Commercial Refurbishments: 4 Steps to Ensure Success


WHEN IT COMES to Commercial property refurbishments, it pays to take a close look at the existing building and give the clients more than they are expecting: more insight, more information and better value.

This article covers the first two (of four) key steps, which will make sure that your refurbishment goes smoothly.

1. Use the Correct Construction Method

Understanding what you are trying to do and what purpose it will serve in the overall scheme of things is a big part of getting it right.

For example, let’s consider an Office refurbishment.

There are the straightforward projects, when the space is old and drab and has gotten to a stage where it is not fit for purpose. Or there are new commercial builds that require a new technology based fit-out.

If the building is very old, then it might be a good idea to start thinking long-term. What are the goals for the business using the premises?. And what is the space trying to achieve?

The result of this can then be broken down into a building life cycle plan that might include refurbishment, renovation and/or a building program.

As always, it is vital for the head contractor to fully understand the client’s needs and circumstances.

Contractors act as the client’s representative. And they can only do that effectively, when we have all of the relevant information.

2. Clearly Define Your Budget

Never keep your budget a secret and do not skimp on planning or design.

Getting your friendly builder or architect on board is the key here — because without the ability to work out costs properly, the scope of work cannot be properly defined.

You really are just shooting into the wind if you cannot clearly state: “This is what I need to accomplish”, “I have to work with” and “This is how much I want to spend”.

You may choose to engage a client-side project manager or an architect to give you some guidance on alternative schemes and preliminary costs.

Yes, your costs will usually be higher at the start of the design phase. But this is only because of all the unknown elements need to be discovered; and then defined and integrated into the project.

With good design that incorporates detailed information on the nature and condition of the property, the cost of the construction phase will most likely be lower than expected.

BOTTOM LINE: Good pre-project investigation and planning puts the odds in your favour. This is true in every type of construction project, but it is especially true for refurbishments.

Keep an eye out for Part 2 during next week. It will cover two more tips to help ensure your refurbishment projects are successful.


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