How to Save Your Time & Money with Tenant Build-Outs

Tenant build-outs help to turn commercial buildings into spaces where businesses can operate. These construction and design projects have different scopes—from building out space from scratch to remodeling previously used space to suit your specifications. 

While the process of building out commercial space to get the ideal premises for your business is very exciting and challenging as well—especially for a tenant who has never done any build-out project. Besides, the process requires time and money—and it can consume a considerable amount of your finances. 

In this post, we shall share tips on how to save time and money with your tenant build-out project. Read on for more information. 

Choose a building with ready build-out spaces

During a tenant build-out project, some demolitions are necessary, as they will help you get the building layout that you want. However, choosing an existing space is cheaper than building out from the ground. Most buildings have existing features that are reusable for new businesses—think of interior windows, doors, plumbing fixtures, electrical installations, ceiling tiles, and carpet, among other features. Basically, what you don’t need to buy and install will save you a lot of money during a tenant build-out project.

Get your construction team and architectural designs ready

If you choose a tenant build-out project, you will need a licensed and certified engineer or architect to design, validate, and submit your structural drawings for the necessary permits. However, it’s important to bring your general contractor on board, and make sure that they understand your needs, as well as budget. 

If possible, ask your architect or engineer for recommendations—bringing your contractor on board during this stage can help with cost estimates, and provide mechanical, plumbing, and electrical subcontractors to submit the designs needed for permit applications. The opposite is also true. When you start by hiring a contractor during a tenant build-out project, you will need to bring an architect on board. When you do that, you will be able to save a lot of money and time when the construction phase starts.  

Capitalize on the professional advice provided by your architects

Apart from helping you with getting your build-out permits approved, your architect can also help you with space programming and planning, material and fixture selections, help with energy inducements, structural coordination, and space design, among other services. Moreover, your architect can perform a feasibility study and accessibility evaluations for your build-out project. 

Now, this information plays an important part when making financial decisions for the project. Mostly, the standard design fees cover the permit correction and document production processes. However, extra hour rates or contractors can include other architectural services that will help you save money and time. 

Know your timeline and budget, and follow them to the later

Before starting your tenant build-out project, ensure that you inform your contractor and architect when you want the project completed, and how much you are willing to spend on the project. Your build-out budget not only guides your architect to specifying the required materials, but also helps your contractor when getting quotes from subcontractors. 

According to tenant build-outs experts from AFS General, make sure that your architect and general contractor understand your timeline—from submitting papers for reviews to the expected timeframe for acquiring a permit for the project. Besides, when setting your move-in date, you should consider the days you need to set up the new space, do final inspections, and acquire a certificate of occupancy. All these will ensure that you work within your timeframe and budget. 

Get bids from prospective contractors

When searching for a contractor, you should get several competitive bids (at least three) from different contractors. This will help you to hire a contractor with the best pricing plan for the project. Furthermore, take your time to look at every line item in the bids. You shouldn’t assume that the line item is all-inclusive—and it’s important to ask questions or for more clarifications. 

Take advantage of your Tenant Improvement Allowance

If your landlord agrees on a Tenant Improvement Allowance (TIA), take advantage of that, and use it wisely. Take your time to decide the kind of updates that you want. When you opt for a tenant build-out, please note that you will customize the space according to the specific needs of your business. Besides, you should design it in a manner that provides excellent branding for your business—this can make a big difference for your business partners and customers as well. 

Please note that although your landlord might give you the go-ahead to manage the build-out project, they might have some specific instructions on what you should and shouldn’t do with space. Therefore, ensure that you discuss your build-out plans with your landlord before proceeding with the project. 

An elevator that will make it easier for your staff to move from one floor to another might be a very good idea. However, your landlord might want you to leave that in place when relocating. Therefore, ensure that you take advantage of your TIA. In case the landlord has been compensating you for the costs incurred, and you didn’t use all of the money for the requested repairs, you can use the balance to offset your rental costs for the coming month. 

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