Commercial Renovation for Income Property Value Escalation

09:39 Nov 2023
Commercial Renovation

Every commercial renovation project primarily embodies two primary objectives; to improve the property’s aesthetic appeal and floor plan functionality.

However, there may be other reasons such as increasing comfort and safety, which may further lead to improving the performance of employees working in the building.

For instance, any construction project involving commercial renovation like a restaurant remodel with a new design and facade can attract more customers.

Similarly, a refurbished shopping arcade or office building can enthuse and motivate the employees working inside to perform better and become more efficient. Getting on board with a commercial renovation can be both exciting and challenging.

Think of the number of permits to be obtained, building codes to adhere to, subcontractors to engage, or most importantly, money to invest and commercial contractors to hire.

So, before you decide on a commercial renovation of your property and transforming it into a more efficient, productive, and visually appealing structure, you may follow the below-mentioned stepwise guide.

Additionally, you may also browse our resource on commercial construction including preparing and planning for commercial renovation.

Commercial Renovation

How to plan and Execute a Commercial Renovation Project

The below-mentioned section can be a guide for you to determine whether the Houston commercial builders carrying out property renovation are on track.

The renovation project may include anything from an office building, a retail space, a restaurant or hotel, a theater, or some other type of commercial building that needs to undergo a renovation.

Review the Certificate of Occupancy 

First things first. Before renovating the commercial building to accommodate any other business enterprise or to suit any other business interest, check the existing Certificate of Occupancy or CO.

This document will highlight the purposes for which the property can be used – a restaurant, a gymnasium, and an office, among others.

You can find a copy of the CO online enumerating the purpose of the income producing property.

This is of utmost importance as changing a CO can be a costly and time-consuming proposition. In some cases, it may be altogether impossible to change the same.

For instance, you may want to transform the property running a restaurant into a health club or add one.

But if the CO explicitly states that the property cannot be used as a health club, you can simply consider applying for a repurpose permit for a commercial renovation services.  

The best approach would be to undertake a project whether the CO document fits your business model, develop a preliminary architectural plan and submit them with your application.

Again, for better understanding, if you want to expand the commercial property shell a restaurant by making way for additional seating, the CO should specify if such a thing is permissible. If not, the CO needs to be updated.

These can be smaller fixes and remodeling projects compared to changing the legal use of a commercial property. If you are in doubt about type of contractor you may need research the article commercial general contractors near me

Research the existing violations in the property: 

It is possible that the income producing property you want to remodel or renovate hasn’t changed hands or housed a tenant for a while. Such a property may have scores of building violations that haven’t come to light so far.

These violations could be someone having worked without a permit, not installed any equipment for fire safety, say a fire sprinkler system, or having incorrectly installed a rooftop AC, among others.

If you do not do your due diligence and conduct the proper prepurchase compliance inspections, when you try to get a permit for the building these things will be verified and discovered.

Unless such violations are addressed, the property should not be purchased or your future construction project needs to have a plan to bring these violations up to code.

However, there is a way out of everything. For instance, most city councils have online databases where open violations in the construction code compliance of such buildings can be searched.

These may be about the building operating without the right CO or permit. In the case of a property lease, such violations are usually addressed by the landlord.

Remember, it is not always possible to know about every violation on your own. The best way is to walk through the property or location with engineers, architects, or commercial construction companies.

These professionals will have the keen eye to tell whether the property can be worked upon and renovated.

Commercial Renovation Houston

Prepare a Project Budget Estimate 

Since money will drive the entire commercial contracting project, it is important to prepare a detailed scope of work and estimate of the renovation cost.  

It will help you understand the limits you can go including the choice of materials to buy, features to include, and the commercial renovator to hire.

So, before setting out on estimating the budget, try to be realistic. You may get a preliminary estimate from the general contractors you are going to interview before hiring.

Since most commercial construction companies are experienced professionals, they will be able to give you a realistic ball park figure of the projected renovation cost.

Remember, the initial project cost estimate can change depending on the new requirements, issues, and actual cost of materials.

So, it is advisable to keep a separate fund to meet any contingency that may present itself while the renovation job is in progress.

Plan the Commercial Renovation Project

A plan is a roadmap to follow while carrying out the project related activities. It also gives the timeline to be adhered to and the goals to be achieved.

However, before getting started with planning, set up your renovation planning goals and share them with your renovator you have hired.

This is important as the renovation contractor can visualize what you have in mind and prepare a matching project layout.

It needs to be kept in mind that inadequate planning can lead to hassles, inconveniences, cost escalations, and even project failure.

It is, therefore, important that any planning should have detailed drawings and construction documents of the commercial renovation project drawn to the T.

Commercial construction services are only as good as the building documents and the execution planning.

Prepare the Design Plans 

The next logical step is to prepare construction plans for the commercial renovation. The design documents will include the work specifications the type of material to be used, its texture, color and size and the quality tolerances for labor.

The architectural design of the plans should not only enhance the visual aesthetics of the building but also improve its functionality. Importantly, the construction design documents are fundamentally required to develop accurate renovation cost.

The cost of magnitude and schedule of values will provide the operating costs and ensure that construction cost stay on target.

To get a suitable construction design plans and details, you will need an architect or engineer and share with them your plan and renovation goals. Additionally, you may view our video to know about the job of a commercial contractor.  

Compliance with Code Regulations 

There are specific rules and regulations guiding any commercial construction activity including commercial renovation.

These need to be prepared for while developing the construction plans during the pre-construction phase.

So, with your renovation project, you have to obtain a permit from the relevant authorities and comply with the rules and building codes.

The authorities may carry out a site evaluation to identify if the project could lead to any negative environmental impact. 

Houston commercial contractors are the right professionals to obtain such permits and ensure the job is done in compliance with building codes and quality tolerances.

Procurement of Materials 

Once the permit is received and the design is ready, it is time to get on with the construction work. But wait, what about the materials?

Get in touch with your renovation contractor to source the materials and bring them to the site. However, don’t be tempted by the idea of saving money purchasing cheap materials to cut costs in the short run, for they would likely need early repairs and entail high maintenance costs later.

Choose an experienced general contractor who has a large network of subcontractors and suppliers to source quality materials.

Since the materials will be purchased in bulk, there is a likelihood of getting them at a lower unit price. This can bring down the cost per square foot while maintaining the quality standards.   


Any commercial contracting renovation project needs proper planning and the involvement of the right set of contracting experts.

It is important that you follow tips such as beginning with priority expenses thereby spending the resources wisely, looking for economic incentives in the form of tax cuts and local financing, and setting up a contingency fund.

Hiring the right renovation contractor to guide the construction management for the project and coordinating all activities is essential for a successfully performed property.

A properly executed renovation provides the owner with a property that will attract tenants and provide a healthy cash flow for many years.

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