By Lance McCarthy
I usually focus on home spaces, but a good portion of our work is in commercial spaces–offices, shops, and other places that people work. The goal is remarkably similar. Something about the space isn’t working well and needs to change. We are there to make it work.
For those of you that run or manage a business, and have a space where that business lives, this is for you.
How much does a commercial finish cost?
Since this is a place where profit is supposed to be made, the cost is an important consideration. Of course each space (and client) is unique, and a customized budget should be developed for your project during a collaborative design process.
That said, here is a low-mid-high breakdown:
- Low $25-50 per square foot This would be at the extreme low end, and the assumption is that a lot of the work has already been done. Most of the walls are in the right place, the bathrooms don’t need much work. This would cover painting, flooring, maybe new ceiling and lights, but not much else.
- Mid $50-100 per square foot Most of our projects on office spaces land in this range. It means none of the major systems (plumbing, hvac, electrical) need work, but some walls are being relocated in addition to the work that is done in the low range.
- High $100- per square foot If the entire space needs to be redone from scratch, you are probably going to land here. If you are building new, add $50 psf to this range for a rough benchmark.
Popular products or design features for a commercial space:
- Glass, glass and more glass Our commercial clients continue to use more and more glass in their spaces. Privacy has become less of a concern than openness, it helps light travel easily, and it makes a space feel bigger.
- Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) At first LVT was only found in hospitals, but it has become very popular lately and options have proliferated. It is an affordable, durable, flexible flooring that can feel very much like wood, or tile, or almost anything else you can imagine.
- LED Lighting Utility bills can be a big concern in a commercial space, but it is important that the light not feel too sterile. As LED has become more refined, this has become one of the options of choice. We have come a long way from the days of the 2’x4’ flourescent box.
Commercial renovation problems to avoid:
- Who pays? Commercial spaces usually involve two parties–the building owner and the business owner. Regardless of which one you are, you don’t want to pay for more than your share of a construction project. Having a commercial realtor and an attorney specializing in commercial real estate is an invaluable asset for this process.
- The city Ok, so you can’t actually avoid the city. You will need to get a permit any time you move a wall or mess with wiring. Just allow 2 to 6 weeks for city planning process. The wheels of government turn slowly and painfully at times.
- Spacing The layout of a commercial space can have a dramatic impact (good or bad) on the productivity of your employees. Think carefully before just plopping that copy machine in the hall. It might be adding dozens of steps to an employee’s day, and burning hundreds of dollars of time.
If there are questions you have that we can help with, just send me an email and I’ll be glad to respond. Lance@retouchco.com
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