Office Renovations and Remodeling Contractors

By Ken Thomson

Office renovation projects are often challenging to a construction manager in that they typically entail issues that transcend the design and build process. Businesses make office renovations for a number of different reasons, and the contractor must thoroughly understand the particular reasons behind a project if he hopes to succeed. The business may or may not be the building owner, and the business may be an existing occupant adjusting its space or a new occupant transforming the office into what it requires to operate. The construction manager needs to grasp these nuances at project commencement.

hair club renovation.jpgOffice renovations involve modifications to the interior of a building while keeping its shell the same. The changes can be minor or grand in scope. Sometimes the occupant merely wishes to bring the building up to code and/or conform to upgraded standards. In other instances he desires to alter its space to better match changing operational needs. And when the business formerly occupying the space has relocated to another office building, the modifications are undertaken to accommodate the replacement occupant.

If the business is renting its office space, the renovations become a form of tenant improvements. In such situations, the contractor may be dealing primarily with the building owner or with the tenant, depending on the nature of their agreement. One or the other will be his client, and that person will often assume the entire risk, but not always. Budget and schedule are usually critical for these projects and the most appropriate role for the contractor is as a design builder. It is always important for the contractor to keep in close communication with both parties.

When the business is staying put, project scope influences the contractual relationship. If the renovations are essentially cosmetic and architectural input is minimal, hiring the builder as a general contractor makes the most sense. In this relationship, the project owner retains the risk and has to pay the builder additional fees when design changes occur.

Larger scale office renovations are a different story. Here, the business needs to take the time to plan, considering several alternatives and weighing their costs and benefits of each. It should project out for five to ten years how its needs may continue to evolve and attempt to accommodate all of those needs with one set of modifications if possible. Ideally, it will get the employees involved in the brainstorming in that they are the ones who will really be using the space.

hair salon.jpgInvolving the builder at these preliminary phases is often beneficial, for he can offer insights into constructability of proposed ideas and estimate their costs and schedules. In this role, the builder is practicing construction management and is prepared to assume the risk of changes because much of the detail work has been accomplished ahead of time. This enables him to set the cost of the renovations much more accurately and it also has the benefit of delivering the project on a fast-track basis.

An important consideration of office renovation projects is whether or not business operations are to continue more or less undisturbed during construction. When office workers are present, the builder has to implement additional safety precautions and insurance coverage. Various arrangements are possible, from moving the office temporarily, to performing the renovations after working hours. In any case, odors, noise and dust are apt to be an issue.

Facility Builders & Erectors has a long history of performing office renovation projects that meet and exceed our customers' expectations. We forge close relationships with them to make sure we fully understand their needs and desires. We are ready to act as design builder for your office renovation today.