The first two steps to a successful office build out plan include estimating costs for space and building design and selecting the best general contractor for the job. If you don’t hire a general contractor to oversee the build out you will have to find and hire different contractors for every single item on your to-do list. This gets tricky because you have to find someone that is affordable and dependable to get the job done right. An experienced general contractor has a Rolodex of leading sub contractors up their sleeve, reducing your overall stress and improving the final outcome of your build out.
Space & Plan Design
A licensed architect is necessary in order to meet requirements for plan design and permitting. Different jurisdictions have unique sets of building codes and requirements, all of which local architects should be very familiar with.
The architect works with a team of designers, the amount of which will vary based upon the overall project requirements. It can take up to 2 months to complete the design phase, depending on complexity of work required and current workloads.
In a tenant situation it’s important to communicate any landlord requirements to the architect and designers. You wait until plans are complete and submitted to the City for approval before getting a final cost estimate. A general contractor will be able to give you a ballpark figure prior to this so that you stay within your budget on the original plans.
Selecting A General Contractor
A general contractor will help fit together all of the pieces of your office build out, scoring you the best materials at the best prices thanks to valuable connections. General contractors are equipped with the knowledge and experience to identify the best ways to go about outfitting interiors for short-term and long-term success.
Make sure to select a general contractor that is licensed and properly insured. You can research contractors through the Registrar Of Contractors to make sure they do not have any actions or past complaints filed against them. You could also check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints. Beware the contractor that bids way less than everyone else because you could end up with exactly what you pay for.
Experience in the industry may cost more but it comes with huge savings and advantages that make the best general contractors worth every last penny.
Monitoring The Construction Process
When construction begins it’s important that someone is assigned the task for keeping up with the project on a daily basis. Weekly meetings and progress reports are necessarily to ensure the project is going according to plan and staying on budget. Weekly reports should address things like schedule updates, building department inspection results and photos of recent progress.
Prior to completion of the project we recommend setting up any utility or phone services. Otherwise, these sorts of things can delay production for as long as a week if you wait to set them up after construction is complete.
When the project is complete you will need to get a Certificate of Occupancy from your local jurisdiction. This certificate stands in proof that a building has been inspected and approved by the Building and Fire Departments. This certificate gives you legal permission to open and occupy the building to the general public.
Prior to finalizing payments and calling the job ‘done,’ you will go on a walkthrough of the premise with your general contractor. At this time you will create what is known as a ‘punchlist,’ or a list of things that need to be fixed, changed or updated before the job is officially considered done. A few punchlist items are nothing out of the ordinary and should take very little time to fix.
You will also need detailed record keeping for future reference. Your contractor should supply you with a set of “As Built” construction drawings. These include original drawings with the changes made during the final execution of the project. These drawings also let you know where things are, for instance what’s behind a certain wall or beneath the floorboards. All of which are beneficial to know when you go to do improvements or renovations in the future.
Another important piece of information is called a ‘Close Out’ book, which details information regarding suppliers, sub contractors and warrant information. This packet also includes a signed and notarized Unconditional Final Lien Releases supplied by vendors, subcontractors, suppliers and your general contractor.
PCI provides superior general contracting services for office build outs both big and small. Contact us today to learn more about our unique services and how we can help serve you.