Commercial Build Outs Often Begin With a Leasehold Negotiation.

Commercial build outs finish a raw space and “build it out.” This process begins with negotiating a tenant improvement allowance that makes provision for building out or retrofitting a commercial office space. Building size and square-footage typically set the boundaries. In each case, a contractor will asses a tenant’s specific needs.

Commercial build outs involve the following:

  1. What Improvements to perform.
  2. The cost of the improvements.
  3. Who pays for the improvements.
  4. Who performs the improvements.
  5. When they’ll finish the work.
  6. What the tenant may remove
  7. What the tenant may change.

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commercial build outs

The space you lease should be current with all building codes.

As a new tenant, your first expectation is that the commercial space is consistent with all applicable building codes. You will need to take inventory and assess the structural integrity of key components like HVAC systems, plumbing and electrical. If these essential building elements are not up to snuff, make sure that you make this known. It allows you to better stipulate terms in your lease-hold agreement. In other cases, your space may simply need a new coat of paint and carpeting. This could make room for you to negotiate a lower rent.

Commercial build outs renovate or install the following MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) systems in addition to other features including:

  • Heating
  • Ventilation
  • Air conditioning
  • Electrical
  • Light fixtures
  • Plumbing
  • Walls
  • Floors
  • Carpeting
  • Ceilings
  • Paint and finish
  • Disability access

commercial build outs

Don’t sign anything before you gather commercial build out estimates.

You’ll want design and construction estimates upfront. Knowledge is power and the more you know about a given space allows you to make more educated decisions and increase your bargaining power. This leads to the importance of picking the right general contractor and designer. You’ll want to discuss your needs upfront with a contractor who understands your business goals. You’ll also want to asses your team’s capability to deliver when it comes to  time constraints, budget and overall goals. Selecting  your advisers based on their familiarity with the property or properties like it can aid your consideration.

Be reasonable with your expectations – set S.M.A.R.T goals for design and construction.

You’ll want to set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely goals around your commercial office build out. This holds everyone accountable to their end of a specific task, while also providing for greater transparency. It may seem like an added step, but it will ultimately improve your experience and result in greater overall satisfaction.

In many cases, depending on the work load of the contractor you choose, they will set your expectations. Developing architectural plans, MEP plans and going through the entire regulation and approval process can change the timeline of your project. Frequently, these variables are out of both your’s and your GC’s control.

commercial build outs

How much time should you allow for the process of planning, designing and finishing an office build out?

There is no rule-of-thumb on this one. Everything will depend on your space, your needs and the nature of your improvements or build out. For smaller to mid-sized build outs you may want to allow at least several months for the design process and several more for the actual build out. Larger spaces will obviously have different considerations, so adjust your expectations accordingly. Overall, you’ll want to think critically and understand what your goals are in the beginning.  Deliberating on your floor plan, getting an early start, and getting the right people involved from the beginning makes a considerable difference in your overall satisfaction and the quality of your build out.

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Connect with us today. If you’re considering using a tenant improvement allowance to remodel your dental office, medical office, warehouse, retail or any other commercial office space let us know. At the very least we can lend you some extra information and educate you further regarding your options. We are proud Northern Nevada community partners and we’re here to help!

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