Insightful Discussions
Oct 2, 2020

Design And Build Or Renovate – Which Is Best For My Business?

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What should I consider when making the choice to build a new building or renovate an existing commercial space?
 
The decision to build or renovate can be complicated. When it comes to making real estate decisions, it always boils down to location. That is followed by cost. We do a lot of work with physician groups, dentists, and veterinarians. In the medical field, an existing practice may not want to take the risk of moving to a new location even if their office is outdated. Similarly, a shop keeper may have found that “one of a kind” building in a perfect setting that has become an integral part of the business’s charm and reputation. If you don’t need a significant amount of special features, renovation can be faster and less expensive; especially if you do not have to use the space during renovation. New construction offers total freedom over location, design, and specialty features. New construction can take advantage of design and engineering in order to control critical items like energy consumption and can make better use of advances in building materials that can provide a longer life cycle and require less maintenance costs.                                        
 
Considering new construction seems complex. How can Chambliss & Rabil help the process run smoothly if I were to proceed with a new build?
 
Construction becomes more complex when the goals of the owner are not clear or if the design and construction team is not working together efficiently. We stress effective design and construction teamwork from start to finish. In new construction, you start with a clean sheet of paper. You can control design and features. We stress to our staff, clients, and design team that a successful construction project starts tracking in that direction long before construction starts. The outcome of the pre-construction phase defines the success of the project. As our projects move through pre-construction into construction, we liken ourselves to an orchestra leader working with a group of well-trained composers and musicians. It is our responsibility to determine the goals of the owner and meet the owner’s budget and scheduling expectations. We keep the planning process moving in the right direction. The result is a smooth construction process.                             
 
Would renovation still afford me the opportunity to customize the space to meet my business’ needs?
 
In most cases, renovation affords the owner the opportunity to customize an existing space to meet their needs. There may be limitations. Existing conditions may dictate that the path we have to take to achieve the owner’s requirements are challenging and costly. There can be unknowns and surprises. A surprise leads to added costs. Renovating an existing space can require extensive retrofitting. The cost of upgrading the plumbing, electrical, HVAC and finishes can be high. The cost of building code compliance, environmental remediation, exterior improvements, and roof repairs can wreck a budget. An owner may get significant benefits from renovating. You can typically complete a renovation project in less time. If the building is in good shape and your requirements are not in conflict with the space, costs could be significantly less than new construction. If you love the location, that’s even more reason to accept the limitations, risk the unknowns and start renovation.                       
 
What can I expect Chambliss & Rabil’s “design and build” service to include?
 
In the Design-build method of delivery, you can expect Chambliss & Rabil to coordinate everything from early planning through pre-construction and construction. Our clients often want our input in qualifying a potential site from a feasibility and development cost standpoint. In Design-build, the construction team is assembled early to work directly with the architect and engineers during the design phase. Budget development and review starts early. This delivery method creates a collaborative environment for the design and construction team to provide the best building possible at the most efficient cost while reducing construction time. Potential design concerns and conflicts can be identified and mitigated during the pre-construction period. The team works side by side through design, budget development and into construction. When construction starts, everyone knows their role. The results are a smooth project that finishes on time and in budget.                            
 
I’m still managing my business while I upgrade my space. How can Chambliss & Rabil help me stay involved and informed during the construction process?
 
That’s an important question with a simple answer. Feeling involved and informed comes through effective communication (and lots of it). With today’s technology, there is no excuse for our clients to feel left out or uninformed. At Chambliss & Rabil, we provide a weekly snapshot of the project (past, present and future), with photographs. We identify items that require attention and decisions. We address the schedule. The client can stay at work, at home or on vacation and feel involved and informed.         

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