A Step-by-Step Guide to Renovating Your Commercial Building

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There are numerous reasons why people decide to renovate their commercial buildings. Some do it because they are simply tired of the current appearance and want to take things up a notch when it comes to this.

Then there are those who want to increase the safety of everyone who lives in it. Whatever the reason may be in your case, what’s important is to ensure that every person who resides in this building feels safe and comfortable once the renovation is completed.

Now, if you’re planning on renovating a specific building in the nearest future, but you’re not sure what crucial steps need to be taken in order to execute this perfectly, then go through this informative guide and you’ll find out everything.

Be careful with your budget

If there's one thing that's certain is the fact that remodeling a building of any type and size is undoubtedly an extremely pricey venture. Therefore, we honestly hope that you set aside a substantial amount of cash for it.

Be careful with your budget

Before you take any further steps, first make sure you talk to the contractor first to see how much money (at least roughly) you'll have to spend on it. Why is this so important? Well, if you have a renovation plan that's very thorough and mapped out, then you'll know exactly what to expect during this venture and what needs to be your priority.

This is generally one of the most pivotal steps and something that, sadly, a lot of people tend to overlook and then they end up spending much more cash than they planned in the first place. Experts recommend having a contingency budget of ten percent more (at least) in case some unplanned expenses arise.

Carefully analyze the building and the neighborhood that surrounds it

The second most important step in the renovation process is exactly this one. You should take some time to “get to know” the building because then you’ll be able to get a feel for this space and see if there are any hidden problems that weren’t visible at first glance.

At the same time, you will get the chance to get yourself familiar with the surrounding neighborhood. During this walk-through, you’ll get a clearer picture of what modifications you need to make and how it is going to potentially influence the entire area that surrounds the building.

Carefully Analyze The Building And The Neighborhood That Surrounds It

Keep in mind that this is also an amazing opportunity to be updated when it comes to the city’s building codes. Getting a structure up to code is in most instances very expensive, hence it’s always a good idea to learn all about code violations in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

And then there’s the certificate of occupancy and permits

Why is this essential? Namely, you need to be sure that you’ll be able to use this building (after remodeling) in the way you wanted. The whole point of the Certificate of Occupancy is to prove that a certain property can be used as a restaurant, café, office, or any other type of commercial space.

We would like to warn you that it is frequently very challenging and pricey as well to alter a Certificate of Occupancy. Furthermore, it would be wise (before proceeding with anything else) to contact the local authorities and ask them all relevant questions concerning permit requirements and renovation work specifications.

It’s always a good idea to acquire permission before you begin remodeling because only then you’ll be able to prevent any altercations with governing bodies and citations. 

Did you contact a commercial demolition contractor?

It doesn’t matter whether you are dealing with a larger or smaller building, since this entire process (regarding renovating) is very demanding and complex, it’s not something you can do all by yourself.

Now, there are some people who think that a team of workers will be capable of executing it, but that's far from reality. In these instances, you simply need to hire a seasoned and resourceful demolition contractor. If you're not sure what these people do, then here you can learn more about their duties and tasks. As previously stated, this is a very complex task that demands someone who is skilled and has the right equipment.

Bear in mind that a professional demolition contractor (of course, we are referring to someone who is adroit and experienced) has already dealt with work of such nature and knows exactly what needs to be done.

Assess the building’s envelope

What do we mean by this? In case you didn’t know, a commercial building’s envelope typically involves every single thing that splits the inside and the outside, including the windows, doors, and roofs.

Frequently, people who decide to renovate a building tend to completely overlook people who have certain disabilities, but fortunately, there's the Americans with Disability Act of 1990 that states that every business is obligated to provide thoughtful services to anybody who is disabled

Additionally, commercial building remodeling will normally require companies to follow the aforementioned act.

A contractor or architect? Who’s going to be?

If you want this entire project to go smoothly, then you need to consider hiring either a contractor or an architect. If you do not think that redesigning is necessary, then you do not need the assistance of the architect.

A Contractor Or Architect? Who’s Going To Be?

In these types of situations, a contractor will get the job done. For instance, if you are planning on redesigning solely the first floor of the commercial building, then you should definitely turn to the architect.

On the flip side, if you are planning on installing new plumbing, or fixing the building’s roof, then you won’t be able to do it without the help of a contractor. 

How to determine if this professional is good enough?

Since this is a very serious project, you cannot hire just about anyone, instead, it needs to be somebody who has a plethora of experience and necessary skills to execute this the right way. For starters, you need to:

  • Check references – If the contractor hasn’t dealt with similar projects like yours, then you should take someone else into account. If he or she claims that they have dealt with them before, then do not believe them blindly, but instead ask for references. Only then you’ll be one hundred percent sure that this person will know exactly what to do.
  • Don’t forget the license – In some states, contractors are obligated to have a license, hence it means that your contractor will be able to provide you with their contractor license number. If you receive it, be sure to check the license status as soon as possible. This is something that can be done online.
  • And then there's insurance – This segment also refers to some states, so first be sure to check and see if it applies to the state you live in. Namely, some contractors are obligated to have an active insurance policy in order to obtain a license. In addition, some contractors have a lot more coverage in comparison to the other ones. We would advise you to get more information from them concerning the level of insurance so you can make a comparison regarding the level of protection these people provide.
  • Meeting face-to-face – Even if your communication over the phone or email was smooth, nothing can beat meeting someone in person. And that's particularly important in these types of situations because we are talking about a serious project that you cannot take lightly. Consequently, it is more than advisable to meet this individual face-to-face so you can ask them all the relevant questions and simultaneously see if the two of you have solid communication. It's of huge importance to hire someone who will perfectly understand all your demands and needs and of course, who’ll be able to answer every single question that you ask.

A conceptual & schematic design must be developed

The pre-construction stage cannot start without developing a thorough design that’s going to guide you every step of the way until your project is finished. This entire phase can be divided into two parts:

A Conceptual & Schematic Design Must Be Developed
  • Conceptual design – So what do we know about it? Namely, it lets you do whatever your heart desires and fully express your creativity without worrying about every single penny. If you opt for this design, then it means that your architect is going to be able to work freely and eventually, come up with the design that you'll love the most. 
  • Schematic design – This one concentrates on particular amenities and expenses that are related to this project. In these instances, you will most likely be forced to change some of your previous ideas if you want to avoid blowing your budget. And during this process, you will probably see some modifications that you didn’t anticipate in the first place. However, if you manage to hire a skilled and creative architect, he/she will be able to make a design that contains everything you wanted without breaking the bank.


It’s more than obvious that renovating a commercial building is a pretty time-consuming and challenging endeavor, however, if you carefully read everything that’s been written here, you just might be able to avoid some hurdles and streamline some aspects of it.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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