When leasing a commercial space, you will need to set a budget aside from the buildout. Generally, tenant buildout projects include adding doors, windows, walls, cabinets, as well as anything else that you will need.
Now, in most leases, the agreement requires the landlord to pay for the tenant buildout. However, regardless of the terms of the lease, the tenant is the one who caters to the cost. Now, the cost of a tenant buildout depends on the existing condition of the space. However, saving money is important during a buildout project.
In this post, we shall discuss the top 4 money-saving tips for a tenant buildout project. Read on for more information.
Plan, and start early to avoid unwanted and costly delays
This is the first thing to put in mind before starting your tenant buildout project. Starting the design and planning part of your project early allows you to plan your timeline well. This, in turn, reduces the effects of an unforeseen delay, thus reducing the risk of unexpected problems delaying the buildout process.
Another thing that you should plan for and get in advance is the permits. Please note that getting the required permits for your buildout project can take time, thus causing unnecessary delays if you don’t plan.
To avoid such problems, it’s advisable that you choose a team of professional contractors, vendors, consultants, project managers, and specialty trades carefully. With this, you must avoid choosing a professional that has not been vetted accordingly or the cheapest one can lead to detrimental consequences, including costly delays. Generally, your project manager or general contractor will be responsible for hiring the entire team. Therefore, it’s imperative to make sure that you hire the right person for the job.
Also, understanding the prevailing market conditions is another essential aspect when planning for a tenant buildout project. The construction industry has changed significantly in the last 10 years. And, making yourself conversant with the current resources and information can help you avoid unwanted surprises. Besides, it can ensure that your buildout budget is in line with the current market standards.
Ensure that you have an architectural design and construction team in place
When planning a tenant buildout project, you will need a licensed engineer or architect to create, validate, and submit your plans for approval. In addition to this, you will need a general contractor, who understands the requirements of your project, including the budget.
With that said, make sure that you ask for recommendations from your architect as early as possible. Your general contractor, on the other hand, can help with cost estimation, and provide electrical, plumbing, and mechanical sub-contractors to help in creating the required plans for permit approvals.
Now, the reverse of this project is also true. If you start your tenant buildout project by hiring a general contractor, you will need to bring an architect on board too. While this might look unnecessary, it will help ensure that your new space meets your budget and operational needs.
Understand the services offered by your architect
According to the tenant build-outs experts from AFS General your architect can not only help you in getting approvals for your building permit, but they can also help with space programming and planning, materials and fixture selections, retail design, help you get energy incentives, and structural coordination, among other activities. Besides, your architect can conduct an accessibility evaluation and feasibility study, which helps with site selection and potential business location.
Now, this valuable information can help you make an important financial decision as you plan your buildout project. Generally, most standard design fees cover the permit correction and document production process. However, hourly rates or additional contracts can include extra services, which can cost you more money.
Consider value engineering
In case you realize that your original budget will not be enough for your project, talk to your project manager or general contractor to see if value engineering is your way out. Now, if you choose to go the value engineering way, you will need to go over your original budget with your general contractor.
Then, you will need to check the aspects of the budget that seem unnecessary or which were underestimated. Now, once you identify the aspects of your budget that should be changed, your general contractor will help you create a plan to effect those changes without delaying your project. Any professional general contractor should help you determine the aspects that need to be scaled back and the ones that are achievable with your current budget.
Bonus point: choose an already build-out space
When doing a tenant buildout project, you might need to do some demolitions if you won’t achieve your desired layout. But, did you know that choosing an existing pace is cheaper than starting a buildout project from scratch? Most existing spaces have existing, reusable features, like interior windows, doors, plumbing fixtures, lighting, ceiling tiles, cabinetry, and tiles. With that, you will only need to purchase a few things, thus saving a lot of money.
While following all the tips discussed above can help you save money on your tenant buildout project, hiring an experienced project manager or general contractor to serve as your design and construction agent is the best thing to do if you want your project to stay on budget. A project manager can help you save a lot of money—thanks to their experience and expertise.