with references to be double sure.
Do not forget to include your representative or “facility executive” as a part of the renovation team. This person will be your eyes, ears, and mouthpiece during the entire project. The facility executive should coordinate with the team members to present updates regarding the work in progress to the project owner(s). This person should have the ability to take vital decisions, resolve challenges as they arise, and ensure all team members execute their job at the appropriate schedules.
Do Your Fact-Finding
It is essential to carry out some fact-finding regarding the building in question to prevent challenges that can delay or halt the work altogether. This procedure may cost additional time and money, but this amount will be insignificant compared to the cost of dealing with unforeseen challenges that may arise. The cost for the fact-finding should be added to the project and conducted without delay.
The fact-finding should include evaluation of existing utilities such as:
- The present state and working condition of the entire electrical and mechanical systems
- The state of the building and its capacity to handle the renovation.
- The working condition of all existing utilities.
- Appraisal of past site evaluation (if any).
- Relevant property antecedence.
If the fact-finding is not carried out judiciously, unforeseen challenges can be discovered during construction, which may demand a costly redesign or halt the renovation altogether.
It is wise to involve the local building inspector right from the project onset. Find out about guidelines for fire, seismic, zoning, and ADA requirements to ensure your building meets all current requirements by municipal authorities. The building inspector can provide all the vital information you need, acting more or less like the consultant for the project.
In a scenario where there I a need for the historic review committee or environmental agency to oversee the project in some capacity, make sure you involve them on time. It is better to get acquainted with all agencies involved in some capacity before commencing the renovation. This approach will allow the work to progress seamlessly.
Set a Practical Project Timeline
There is a common misconception that renovation work should have a fast turnaround because it means working on an existing structure. However, that is not always true, it is essential to set a realistic timeline for various milestones and the entire project.
Check all the issues that affect the timing and determine a timeline that is practical. For instance, consider issues such as tenant disruptions and material lead time, among others. The best approach is to start from the date the job must be completed and allocate adequate time for each phase of the project.
It is crucial to create a schedule that allows the renovation work to progress seamlessly without over hooting your budget or degrading the quality. One of the crucial factors that impact renovation budgets is unforeseen poor condition of a structure. But if the fact-finding is done correctly, there will be no unpleasant surprises. Resolve all challenges promptly as they arise to avert problems that can affect compromise your schedules.
Have a Contingency Budget in place.
It is not uncommon to encounter unforeseen challenges even after careful planning. That is why you should have a budget for contingencies, so you don’t get caught off guard. This budget for contingency should be set to approximately 10% of the entire project budget and integrated into the main budget. That way, you can handle challenges as they arise without overshooting your budget.
If you take your time to plan proactively, you will be able to avoid problems during the actual renovation project. Although the planning places a demand on time and efforts on your part, it increases the chance of having a high-quality ad cost-efficient renovation. The end result is worth all the time and effort you put into the planning.
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