Why is phased construction something to consider for a commercial remodel?
Most small businesses cannot afford to shut down completely when undertaking the remodeling of a commercial space. The space needs to be paid to the landlord, the owner needs to continue to make money to be able to pay staff, and many other reasons. If he shuts down completely and the staff is laid off, they may never come back!
Often, this kind of commercial remodeling, interior or exterior, can indeed be undertaken in phases. For example, a restaurant may want to create a more attractive and trendy look. In this case, the actual cooking area may not need to be remodeled, just the public area.
Although most of the time, building out the entire space at the same time will save money, the pros of continuing to have viable operations outweigh the money that would be saved.
By dividing the public space into two areas, the construction may be undertaken in one half of the space. Once that is finished, then the second half can be undertaken. It may not be that complicated to do this. A simple partition can divide the space and measures can be taken to make sure that one half of the electrical and mechanical systems are still operational. Of course, sealing the construction area from the restaurant area is of the outmost importance, as I am sure the clients do not want dust in their food!
How is phased construction accomplished?
The most important consideration for this is the planning period. The architect and engineers must know ahead of time that this project is being contemplated in this way. The architectural and engineering plans must show the phased work from the beginning. If not, the work will be complicated in the construction, which may increase the cost later. But if it is planned as a phased construction from the inception, then the contractor will be able to easily accomplish the two phases.
Are there any other benefits to phased construction?
If finances are an issue, borrowing only half the money at a time, is also a plus for phasing the construction.
What are the downsides for phasing the construction?
Normally, a phased project takes longer. Planning by the architect and engineers is slightly more complicated which means they will likely ask for slightly higher fees.
Once half of the project is completed, the owner may be tempted to make changes in the drawings for the second phase. This could slow down the project and make it more expensive. In addition, costs could change over time.
Before undertaking a phased construction, the owner should weigh the pros and cons of either phasing the project or not. It is an important decision.
Should you want to discuss your options with us, please call Maria Luisa Castellanos, Architect, United Architects, Inc., at 305-439-7898 or email at MLC@UnitedArchitectsInc.com and we can set up and appointment to discuss your project.