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What Are the Most Important Factors to Consider When Planning a Commercial Renovation?

Undertaking a commercial renovation can be exciting. However, if you’re the business owner or manager, it can also be extremely daunting.

Quite literally, the success or failure of your business could be hanging in the balance. If everything goes smoothly, your business can reap the benefits of the updated facilities. If things go wrong, budget is likely to blow out, timelines won’t be met, and your business might be in deep water.

So, you’d better get everything correct!

12 steps for a successful commercial renovation

  1. The first and arguably the most important step is to clearly define your objectives. In other words, why do you want to undertake your commercial renovation? It may be to update the look of your retail store, improve the layout or fitout, create a more functional space, expand your facilities or improve energy efficiency.
  2. Assign a dedicated commercial project manager to oversee your commercial renovation. Someone who will manage the people, ensure quality standards are met, plan and organise each part of the renovation, monitor progress, manage risks and report to you regularly. You could do the job yourself, however, it takes knowledge, skills, experience and time.
  3. Establishing a budget for your commercial renovation is key. This is something that an experienced commercial project manager can help with. They’ll be able to consider all associated costs, including design, construction, permits, materials, labour, potential contingencies and other costs.
  4. Consider your timeline for the renovation. Again, an experienced commercial project will be a great help. You’ll want to develop a detailed timeline that includes all stages of the renovation. You may need to take into consideration upcoming holiday periods and potential disruptions to your business.
  5. For most commercial renovations, there’ll be red tape that needs to be completed. Things like local planning permission, building permits, fire safety regulations and health and safety. Ensure you have all these in place before beginning your renovation work.
  6. Next comes the design phase. If you’re renovating an existing space, determine how the design and layout is working for you now and how you’d like to optimise it during the redevelopment. Consider things like traffic flow, storage, workflow, functionality, aesthetics, accessibility and branding. You’ll want to enhance the experience of everyone who’ll enter your commercial premises, including staff and customers.
  7. Depending on the size of the renovation, you may need a few people to help you complete the work. Or you could need hundreds. This could include architects, designers, tradespeople, contractors, suppliers and others. Choose people and teams carefully. You’ll want to use those who have experience and a good reputation for completing commercial renovations successfully.
  8. It might be your renovation, but that doesn’t mean you’re the only stakeholder. Any commercial renovation, but particularly large ones, require open and regular communication with all stakeholders. This can include employees, customers, suppliers and business partners. In fact, it’s vital that you start communicating early, in the early planning stages, so you can hear stakeholders’ concerns and suggestions.
  9. With any commercial renovations, energy efficiency should be considered, even if it’s not your prime reason for the project. This is the perfect time for updating to energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems and considering adding renewable energy sources and improving building insulation. It will be good for the environment and, in the long run, good for your bottom line.
  10. It can be tempting to try to cut corners with reduced quality materials, fixtures and finishes to try to save money, but generally this is a false economy. Durability, maintenance and longevity are important. You also need to consider your brand by creating a renovation that meets the company image you’re trying to portray.
  11. Build for the now and for the future by anticipating the future needs of the business. In some circumstances, you might consider renovating with flexibility in mind by for example, creating spaces that can be easily reconfigured.
  12. You should also never cut corners on health and safety. The safety of everyone who works on your commercial renovation, as well as your staff and customers, is paramount.
steps for a successful commercial renovation

Minimising disruption during a commercial renovation

One of the key things you’ll need to consider if you are undertaking a commercial renovation is disruption to your business.

This will obviously depend on your business and the scope of the project. Some businesses may be able to undertake their renovation work without any disruption to normal business operations and some may be able to get work completed over weekends or after hours when the business is closed.

For most commercial renovations, however, there will be some disruption. Following the steps above (i.e. using an experienced commercial project manager, detailed timelines, developing a budget, organising red tape early and getting the right people involved in the work) will help to minimise disruptions.

Other steps you might consider include completing the renovation in steps to confine disruption to one space at a time, undertaking the renovation during a quieter period and working around the clock to get the project completed quicker.

Most importantly, keep the lines of communication open with your stakeholders. By keeping everyone in the loop regularly, most people will support the renovation work you are doing, even if it does cause them issues.

Minimising disruption during a commercial renovation

Commercial renovation with Conform Developments

One of the keys to successful commercial renovations, which we’ve alluded to in the above steps, is to get the right people and businesses involved from the very start. Businesses like Conform Developments.

Conform Developments provides several important services for clients, including commercial project renovations. We work with service stations, cafes, commercial warehouses, retail stores, medical buildings, childcare centres and other businesses to bring their ageing commercial properties into the modern world while maintaining their sense of heritage and history.

We’ve successfully renovated many commercial properties across the country, and we’d love to help you renovate yours.

For a confidential, no-obligation discussion about your commercial renovation, contact Conform Developments.

Scott Traynor

Not one to be pigeon-holed, Scott is a commercial builder, mechanical engineer and a lawyer. He brings 15 years’ experience in large industrial, commercial and retail developments to the business, and is a specialist in development approvals, engineering and commercial building.

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