When it comes to a commercial remodelling or building renovation project, it can be both an exciting process, and an incredibly overwhelming one. As a business owner, you want to have an expansive and modern space. Or perhaps, you are simply looking for some enormous investment potential and are purely treating a commercial renovation project as a financial exploit. Whatever the case, how much you are going to spend on the project is an important project. How much does it cost to renovate a commercial building? Let’s find out!
Commercial construction and renovation projects
Naturally, there is no one single cost for commercial renovation projects as they each vary dramatically in size and complexity. Certainly, some renovations are merely skin-deep in that they only need a few changes, whereas others go down to the very core structure of a building. As such, the cost of a renovation project will directly depend on the overall scope of the renovation itself. And of course, the bigger the project, the more planning and assistance will be required, just adding to the costs. But don’t panic, we’ll cover it all!
The early stages of a commercial building renovation
If you are the owner of a commercial space, then you should have a handle on some of the preliminary work required for a renovation project. However, if you are an investor looking to buy, then you’ll have your work cut out for you. Here’s a list of what you’ll need to know/do/acquire:
Study and understand the Certificate of Occupancy
When it comes to a commercial renovation, your CO will tell you whether your property meets certain building codes. In addition, it will list various violations and reveal much more about what you are allowed to do to your building, and how much work will be involved (e.g., an old abandoned building may require extensive asbestos removal).
And of course, you will need an inspector to come and sign off on each building violation that you set straight. Additionally, a Certificate of Occupancy will describe all of the following:
- Suitability for occupancy
- Approved use(s) of the building
- Consistency with local zoning ordinances
Please be aware that changing the permitted use of a building is a hassle. In such a case you should work with an expediter who understands local politics and can speed up said process.
Hiring an architect and engineer
If you like a property, then walk around it with an architect, engineer, and a general contractor. That is the best way of figuring out just how much work and money will be involved with the commercial building renovation according to your vision.
An extensive renovation will require an engineer to verify that the building can actually handle the changes drawn up by the architect.
Double-check the building envelope
The building envelope includes all external walls, doors, roofs, windows, and so on. Bear in mind that the structure could date back before things like mandatory disabled access. Thus, your building must be reconfigured to accommodate these new requirements.
You will also need to be mindful of whether the property is within certain historical districts or if the property itself is a protected landmark. Things like this can unfortunately put a swift end to most renovation projects, depending on the situation. Always do your research before you get too attached.
Review health code requirements
Perhaps you plan on renovating a commercial building into a restaurant. If so, you will need to satisfy the various health-code laws, including the need to install additional bathrooms, etc.
Hiring commercial renovation contractors
It is recommended that you hire a commercial renovation contractor to oversee your work and ensure that everything proceeds correctly. Let’s explore the hiring process further…
What should you look for in a commercial renovation contractor?
Especially if this is all new to you, you should take your time and do your research when looking to hire a commercial renovation contractor. There are certain qualities that will serve you well in the long-run and spending that little bit of extra time with the hiring process will save you a lot of time, hassle, and money in the long run.
It’s not uncommon for contractors to bid on your project. This will typically include the contractors providing you with a ‘bid package’ that contains plans, costs, and timelines for the projects. When judging a bid, look at the level of detail. The more detail, the better.
You must also make sure that your contractor is entirely licenced as a commercial contractor. Without fail, your GC should carry significant insurance. They should also provide (and you should verify) their insurance policies before making any final decisions. The coverage should be sufficient for the scale of your project.
Communication is key
Another important thing is to hire a commercial contractor that you feel you can trust. The way in which they communicate with you in the early stages is usually a good indication of this. If you require regular catch-ups and meetings and they struggle to agree to your terms, then keep looking. Certainly, you don’t want to micromanage and take up too much of their time throughout the renovation process, but having a GC that you can communicate well with is an essentiality.
Naturally, you’ll want to work with a commercial contractor that has significant experience with renovation projects of the size and scale that you are looking at. Do some research and figure out precisely how many projects they have done over the years. Look at their testimonials; how have their past clients responded to the quality of their work? Experience is a vital part of this process, particularly if this is a first time for you.
How much does it cost to renovate a commercial building in square feet?
And finally, let’s get to the point of this article: how much is it all going to cost? Ultimately, your budget requirements will boil down to the cost per square foot. As mentioned above, these costs can vary wildly depending on all manner of project details. In any case, you should expect to be paying around $100 to $200 per square foot.
It is important to remember that these figures are only ball-park. They are subject to change depending on where you are, how big the project is, which company you work with, what time of year it is, what type of materials you want to use, and so much more.
In any case, the best approach when looking to find out the cost of a commercial renovation project is to start reaching out to various commercial contractors. We recommend contacting a reputable company such as A.M.C Construction for more information.