After purchasing a distressed or run-down commercial building, one of the first things you may consider doing is to renovate the property to make it more habitable or a better fit for a commercial tenant. You may also find the building needs amenity upgrades, to be modernized, or made more energy efficient. No matter why you want to remodel or renovate the building, here are three tips for a successful commercial real estate remodeling project.
Zones and Violations
Check out your certificate of occupancy, the zoning ordinances referencing your property, and the possible violations already on the building or neighborhood. Pay special attention to the lists of allowed renovations, the rules regulating those changes (such as renovating in a historic area), and if the zoning makes allowances for changing from one type of building into another. This can be a critical first step, and just like Steven Taylor landlord, who has purchased several multi-unit distressed properties, you may find the need to pay attention to the details is essential before deciding which changes you are likely to make.
Contractors and Budgets
There are many different types of contractors, and each of those can specialize in a specific area. There are general contractors, architect and contractor teams, drywall contractors, finishing contractors, and the list goes on. That means when you begin your search, you need to know exactly what changes you want to be done to the building, how long you have to accomplish it, and what your budget may be. Part of the budget creation must be done with your contractor, and he or she may recommend at least a 25 percent unexpected contingency amount in the budget – that is a usual expectation.
Permits and Inspections
Renovations, remodeling, and almost any other type of construction on your commercial building will likely require permits, test results (lead), and survey conclusions (asbestos). Some contractors obtain them as part of their job; others do not. It is important to make sure that all the paperwork is filed on time and with the correct department. As different steps are completed, government, city, or state inspector’s reports or certifications may be necessary for the project to move on to the next step. This can include building codes, wiring standards, electrical box safety, and more. If you are requesting a change to your building’s certificate of occupancy, you will need an official inspection before the code officer can issue you a new certificate.
Whether you choose to make minor renovations or do a major occupancy remodel, it is important to work within your city and state codes and regulations. You can get through the process easily if you remember to stay on top of the details.