Renovating a commercial building can become overwhelming. Perhaps you have already launched a business of your dreams and you are now looking to expand. Renovating will increase the traffic to your business, improve employee energy, and create a safer work environment. Majority of US states base their building codes on guidelines from the International Code Council. There are a few steps to get started on your renovation research.
For instance, you can look at your potential building’s Certificate of Occupancy or browse online through online building records. Once you are ready to renovate, you can now call an engineer or an architect to avoid future surprises. Here are 5 things to know about the Commercial Building Renovation Process.
1. Review Certificate of Occupancy
Checking the Certificate of Occupancy (CO) should be the first thing on your checklist. The document indicates what you can legally use a property for an office, private space, or maybe a restaurant. Most cities will have an online database where you can download a copy of a property’s CO. Changing a CO is costly and in some cases impossible.
Expediters are an addition to your building team to speed up the slow grind permits, especially for commercial renovations. CO will also dictate small issues such as using the property’s backyard for additional business space.
2. Understand Existing Violations
If the building has not changed hands for some time, there may be some violations. For instance, the fire sprinkler could have malfunctioned. With a permit, you can discover such things and correct them to avoid costly stop-work order on your renovation project.
City councils often keep an online database where you can search for violations. Have an expert such as an engineer help you spot the violations.
3. Review Structural & MEP Situation
You need to determine whether your property can handle your business. For instance, you can decide whether the renovation can create enough space for teamwork. Before drawing such plans, you should understand that walls are load bearing and whether it is possible to move them or you have to consider the capability of the space.
Reviewing the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEPs) situation is vital since they all determine whether your property will handle the extra pressure.
4. Check for Building’s Envelope
A building’s envelope consists of everything that separates the outside from the inside such as windows, doors, and roofs. Most people overlook the accessibility of the disabled. According to the Americans with Disability Act of 1990, every business must make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. Renovations will often trigger the need for properties to line up with the 1990 Act.
5. Facility Requirements
Health codes will always require you to provide access to toilet facilities. For offices, it could mean a shared bathroom on a floor. The health code does not permit you to send employees to another building for bathroom services. The size of your business will determine how many bathrooms are required for patrons, and other employees.
Like any project, there exist commercial construction companies that are well planned and equipped with the right team of people. Always look for reputable companies for the best renovations and deals.