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Planning a Timeline for an Office Renovation

When the time comes to start thinking about an office renovation, it’s natural to have lots of questions. By far, the most common question will inevitably be about how much it will all cost. Next up will likely be questions about how long the project will take to complete. The prospect of having a new and improved space to work is very exciting, so it’s very understandable to want the work to be finished and ready to go as quickly as possible. However, the question of how long it takes doesn’t have a simple answer since it can depend on a lot of different factors. 

It’s also important to remember that the overall timeline of an office renovation isn’t necessarily limited to the time between when a team first arrives to begin construction work on a space and the day the team finishes cleaning up. There are steps that occur both before and after the actual construction work which should also be accounted for as part of the total project time. So what do you need to consider when figuring out a project timeline?

Overhead view of people looking at design plans at a desk.

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Project Goals

A big factor in how long an office renovation project will take largely depends on the scope of the work involved. Will a space need to be completely gutted and overhauled or are we talking about some more minor upgrades? Another reason to make sure your key goals are planned out and agreed upon early in the process is that it helps prevent delays down the line. If the scope of a project needs to change to incorporate additional work later on, it can add extra time (and money) to the overall project. 

Once you start looking for companies to work with on your project, having all of your goals in place will help make sure you get accurate and consistent proposals from the firms you reach out to. 

Reaching Out to Renovation Firms

Speaking of finding a renovation firm to work with, remember to allow plenty of time to request, receive, and review proposals. Ideally, this process should begin as early as possible. Not only will this help ensure you’re able to work with your first-choice firm, getting input from professionals can help give you an accurate understanding of how long a project should realistically take to complete. If you’ve never planned an office renovation before, it can be difficult to guess how long it will take for the work to be finished. But professionals know all the ins and outs in terms of how long work takes and can anticipate where any delays could potentially occur – and know how to avoid them. 

You have choices in terms of companies you engage with and the overall process. The traditional approach is to hire an architectural or interior design firm to complete your drawings and from there reach out to contractors to provide you quotes on the work.  Another approach, which will reduce the timeline, is to engage a design/build firm. With this method, you are hiring one company to design and build your space, which can have many benefits.

Moving boxes stacked in an office.


Image: onudongel / iStock

Logistical Matters

Planning an office renovation involves thinking about a lot of things that are fun to plan for, but there are also a lot of logistical matters to plan around. While these logistical matters aren’t exciting to think about, they’re extremely important since they can impact your overall timeline. Does a building have any rules about when renovation work can be done or when moving is allowed? Is there an approval process that needs to be followed within your company before work can begin? Most importantly, where will the team work during the renovation? Will everyone work from home for the duration of the project, which would allow the overall project duration to be minimized or will it be phased over a longer period of time to keep areas of the space up and running. 

Lead Times

As you plan your renovation, don’t forget to factor in any lead times that may apply to your project. For example, when many companies plan a renovation, they want to purchase new furniture for their new space. But new office furniture often comes with substantial lead times, so it’s very important to plan ahead to make sure everything will be ready when you want to be in your new space. 

Lead times are particularly important to consider as the world continues to deal with major supply chain disruptions. The commercial renovation industry is among the many industries impacted by the effects of these disruptions, so lead times may be longer than they would be under typical circumstances. We’ve seen already long lead times get even longer and, in some cases, lead times get extended after the fact. All we can do is try to be patient, reasonable, and to stay flexible in these difficult times. 

Inspections & Approvals

There can be several approvals and inspections required throughout the process. If your company is leasing a space, many building owners require a copy of the drawings for their review and approval prior to beginning work. Depending on the scope of work, you most likely will need to submit drawings to the city for a permit. Building officials will do inspections during the construction process to confirm everything is being built to building codes. Lastly, once the contractor confirms they are substantially complete, you will want to walk the space with the project manager and put together a punch list. This is your time to walk to space and confirm everything meets your expectations. 

When you’re ready to get started with your project, Premier Construction & Design will be ready to help. Be sure to check out our portfolio and case studies for examples of projects we’ve worked on. Our blog post is also full of other tips and ideas for planning a new office space. Contact us so that we can learn more about your project.

Featured image: FangXiaNuo/ iStock