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Whether you are a seasoned commercial real estate developer or new to commercial renovations, planning a commercial building renovation can be complex and challenging but well worth it.

Renovating a commercial building is a great way to increase property value. By updating and adding amenities and features to existing buildings, you not only add value to their market price, but you also add value to tenants’ rental payments.

With proper planning, the right team of commercial building contractors, and effective project management, you can achieve a beautiful and successful renovation that meets the needs of both the property owner and the tenant. This blog will discuss the best tips for a commercial building renovation, covering essential topics such as tenant improvement projects, construction processes, real estate considerations, and more.


  1. Determine the size and scope of the renovation.


    commercial construction planning and design

    Before starting any commercial building renovation, knowing your goals and defining the project’s scope is important. This means determining what needs to be done and the scale of the project.

    Mapping out your project includes identifying specific areas of the building that will require renovation, such as HVAC systems, electrical, plumbing, flooring, or modifications to the building’s structure. Clearly outlining the scope will help estimate costs, set timelines, and manage the expectations of contractors and clients/owners.

  2. Hire experienced commercial building contractors.

    commercial building contractors

    Selecting the right commercial building contractors is vital to a successful renovation. Look for trusted contractors with experience working on similar projects — like Cook Builders! Check their track record, reviews, and certifications to ensure they are reputable and capable of delivering high-quality results.

  3. Draft a detailed project plan.

    blueprints and commercial construction planning

    A well-defined project plan is essential for keeping the renovation on track. It’s no secret that construction delays, change orders, and mishaps can happen and cause issues in timelines and budgets, but having a project plan can help foresee and minimize problems.

    The plan should include a timeline, budget, and specific tasks to be completed at each stage of the project. Break down the renovation into phases and responsibilities to facilitate easier monitoring and progress tracking.

  4. Stick to your budget.

    construction budgeting

    After you have your project plan in place, consult with your contractor regarding expenses that go along with the renovations. Having a detailed budget will help in deciding what to prioritize first.

    Once you have a budget, plan to spend about 10% more on unexpected costs. More often than not, building renovations tend to go over budget because unexpected obstacles and expenses were not accounted for during budget planning.

  5. Consider tenant needs.

    commercial tenant improvement

    If tenants already occupy the commercial building, their needs must be considered during the renovation. Communicate the project plan and phases of construction with tenants.

    Consistent communication and maintaining a good relationship with tenants help to minimize disruptions during the project and ensure their safety. Establish clear lines of communication and make sure to address any concerns they may have regarding the renovation process.

  6. Engage in tenant improvement projects.

    commercial space finishes for tenant improvement

    Tenant improvement projects involve making changes to the interior space of the building based on specific tenant requirements. These projects may include remodeling offices, installing new fixtures, making the space more accessible and safe, or creating customized layouts. Collaborate closely with tenants to understand their needs and incorporate them into the renovation plans.

  7. Follow proper project management techniques.

    construction project management

    Executing a commercial building renovation project is tedious; effective project management is essential to keep the renovation running smoothly. Choose a project manager or team responsible for overseeing every aspect of the renovation. This will ensure that tasks are finished on time and decisions are finalized by each team instead of just you. Your team can regularly communicate with contractors, suppliers, and stakeholders to monitor progress, address any issues, and gather feedback.

  8. Understand local regulations and permits.

    commercial construction building permit

    Secure all the proper building and alteration permits needed for commercial building renovations. Before starting the renovation, familiarize yourself with local building codes and regulations. Comply with these regulations to avoid costly delays and potential legal issues. Work closely with architects, engineers, and other subcontractors to ensure that the renovation meets all necessary building codes and requirements.

  9. Communicate progress and celebrate milestones.

    people tracking milestones on commercial building renovation project

    Keep all relevant parties updated on the progress of the renovation. Regularly communicate with property owners, tenants, and other stakeholders to share updates, address concerns, and celebrate milestones achieved throughout the project. This helps build trust and maintain positive relationships.

  10. Coordinate with real estate professionals.

    commercial real estate professional

    If the commercial building is part of a larger real estate portfolio, involve real estate professionals in the renovation process. Their expertise can help ensure that the renovation aligns with the overall property strategy and enhances its value.

  11. Prioritize safety and sustainability.

    construction safety

    Safety should always be a top priority during a building renovation. Implement proper safety protocols and provide workers with the necessary training and protective gear.

    In addition to safety, be mindful of your project’s sustainability and environmental impact as well. More contractors are now using eco-friendly materials and local products in their builds, and they’re renovating for aesthetics and efficiency.

    As you plan your project, you may want to consider incorporating sustainable practices and materials such as LED lighting and solar panels into the renovation to reduce environmental impact and improve energy efficiency.

  12. Consider a temporary workplace.

    temporary workspace while building is under construction

    Depending on the size and duration of the commercial renovation, it may be best to choose a temporary workplace location for tenants/clients until work is completed. A renovation can disrupt workplace routines and processes, so be proactive and prepare for the renovation by choosing a temporary workplace before construction begins. This will also minimize disruptions during the renovation and ensure the safety of tenants and building occupants.

commercial building renovation contractors

Plan Your Renovation with Our Commercial Building Contractors

Commercial building renovation can breathe new life into an existing structure and help attract new clients, which will, in turn, help your business thrive. By following these tips from Cook Builders, you can increase the chances of a successful renovation that meets the needs of the client, tenant, and investors.