Tenant improvement, otherwise known as tenant build-out, can greatly enhance the look, feel and flow of the interior space of a building. Using a general contractor, the space can be altered to either the property manager or owners vision or redesigned to the wishes of the tenant. This type of renovation becomes necessary to make the space more functional, and also may need to be done to bring the property up to current building code standards.
The Look, Feel and Function
Tenant improvements include everything from moving walls to changing flooring types, updating wall colors to installing windows, cabinets, doors and right even down to the details of switching out light fixtures. Renovations can be as simple as visually transforming a dingy night club into a fresh, trendy restaurant or as elaborate as converting a plain retail space into a dental office. Converting a retail, restaurant, hospital, or office environment into something more suitable for a particular business is a common challenge for general contractors working on tenant improvements. Armed with the vision, a good general contractor can make that vision a reality.
Becoming Code Compliant
Does the space have the proper sprinkler system installed? Are the exit doors operational and in code? What about the electrical wiring or fuel-supply systems? When code violations are found and not corrected, there can be significant penalties enforced. Plus, getting an occupancy certificate after renovations are complete is the icing on the cake. After all, without that piece of paper, the space can’t be used for its intended purposes!
Working with a general contractor who knows the local building code and has experience in permitting will be a lifesaver. Without this experience, a build-out could become a nightmare.
Tenant Improvement Allowances
Many landlords permit tenants to engage in their own general contractor in order to make these renovations. In some instances, the landlord will provide a construction allowance for the tenant to build-out the space. Whether the landlord is paying a set amount or free rent has been offered in lieu of construction money, it is the tenant’s responsibility to bring the job on budget or pay for any items that exceed the allowance set forth by the landlord.
Working closely with a general contractor, clients are able to be guided through decisions, provided with design and construction process help, steered clear of common tenant mistakes and kept both build-out costs on budget and time frames on schedule.
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