Interior of building undergoing commercial renovation.

If your commercial space is no longer meeting your needs, or you prefer meeting customers away from your job site, it may be time to consider a commercial renovation. 

Commercial remodeling can make your building look and feel up-to-date, which, in turn, improves the impression you give your customers, increases the productivity of your employees, enhances the efficiency of your operation, and (surprisingly) can decrease your operating costs. But, how do you know when it’s time for commercial building renovation? Ask yourself the following 7 questions, if you notice any of these warning signs, your building is likely due for an update.

Does the Design of Your Building Work for You? 

The lifespan of commercial buildings keeps getting shorter, because technology is constantly changing the way we work and what type of office space we need. New types of businesses, like ghost kitchens and co-working spaces, are being introduced, and every existing business has to adapt to the new information tools that are coming at us at lightning speed.

Let’s take, for example, the dreaded cubicle. 

Back in 2012, a study by technology giant Cisco found that 60% of assigned offices and cubicles are empty during a typical work day. Each of those empty cubicles cost an average of $12,000-$13,000 in real estate alone. While the death of the cubicle has been predicted for over a decade, the pandemic finally killed it. 

Companies had to adopt telecommuting to keep their employees safe, bringing to light the reality of modern office work. If you can do most of your job from a laptop and a smartphone, why do you need to be in a shared office space? This is shifting in-office work to include more team-based activities, requiring co-working and meeting workspaces instead of individual cubicles. So, if your existing space is filled with separated offices and cubicles, a commercial construction project and office renovation may be needed to keep up with current times.

Does Your Building Fit Your Brand?

A lot of thought goes into retail packaging, because font, color, and image choices tell customers what to expect at a glance. Get the packaging wrong, and consumers who might normally buy your product will ignore it.

The same impression you get from a product label also applies to your building or retail space

If your commercial space has lackluster building materials and an outdated design from the 1970s, it’s going to be hard to land customers and clients who want a premium experience. Out-of-date interior design implies your business is behind the times, or isn’t profitable enough to keep the building updated. 

Have you noticed that your building looks different from your competitors? While standing out can be a good thing, this may be an indicator to customers that your business isn’t keeping up with the market. Even if aesthetics aren’t a problem, you may be missing innovations that make operations more efficient or make the space a pleasant place for your employees. Putting money into your renovation process can be a great investment in the long run!  

Do You Need More Space?

Adding space can provide more than just increased occupancy for new employees. It also gives you room to add the equipment you need to maintain or expand your business. If you keep thinking of things you want to add, but can’t implement them because you don’t have the space, it’s time to consider an addition or new build-out. Here are some common expansions that can boost sales for a range of businesses:

Expansion Examples for Improving Your Commercial Property

  • A drive-thru window for payments and online sale pickup
  • An extra bay at an automotive shop to add services
  • A charging station for an electric forklift
  • Added kitchen space to provide catering or ghost kitchen services
  • Guest amenities at a hotel (including meeting rooms, pools, and workout rooms)

Does Your Building Hinder Morale?

Are you having problems with employee performance, even though every metric is positive? Do you feel like it’s better to hold meetings outside of your job site? Maybe your office building is the root of the problem.

Everything from roof leaks during storms to cramped break rooms can make working life miserable. Often, these problems are caused by changes in the business between the last commercial remodel/build and today’s workplace reality. Reevaluating your structure and talking to your staff about issues can help you remodel in a way that improves morale and employee retention. Discuss your ideas with a knowledgeable general contractor to make the right improvements to your existing building and get the most out of your construction costs.

Could a Renovation Attract New Customers or Clients?

If the business is losing money, a remodel may be the last thing on a property owner’s mind because of the added construction costs. But, commercial renovation may be exactly what you need to boost business, especially if you rent out space. (For example, no matter the rate decrease offered, customers will pass over a run-down hotel for something newer and more well-managed.) 

You can rapidly rebuild your investment after a remodel through increased fees and increased business brought in by happier customers. Likewise, it’s easier to keep a space filled that has what customers want, even if you need to lease it at a higher price than you did before the renovation. While it may seem counterintuitive, putting money into your existing building when you’re low on revenue can actually bring in more money later.

Can You Save Money or Benefit from Enhanced Efficiency?

Utilities are expensive, especially if you’re in an older building. From LED lights to insulation, efficiency improvements can reduce utility spending by as much as 30%. At the same time, you can advertise these green innovations, giving customers one more reason to do business with you. 

There are also grants and low interest loans available for commercial construction projects that meet efficiency targets. By meeting these requirements, you may end up spending less on the renovation than you would using standard building practices.

Is a Remodel Cheaper than Rebuilding?

In 2022, the average commercial building lifespan is 53 years. However, a building is made of several subsystems, each with their own lifespan. However, a building is made of several subsystems, each with their own lifespan. For example, according to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE,) heating and cooling components have life spans ranging from 10 to 35 years. If you go too long before renovations, you may find that repairs like these reach a point of no return.

If the infrastructure is solid, a remodel can achieve the same results as new construction at a fraction of the price. The simplest type of remodel is known as Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment (FF&E) which encompasses everything outside of the architecture itself. New paint, light fixtures, and furniture can completely revive the look of interiors at minimal cost and time. 

Choosing between remodeling and rebuilding comes down to 6 factors.

3 Reasons to Remodel:

  1. Major building functions, like HVAC and electrical systems, are still functional.
  2. There is enough land to expand the building, letting you offer more services.
  3. The soft costs of a rebuild outweigh the advantages.

3 Reasons to Rebuild:

  1. The current building can’t be modified to meet new space or technological needs.
  2. The building’s basic structure needs major repairs.
  3. The building’s location no longer makes sense for your business.

Get the Results You Want from Your Commercial Building Renovation 

If you’re looking for experts to work on your commercial renovation project, visit our updated membership directory. We have over 150 members, representing the most reputable construction firms across eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, and firms include union contractors and subcontractors covering over a dozen construction trades. 

Remember, it’s imperative to add “hiring the best commercial contractor” to your renovation checklist! You can start your search by downloading our directory and buyer’s guide. It has a complete list of our members so you can find the right professionals for each stage of your renovation project. When it’s time for commercial renovation, hire the best remodeling contractor. Contact us today and improve your commercial property!