What to Expect when Undergoing an Office Renovation

Tearing up the office isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time, but there are better and worse ways to do it. For a smooth transition from old to new, make sure everyone at your company has a clear understanding of what the change will entail. Make a solid plan with your contractor, and then set clear expectations with employees about timelines, off-limits areas, and who will be responsible for what during the renovation.

The Planning Stages

When planning your renovation, take all factors into account. You might head into the process for more usable space or better window accessibility, but don’t forget that this is your opportunity to update other details. Consider the Energy Trust of Oregon’s suggestions for more energy-efficient lighting, or ideas like eco-friendly carpeting and paint, wider hallways or a centrally located break room. Where appropriate, take employee opinions into account.

Building Permits

Depending on the type of work you are planning, you may or may not need permits. Permitting requirements vary by area. Some cities will not require permits for small projects such as remodeling kitchens or bathrooms, painting, installing cabinets or other built-in furniture, or insulating. Most places do, however, require permits for making any changes to load-bearing parts of the building as well as windows, entrances and exits. Give yourself enough time to get permits by consulting city ordinances for timeline and cost information before planning the renovation.

Off-Limits Areas

Make sure contractors always clearly label areas where dangerous substances might lurk, and that you hire professionals to handle anything hazardous. Buildings whose walls and insulation hasn’t been updated for decades might, for instance, harbor asbestos dangers, which according to the Environmental Protection Agency requires specialist attention. For a minimum of workday disruption before the work begins, give employees the heads up that they’ll need to plan on using kitchens, break rooms or bathrooms on other floors or elsewhere in the neighborhood.

Debris Removal

Determine how you’re going to deal with construction detritus beforehand. Some construction companies will do it for you, but sometimes you’ll need to set it up yourself. You can use local companies, or call in a nationwide service which will not only haul away debris from the construction process, but can take care of any trash you might need to remove before the project begins. Keep in mind that many companies don’t deal with hazardous materials, so leave that up to the professionals you’ve called in to deal with it.

Solid planning will remove much of the guesswork from your business construction project. This not only includes crafting solid timelines with the general contractors and building professionals, but making sure employees know how they will get their work done until construction is done. Let people know when they can work from home, or if there are alternate headquarters during the project. Clear expectations will go a long way toward smooth transitions.