“We just want to tear down a few walls and convert a storage area to a small break room. That can’t cost a lot, right?”
Clients asked questions like these in the early phases of a tenant improvement. The client has many questions during early phases of an office relocation, and they normally would prefer to pin down the cost question quickly, so they can make a decision whether to move forward.
Many companies these days are choosing to make a few minor revisions to their office space instead of building new a office building or undertaking a tenant improvement. Whether dividing up office space to sub-lease a portion of it, or making changes that improve productivity, or attracting customers, businesses are focused on ways to increase revenue with minimal expense.
Moving walls for a tenant improvement is not as easy as you would think. Actually, we don’t really move walls. Existing walls are demolished, and new walls are built from scratch in new locations. Also, changing wall locations requires relocating HVAC vents, light fixtures, sprinkler heads, electrical wiring and outlets, telephone and data cabling, and sometimes moldings or wainscoting. Where existing walls are demolished, entire new areas of flooring and ceiling material are usually needed, because simply bandaging the wounds left by demolished walls would be unsightly. This means recarpeting an entire room or an entire office suite, so the carpet matches throughout.
Many construction trades are needed to relocate even one wall, so a General Contractor 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 subcontractors, and charge about 20% above and beyond the total subcontractors’ fees. A minimum amount is charged to make it worth the effort, so small tenant improvement projects cost more per square foot than large projects.
DESIGNline ARCHITECTS offers an alternative Design/Build approach for tenant improvements that will pin down the cost question quickly, so you can make the decision to move forward. We’ve developed a three-step approach:
- Identify your budget and design goals, and offer a low cost conceptual design package. Once you approve the conceptual design and scope of work, we will work with your general contractor to confirm the approved design is on budget, with a construction cost estimate to within a +/- 20% range of variability.
- Once the conceptual design and budget align, we will finish your final design phase. Then when the construction documents are 75% complete, we will again work with the contractor to refine the construction cost estimate to within +/-10% range.
- And when the final project is bid to the subcontractors, the costs are locked in, assuming no design changes.
To set up an appointment contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. DESIGNline ARCHITECTS will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects. We will also help you to make decisions that will enhance your business by guiding you through the entire commercial remodeling process from concept to completion. We will ensure your tenant improvement will look more attractive and welcoming, while also increasing efficiency and comfort for your employees.