More on Commercial Refurb: 4 Steps to Ensure Success


IN PART 1, we covered the first two Steps required to make sure your refurbishment project is tailored to the building and to make sure it comes in on budget.

This article will now explore the next two things you need to fully address, to ensure your refurbishments are a success.

3. Allow for a Contingency and Manage Risk

It is a fact that older buildings can be expensive to refurbish; and that they often present unexpected challenges.

Sometimes, they were built with older methods that cost more to repair; or require more detailed work than modern construction.

The methods and materials that were used back when they were built may no longer be familiar and readily available.

As such, older buildings sometimes require bespoke, made-to-measure outcomes and specialised trade work.

So you should fully-evaluate the existing building, before you commence every refurbishment project.

Even with good preparation, there can be surprises. Allow for the unknown and try to take as much risk as possible out of your office renovation.

Identify and investigate potential complications and come up with contingency plans.

Pinpointing areas of risk and uncertainty is almost an art form. But with the expert advice of your project professionals, builders, architects and/or engineers … you can minimise the risks involved in the project.

Sometimes, the most complex, troublesome refurbishments will reward you with a high-quality building, which is then full of beauty and character.

4. Pay Attention to Aesthetics and the Psychology

When you walk into a newly refurbished building, you can often see where the new sections start and where the old, untouched, sections end. Keep that in mind when planning the work.

It is important to keep the users informed of the refurbishment schedule … to avoid jarring transitions, or the appearance of poor workmanship.

Patchwork refurbishment can give the building’s users a strange feeling that something is being attempted, but failing. If possible, do the whole refurbishment at once or on a fast-paced schedule.

If that is not an option, then a fair and consistent strategy is the key.

In a similar vein, a workplace should have a consistent appearance or, at least, a deliberately-constructed character.

You need to maintain a certain integrity: whether it is charming and old-fashioned, or slick and modern.

This will allow the occupants to connect with the space.

Refurbishments combining elements of different periods and styles in a way that seems random … can be confusing and often uncomfortable for users.

However, contrasting different elements can work well, if it is properly planned and has a vision behind it.

That type of sophisticated design is best tackled by an architect or an interior designer.

BOTTOM LINE: It is always best to work closely with your principal consultant, whether it is an interior designer, builder or architect. Their advice is based on years of experience.

Getting the right professionals on board will always save you money in the long term. And allow you to make decisions with the full expertise and support of your team, minimising your stress and bringing you peace of mind.


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