Commercial Renovation: Starting a Project You Can Be Proud Of
Unless you have years of experience with design and remodeling, entering into a commercial renovation project can be a scary thing. The costs are likely to be high, which puts a lot of pressure on you as the project manager. Here are some guidelines that will help you through the process.
Hiring a Contractor
Your first order of business will be to find a competent and experienced commercial renovation contractor. This means shopping by reputation, and not necessarily by bid alone. If you're working with a government project, you'll have no choice but to send your business to the lowest bidder. If you are working for a for-profit organization, however, you'll likely find that you'll get better results by looking for those contractors that have a history of doing good work for a reasonable price. Low bids often accompany shoddy workmanship.
Before the commercial renovation can begin, the contractor will need to come out and take a look at the space, discuss ideas, and basically figure out what the job is going to entail. Be up front and honest about what you want out of the remodeling job. If you are open to suggestions and input, tell them that. If you aren't, tell them that as well. Some business owners are happy to give up some measure of creative control to the experts in design. Others know exactly what they want and basically just want someone that knows how to put it together. Good contractors should be able to operate under either scenario.
As you've probably guessed, commercial renovation is rarely cheap. However, you likely have a budget you need to stay within, so make sure your contractor knows the top amount you're willing to spend. You might want to get an itemized price quote before any ground is broken on the project. Once you have such a quote in writing, you can relax and know that you won't be held liable for any more than what is written on the paper. On the other hand, most contractors are going to give an inflated estimate if you demand this sort of rigidity beforehand. Play it out and remember, this is why you shop by reputation and not by price.
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