Surviving an Office Renovation: What You Need to Do

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Because of the rapidly expanding and evolving business world, companies must learn how to determine when it is time to renovate their office building. Whether it’s because of structural reasons or the threat of the pandemic, it’s time for offices to start looking into the possibility of renovating and redesigning the office space. It is not easy, of course. There are several things and factors to consider, including budget, practicality, and impact on the current operations of the business.

What Should You Renovate?

One of the most important things to check before deciding what to renovate is the structural integrity of your building, including the electrical wires and plumbing system. It’s possible that you might need specialty piping for the plumbing works, so that’s a consideration that may change your renovation plans. It is more important to shell out money on structural renovation—strengthening the foundation of the building and its various components—rather than pour money into the office’s aesthetics.

If you are sure that the building is structurally sound, then that’s a sign that you’re ready to move on to the next phase of the renovation—the design and layout of the office. Without the need to reinforce the building’s durability, you have the budget for the aesthetic renovation. That’s the part that gets building occupants more excited.


Should You Stay or Go?

If you are a tenant, ask yourself if you’re spending more on the renovation compared to looking for a new space to rent. If you want to stay, another thing you have to consider is whether to rent a temporary office or not. Of course, renting another office until the renovations are done means extra expenses. Are you sure you can cover for that? How long will it take for the contractor to finish the renovations?

Another option is to create micro spaces in the office where you can still work despite the construction. A skeleton workforce will need to come in on specific days and times. Employees who are not needed in the office can simply work from home, from a coffee shop, or from a coworking space. Either way, you’re going to spend extra on relocating employees and equipment.

What Should You Improve On?

It’s hard to make a shortlist of all the things you want to improve in the office. Sometimes, you want to change everything. Other times, you are so focused on the cost that minor improvements are all that you see. Both are a waste of money. If you change everything, you might as well just move to another location and not renovate anything. If you don’t make drastic changes, why are you renovating in the first place?

Make sure the reason for the renovation is very clear. It’s either you need to improve the structural integrity of the building or you need a completely new look for the office. What are the things that your employees have been suggesting for the past couple of years? Maybe this is the perfect time to give in to these requests. Remember that a great-designed office has space for everything—storage, collaborative spaces, breakout rooms, etc.

How Much Should You Earmark for the Renovation?

Budget considerations are always a big problem when renovating an office. No business owner wants to spend money these days. But at the same time, the competition in all industries has been so tough that one can’t help but think every new improvement will help the revenues. Aside from the total budget the contractor estimated, you need a contingency budget of at least 10%. This will keep things afloat if ever the contractor exceeds the estimated project cost.

You might need to change plans in the middle of the construction process. This will cost money, too. So as not to go beyond the budget, make sure to work only with reputable and professional contractors. When they give you an estimate, they will take into account all issues to give you an accurate picture of the renovation project. They’ll also give you a breakdown of the costliest building materials, so you can make proper decisions on where to scrimp and where to splurge.

Every job is different and has its own unique challenges and circumstances. Don’t try to think that there’s a one-size-fits-all solution to your renovation dilemma. Some renovation projects take a lot of time. Some are easier to complete. But the important thing as a building owner is to be aware of the design, process, and challenges that the project might face. Of course, making sure the contractor is executing the plan well is also critical.

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