Pros & Cons of Remodeling a Commercial Building

When people think of remodeling, they generally may just picture the specific renovation of a small room or perhaps even a bathroom and shower in their home. However, remodeling a commercial building can be a totally different endeavor.

In remodeling as it relates to commercial buildings, there are many things to keep in mind for a remodel project owner, including the preliminary budget and the ordering of materials (click here for our previous blog post).

A business or building owner considering a commercial remodel should always be educated on the ins and outs of what the results of a project are, in general. Having a good feel for the upsides and downsides of a commercial remodel project is a great start.

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  1. Updated cosmetics. For the most part, this is the most understood facet of any remodel process. If major work is going to be done on a workspace, it is only right to spend the time and effort to give the look and feel a major update to keep up with current trends.
  2. Increase on the value of the building (and/or property). As suggested in the point above, a commercial remodel will almost always include modernization of the building or workspace. This adds in the hidden value of increasing the market value of the building - and property as a whole - for the potential of a sale in the future.
  3. Expanding or revamp of the use & occupancy classification. While most business owners undergo a commercial remodel to update the look and feel of their space, many do so in an effort to mold the building so there is a more specific variance of what the space could be used for. Essentially, this allows a business owner to revamp the space, in a way, to be more specific to his or her business (ex: taking an existing warehouse style building & sectioning off offices for a more administrative feel). Also needed many times in a commercial remodel is an extension to the occupancy rating (allowing for more employees or customers to be on the premises, according to fire laws). This is not often the primary reason for a remodel, but many times does come into play as an ancillary factor.
  4. Repair of ongoing issues. Throughout the course of a commercial building (or any building for that matter), issues pop-up that the building owner will continually patch up with “band-aid” fixes. A commercial remodel is obviously a wonderful time to take care of these types of problems, once and for all.


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  1. Potential lack of time- or cost-efficiency. Many times due to unforeseen delays, a commercial remodel project does not always fall in line with the expectations of the project owner when it comes to timeliness or cost-effectiveness.
  2. Environmental or mechanical issues. There are endless examples of these types of issues that a project can be stalled or sent off the rails by. Some of these include mold, termites, foundation or slab damages and leaks, or deteriorated utilities equipment.
  3. Reliance upon unknown subcontractors. Subcontractors can be like car salesmen in a way: many times, no one wants to have to deal with them. As much as a project owner would like to minimize the variance of the project when it comes to how many different parties are completing tasks, there is just so much specialized work in a remodel that unknown subcontractors generally have to be utilized in some form or fashion. This is why it is important for a project owner to do their research & develop a network of people they trust in other industries outside of their own.
  4. Uncontrollable events. Stoppages occur regularly during a commercial remodel project, especially when a lot of the work is on the exterior portion of a property. Things like bad weather and material shortages are difficult to forecast and account for, but a project owner should have an expectation that these things will crop up.
  5. Dealing with ever-changing code requirements. Both the fire marshal’s office and the building code office update codes often times yearly. Having to stay on top of this piece of the project can often be a difficult one for a remodel project owner who is not an expert in these fields.

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Before a building or business owner makes the decision to undergo a commercial remodel, they should first feel 100% comfortable with the general positives & negatives that a project of the sort brings.

Knowing these things allows for an expectation to be set on what will come of the project, giving the project owner the best starting point mindset before the project begins.

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