Month: February 2016

16 Feb

Top NINE Tips for Crushing Your Tenant Improvement – PART TWO

michaelstrachan / Blog / / 0 Comments

By Cheryl Osborn, President and Founder, CASCO CONTRACTORS

commerical-tenant-improvement

 

(Continued) Most companies value their work space and it is an intrinsic part of how they do business – functionally and culturally.  Leasing or buying a new workspace that requires tenant improvements seems like a natural part of the growing or downsizing process but it carries its own set of issues that need to be addressed.  There are several things to keep in mind when going through this process but I am here to highlight the NINE MOST IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS WHEN TAKING ON A TENANT IMPROVEMENT.

OH SH**!!!

Make sure your budget allows for the unforeseen.  As much as we want to protect ourselves from any costs or delays associated with changes, the unforeseen is what can kill a budget and a schedule.  Know the terms of your lease, but unforeseen conditions are likely your responsibility.  I like to keep at least a 5% contingency to spend on items that honestly could not have been known prior to opening up that wall or knocking down the ceiling.

STAY CURRENT

Know you are getting the best end product and the best finishes available. With so many options right now, the prices for things like flooring, wallcoverings and interesting finish options do not need to break the bank.  Also, make sure the color schemes you pick will still be current in 3-5 years.

SCHEDULE IS $$$

Make sure the contractor maintains their schedule.  Ask them to submit a weekly schedule chronicling their activities and how it ties into your construction completion date.  This is important during the process so you can plan all of your responsibilities as a tenant – i.e. tele data cabling, furniture delivery and installation, security work and most notably, your actual move in date.

WERE DONE!!!

Time for the punch walk – the moment of truth.  Be aware of ALL items you need to look for – functionality of doors, HVAC maps that tell you which thermostat is controlling the air, that the power is in the correct place for your equipment, walls are all completed and look good in all different shades of lighting throughout the day.  This is the time to pick up on any imperfections and hold the contractor accountable.

WE MOVED IN!!!

This phase encompasses the warranty period – the first 1-2 years (depending on the contractor’s warranty) where they will be available to fix any equipment that goes bad, any lighting or electrical work that malfunctions or plumbing and appliance issues.  Make sure you fully understand your contractors warranty and you know who to call if things go wrong so you are not paying expensive maintenance fees for things that are covered under your warranty.

Tenant improvement can be a long and arduous process so it is important to understand these important tips to make sure that things go as smoothly, quickly and as cost effectively as possible.

04 Feb

Top NINE Tips for Crushing Your Tenant Improvement – PART ONE

michaelstrachan / Blog / / 0 Comments

By Cheryl Osborn, President and Found, CASCO CONTRACTORS

bullitt-work-in-progress-BullittCenter

Most companies value their work space and it is an intrinsic part of how they do business – functionally and culturally.  Leasing or buying a new workspace that requires tenant improvements seems like a natural part of the growing or downsizing process but it carries its own set of issues that need to be addressed.  There are several things to keep in mind when going through this process but I am here to highlight the NINE MOST IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS WHEN TAKING ON A TENANT IMPROVEMENT

PROGRAM, PROGRAM, PROGRAM

Do your own programming beforehand.  Let’s face it, companies change all the time – some on the edge of a dime and some in a more strategic, structured way.  Regardless, you need to understand who your company is today, who it will be in a year and then in 3 years.  If there is uncertainty, take that into consideration and maybe sign a shorter duration lease.  If there is a strategic growth plan, make sure your space has the required expansion ability and if you find the right space, lock it in for a longer amount of time.  Make sure you understand how the people will fit into the space and allow for extra space for employee amenities, circulation space and growth.  This is what the millennials are looking for and these “fringes” are often overlooked when you are looking to maximize the square footage per person.

THE LEASE SAYS THAT?!?

iStock_000002313724Small-477x319First of all, make sure you allow enough time for the lease process and the construction (6 months before projected occupancy).  Then, understand what is in your lease.  This is where you become best friends with your broker.  A lease is very complicated and the terms that you agree to do not “bend” – especially if it is in the landlord’s best interest.   Make sure you are getting a fair deal that provides the rent that works for you and the tenant improvement allowance that is realistic.  Understand your terms as well – can you use this money for furniture and fixtures or only “hard construction”.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DETAILS
Walk through the proposed floorplan, scope of work and all the details PRIOR to signing your lease.  These details cannot be overstated to how important they are – for timing and for budget.  With tenant improvement, any change after the deal is done costs money and time.  Even just moving a wall or adding an office can create engineering and building permit nightmares so it is best to have the overall layout set in stone before you start the process.  Make sure your architect or your contractor spend at least 1 hour per 6,000 sf with you reviewing the details prior to starting.

THERE ARE OPTIONS?!?

Ready Now Suite 900 6Have a lot of options (i.e. alternates to your pricing).  Sometimes the idea of something is great but you have to really evaluate the cost and the benefit and the only way to do that is to see what those costs are and make educated decisions BEFORE you start construction.  This could be upgraded finishes, additional workspace benefits or just any whim you would love to see come to fruition (i.e. Google slide, company gym, nap pods…you get the picture).

STAY TUNED!  PART TWO COMING FEBRUARY 12, 2016!