“We just want to convert a storage closet into a small break area and move a few walls. “
“How much do you think it will cost for our remodel?”
Clients call me with questions like these who are considering the remodel or relocation of their Gilbert business. After the prospective landlord offers a tenant improvement allowance, I’ll get a call asking me to confirm if the offered will be sufficient to cover any costs incurred during the commercial remodel, hoping they will not have to come out of pocket to pay for the construction and design work.
Yes the question is simple, but the answer is never easy and usually followed by a series of disclaimers, taking away all value to the answer.
When lease negotiations start to move quickly, the prospective tenant can understandably become very frustrated when they are asked to execute a contract before fully evaluating their financial commitments. And when the cost of the tenant improvement cannot be established upfront, it makes the decision more difficult to accept any lease offer.
Many Gilbert businesses these days are choosing to make a few minor revisions to their existing office space instead of building a new office building or even undertaking a tenant improvement. Whether dividing up office space to sub-lease a portion of it, or making changes that improve productivity, or attract customers, companies are searching for ways to increase revenue with minimal expense.
Despite the fact that your tenant improvement design may appear to be the same as your last one, in truth it has never been built before. Many of the workers that have been hired for your project may not have ever worked together in the past. These new workers may require training in order to address the special conditions of your unique space and be required to interpret a design they have never seen before. It is this diverse combination of workers as well as the unique conditions of your project that drives the fluctuating, unpredictability in labor cost.
Moving walls for tenant improvements is not as straightforward as most people think.
Actually, walls are not moved at all.
Many subcontractors (trades) are needed to relocate even one wall, so a General Contractor (GC) must be hired to coordinate the necessary sequence of events amongst the various trades. The GC will hire framing, drywall, HVAC, electrical, cabling, flooring, and demolition trades, and charge a management fee about 10 – 30% above and beyond the total trade’s fees. A minimum amount is charged to make it worth their effort, so small tenant improvement projects in Gilbert can cost more per square foot than large projects.
So back to the all important question, “How much will it cost?”
Generally, the Design/Build approach works like this:
Doug Rusk is the principal at DESIGNLine Architects, LLC located in Gilbert, Arizona. We specialize in residential and commercial remodeling for small and medium sized businesses with expertise in space planning and interior design consulting. We’ll provide your General Contractor a thorough preliminary design packages that will enable an early construction cost estimate to confirm your budget quickly.Doug Rusk, Architect DesignLine Architects, LLC Gilbert, Arizona 480-710-3861 www.designlinearchitects.com