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Why does this Tenant Improvement Cost So Much?

    I'm often asked questions like this in the early phases of a tenant improvement. The client has many questions during early phases of an office relocation, and they normally would prefer to pin down the cost question quickly, so they can make a decision whether to move forward.
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DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
Phone: 4807103861
http://designlinearchitects.com

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Construction Cost

Hire a Custom Home Design Architect in Phoenix (Contd.)

Why do you want to work with an architect on designing your home or remodeling it?  Because they can guide you through a process that is more complex than you might think.

Hire a custom home design architect in Mesa | Custom Home Design Architect in Mesa | 480-710-3861

Hire a custom home design architect in Mesa | Custom Home Design Architect in Mesa | 480-710-3861

A Custom Home Design Architect:  Building Science and Art

Your chosen professional architect will have latest information where building science is concerned, and can get you building project through with a minimum number of revisions.  You’ll also get their understanding and expertise of the overall construction process.

The basic function of a custom home design architect is to interpret your needs and come up with a professional plan for any building project. Although you may hire him/her for just one task, the architect will also provide you access to a wide range of other resources to make sure entire building process goes off without a hitch.

Depending upon your budget and needs, an architect can guide you through the research process, permit applications as well as hiring general contractors and surveyors, and even recommend subcontractors plus manage the entire construction phase of a project on your behalf to ensure all building plans are accurately followed.

Want To Control Your Price?  Hire a Licensed Architect

You want an experienced custom home design architect.  He will used to pricing and getting bids on various residential projects.  He will easily be able to manage your own project bidding so that you can successfully obtain the best possible pricing from qualified licensed contractors. Just this benefit can more than make up for the architect’s free. You can save tens of thousands for this service.

You want a well-constructed house. You also want your home to be safe and pose no risks to your health or the health of your family.  You want a fully licensed architect familiar with healthy design to create your custom house.

This means no toxic-off gassing from harmful products, clean air for your kids to breathe, and construction processes that leave your house clean after it’s finished. How much is the health of your wife or husband, son or daughter worth? Priceless. Remember, a clean home can result in your family living healthier, longer lives. Your investment in a custom home design architect from this standpoint is priceless.  However, there’s another reason to consider here.  What about the view?

You want to capture breathtaking views from your piece of land. You’re concerned that a builder might not have suitable capabilities to understand how important these views are for you. Builders build; architects design.  And a custom home design architect will make your home fit right in with the landscape.

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-710-3861
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How to Consult an Commercial Architect Part 3: Why You Should Hire an Architect For Any Improvements to Your Business

Part three of our three part series on commercial architects explores some final reasons why architects should be involved at several stages of your project.

Commercial Architects:  Navigating Red Tape and Paper Jungles

Phoenix Architecture Firm

Call a Commercial Architect Today | 480-710-3861

A lot of businesses try to improve their bottom line, and try to leave out a commercial architect‘s involvement in their project, only to be surprised later on when they get a hefty fine from the city and/or the county. How can this happen?

It isn’t as easy as just knocking out a wall if you’re expanding.  Any time a business makes changes to the electrical, plumbing, or walls the work needs to be completely signed off and approved by usually two different levels of government: city and county.  For commercial projects it is specifically mandated by law  that the plans be sealed by a licensed architect and submitted for approval before construction can even start.   Sometimes, there are things that a business owner doesn’t know.  For example, knocking out a wall may also knock out a telecommunications junction box. Also, building a building without an architect’s sign off can lead to a structurally unsound building.  And there is also a vast difference between how something looks on paper and how it looks for real.

Commercial Architects: Image Does Matter

A well designed building has positive effects on your business, and gives off an image that both attracts customers and makes them want to bring their business to you. Inversely, a poorly designed building makes people want to avoid your business.  You want to get a commercial architect in as quickly as possible, before you break ground.  As a business owner, you’re trying to keep an image while at the same time keeping your costs down.

As you see, projects can be a bit more than you guess.  A commercial architect knows how to adhere to a budget, and manage the elements of a project.

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-710-3861

How to Consult an Commercial Architect Part 1: Commercial Architecture
How to Consult an Commercial Architect Part 2: Environmentally Friendly Design
How to Consult an Commercial Architect Part 3: Why You Should Hire One for Your Business

 

An Architect’s Areas of Specialty

An architect does more than just build buildings and design structures.  This article will explore some of the many things that a design professional like this can do either for a homeowner or a business owner.

Architects: More than Just Buildings

An architect in Phoenix can help you with remodeling

Call an Architect in Phoenix | (480) 710-3861

Ancient Rome was famous for its aqueducts, among other things. How were they built? With the help of a series of architects. Of course they had a different name back then, but the principles were the same.  Even back then, architects were people who wore many different hats.  Today, however, an architect serves a lot of purposes including:

Administration of projects-A lot of people don’t realize that an architect is more than just a design professional.  Architects also serve as the last word in projects, and are also the manager on whom a lot of decisions rest.

-Clearing permits with city governments where necessary.  Do you know what permits are necessary for a room addition?  If you’re building on land, do you know how to schedule an environmental impact study?  A Phoenix architect does.

Form and Function: More Jobs for Your Architect

-Aesthetics and incorporating both form and function.  If you are looking at custom home remodeling, do you know how to place a natural light source where it won’t be glaring, or too dark?  Guess who can tell where it should go…?

Tenant improvement.  Let’s say you have a commercial property.  One of your tenants has a booming business and needs to expand into the suite next door.  They want to knock out a wall.  Who do you go to for the answer?  Simple, you call in a professional architect.

There are certain jobs you don’t do yourself.  If you are injured in a car wreck, you don’t drive yourself to the hospital.  If  you are in danger from a criminal you call the police.  And when you want to do something connected with your building or structure, you call in an architect.

Design Line Architects, LLC  is a Phoenix based architecture firm.

Design Line Architects, LLC
470 East Canyon Creek Court
Gilbert, AZ 85295
(480) 710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

 

Why Hire an Architect For Your Home Remodeling Project

Home Remodeling-Call an Architect

Home Remodeling-Call an Architect | (480) 710-3861

Hiring an architect for a home remodeling project seems to be an unnecessary expense.  But this article except from houselogic.com shows some clear advantages to hiring a professional:

Advantages of Hiring an Architect

The bigger the remodeling job and the more valuable the house, the more you need a professional. “Any time you’re changing the exterior of the building, making significant alterations to the floor plan inside, or spending more than 5% of the value of the house, you want an architect,” says Stamford, Conn., construction manager William Harke.

Both architects and contractors can save you money through the creative use of space and materials. But the two professionals often solve problems differently. In a nutshell:

Contractors typically look for an efficient and logical solution, but not necessarily the most innovative or aesthetically pleasing approach.

Architects typically propose solutions that add visual appeal, and complement and flow into the rest of the house.

To red more of this article, please visit  the source article here.

Hiring an Architect Versus Hiring a Contractor

Be aware that not every project requires that you hire an architect.  Something simple like painting, electrical, drywall etc., are all the realms of a contractor. However, remodeling jobs that require you to get building permits such as home additions are the realm of a licensed architecture firm.

However, it isn’t just home additions that require permits, or the skilled hand of an architect.  Sometimes,  home remodeling requires that you get in touch with a pro.

Structural Integrity and an Architect

Let’s say you want to add some natural lighting to your family room.  You go to your local home improvement center, and buy a whole bunch of glass bricks and some mortar and caulking.  You’re all set.  Except, that you are looking at putting the glass bricks in a load bearing corner.  Without meaning to, you could damage the structural integrity of your house, or if you live in Mesa, you may get in trouble with the city if you’re not careful.  You would do better by calling in an architect instead, as they can easily determine where it is safe to put your new glass brick wall while keeping your house’s structure intact.

 Design Line Architects, LLC is a Gilbert-based architecture firm.

Design Line Architects, LLC
470 East Canyon Creek Court
Gilbert, AZ 85295
(480) 710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

 

 

CASE STUDY– Mesa Office Tenant Improvement

Written By Doug Rusk, Architect

Mesa Office Tenant Improvement

A recent office tenant improvement we performed for a national insurance company showcases a great example of why some businesses are more successful than others.   When you’re an insurance business that focuses all day on helping other businesses and individuals with risk prevention, damage protection and safety & Loss control, it’s no surprise to find they are just as smart at handling their own office tenant improvement in a similar way.

So when Mary, their regional Project Manager, needed a reputable General Contractor for her company’s 2875 SF office tenant improvement project in Mesa, she called Joe Harris, managing partner of AZ Construction, LLC.   Joe’s first move was to confirm this project qualified for the “Permit By Inspection” program offered by the City of Mesa for minor tenant improvements projects.  His second move was to retain Doug Rusk, a principal with DESIGNLine Architects, LLC ASAP, who he knew would make him look good to his client by expediting their design/permit submittal package.  And because our client Mary provided a detailed specification package that described all their project goals, Doug’s design team needed only 21 business days from signed design contract to obtain City approved building permit in order to start construction. And Joe’s team needed only 20 business days from building permit approval to finish construction so the tenant could move in.

TENANT IMPROVEMENT  MESA

And as a result of our team’s continuous communication with the City of Mesa, we discovered that the current drinking fountain code requirement could be reduced to only requiring drink cups next to the break room sink.  So including the plumbing work that would have been required, this saved the client over $1200.

Mesa Office Tenant Improvement – Scope of Work

Overall, the tenant improvement scope of work on this project was relatively straightforward:

– Removed several decorative walls and ceiling elements in the main room.

– Remove the old ceiling work, and replaced with a new 11’-4” high T-bar ceiling, modified layout of lights and mechanical as required.

– Removed glass door wall in order to open up the front entry.

– Built 3 new walls to create one new office and two conference room. Painted Orange contract color on new office walls shown on left in photo above).

– Added all the necessary electrical outlets, power panel updates, lighting and data lines necessary for 12 cubical work stations.

– Updated paint and flooring throughout entire 2875 SF space.

COMMERCIAL OFFICE REMODEL

Have you noticed the growing number of unattended office lobbies these days?  In order to create efficiencies in our tenant improvement, we down sized the fancy lobby and instead positioned one of the typical workstations to act as the reception (see image above).

After removing the curved, multi-height ceiling elements and added the new office and conference room (see left side of top picture), we installed a new single height ceiling grid.   We saved $1600 by carefully designing the new ceiling grid and lighting so that we didn’t have to move too many fire sprinkler heads.  Per Mesa Fire Department codes if you relocate no more than 9 fire sprinkler heads, then you will not be required to submit complete fire sprinkler design drawings to the City of Mesa.

Office Tenant Improvement – Location is Key:

So if you’re business will benefit more exposure, consider some of the moves our subject insurance client performed:

Find a prominent corner location on a busy intersection with a gas station next door. – Provides great drive by exposure to drivers waiting at a stop light.

Locate your business between nationally franchised restaurants on one side and a Fed-Ex type postage delivery store on the other side. This will provide continuous walk by traffic that will build familiarity to your brand.

For other great ideas, read this:  Cost Effective Tenant Improvement Ideas

COMMERCIAL OFFICE REMODEL

About the Author

Doug Rusk is the principal at DESIGNLine Architects, LLC located in Gilbert, Arizona.  We specialize in residential and commercial tenant improvement for small and medium sized businesses with expertise in space planning and interior design consulting.  We’ll provide your General Contractor a thorough preliminary design packages that will enable an early construction cost estimate to confirm your budget quickly.

Phoenix Architecture FirmDoug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
480-710-3861
www.designlinearchitects.com

Mesa Building Permit “Shortcuts”

By Doug Rusk, Architect

The City of Mesa offers an accelerated process to obtain building permits for minor remodels.

If you haven’t already heard…  the City of Mesa offers a “shortcut” to obtain building permits for minor commercial remodel.   This special program, called “Permit By Inspection” (PBI), will significantly shorten the Plan Review and Permit Approval process – if your project qualifies.

Mesa Tenant ImprovementCity of Mesa

Minor Commercial Tenant Improvement

Permit By Inspection (PBI)

The permit by inspection program (PBI) is a voluntary alternative to the standard construction document plan review and building permit approval processes for special projects of certain building uses, occupancies and degree of complexity.   The PBI program is intended to provide a stream-lined approach to building permit plan review review and issuance in which senior building inspectors review construction documents in the field and approve the issuance of the building permit.  There is a 20% premium for the PBI process on top of the regular building permit fee and other fees.

Benefits of the “Permit By Inspection” (PBI) Process:

  • – Typically the Permit By Inspection (PBI) is processed in a 5 day turnaround time  (instead of 18 days).
  • – Cuts down on paperwork.
  • – Much of process is done by email.
  • – One contact person who is familiar with the project and special conditions.
  • – Construction work can proceeds as the plan review is taking place.
  • – Quick response time to changing field conditions.

There are currently no written criteria to determine if your project will qualify for the building permit by PBI process.  To learn more, call Clyde at (480) 644-4273.

If your project does NOT qualify for the PBI process, the regular Plan Review Turn-Around Times at this writing are:

Commercial

  • – 5 business day PBI review.
  • – 18 business days review.
  • – 10 day expedite review (100% of building permit fee).
  • – Super expedite review with negotiated turn-around time (200% of building permit fee).

Residential

  • – 10 business day review (5 days for master plot plans).
  • – 5 day expedite review (100% of building permit fee).

Signs

Over-The-Counter Plan Review

The City of Mesa also offers same day over-the-counter plan reviews for the following projects types:

  • – Emergency repairs (water, sewer, gas, electric).
  • – “Like for Like” repair/replacement (gas, water, electric).
  • – Banner Permits.

City of Mesa

Construction Plan Review and Building Permits
55 N. Center St.
Mesa, AZ  85201
PHONE (480) 644-4273
OFFICE HOURS:  7:00am to 6:00pm, M-TH
CLOSED FRIDAYS AND HOLIDAYS

For more Building Permit specific details related to cities that you live or work, click on one of the following links: Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale.

About the Author

A Mesa architect will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects. No matter what kind of space you need today, we’ll make sure it’s designed for your needs in the future.  This will give you future function built into today’s home addition.  To discuss your Mesa building permit needs, contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.com.

Architect in Mesa

Mesa Architecture Firm
 
Doug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
www.designlinearchitects.com

Chandler Building Permits – Fast Track

Small Business Benefits from Fast Tracked Chandler Building Permits

Chandler is one small business richer since a new bread making business, Gratifying Grains LLC, opened this week.    The new Mother and Daughter owners, Betsy Moore and Megan Moore, said that “because they only planned on a minor remodel, the City of Chandler offered us an expedited process to obtain our tenant improvement building permits.”

Tenant Improvement Chandler

But they’re not the only ones.  Many new Chandler businesses, who are planning to apply for a minor commercial tenant improvement (TI), have recently utilized this special Chandler program called the Small Business Assistance Program.  According to Betsy, “this terrific program significantly shortened the plan review time and building permit approval process for us. “  Because not all construction projects will qualify for this program, she recommended that people call Martin Perez at 480-782-3138 for more information.

Minor Commercial Tenant Improvement

Small Business Assistance Program

The Small Business Assistance Program is similar, but slightly different, to the Permit By Inspection (PBI) program offered at other Southeast Valley cities.   Here’s how it works.  A four member team from the Development Services staff, called the Small Business Assistance Team, will visit your new tenant space, and then mail you a written letter that identifies any issues of “significant importance” that might have the potential of costing you time and money.  This team is available at no cost and is intended to assist the small business community by helping clients navigate the City’s planning, building permit and licensing process.

QUALIFICATIONS:

There are currently no written qualifications to define a “minor tenant improvement”.  To learn more, call Martin Perez at 480-782-3138.

Chandler Commercial Remodel

City of Chandler
Transportation & Development
215 East Buffalo Street.
Chandler, AZ 85225

Phone:  Call Martin Perez at 480-782-3138 to answer expedited method of obtaining building permits.

How Do I Know if I Need a Chandler Building Permit?

May Need a Phoenix Building Permit, if you’re:

  • – Moving a sink- requires the proper extension of plumbing.
  • – Demolishing a load-bearing wall- means redistributing weight from above.
  • – Changing the home’s roof line framing.
  • – Punching in a new window or door- requires a new header that carries weight from above.
  • – Altering the footprint of your house.
  • – Installing new electrical wiring.

You May NOT Need a Phoenix Building Permit, if you’re:

  • – Putting in hardwood floor.
  • – Installing carpeting.
  • – Upgrading your counter tops.
  • – Paint

For more Building Permit specific details related to cities that you live or work, click on one of the following links: Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale.

About the Author Building Permits, Building Permits, Building Permits, Building Permits

A Chandler architect will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects. No matter what kind of space you need today, we’ll make sure it’s designed for your needs in the future.  This will give you future function built into today’s home addition.  To discuss your Chandler building permit needs, contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.com. building permits, Building Permits, Building Permits, Building Permits

Architect in Chandler

Phoenix Architecture FirmDoug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
www.designlinearchitects.com

Early Construction Cost Estimate Confirms Tenant Budget in Gilbert.

Gilbert Construction Costs have Many Variables.

“We just want to convert a storage closet into a small break area and move a few walls. “

“How much do you think it will cost for our remodel?”

Clients call me with questions like these who are considering the remodel or relocation of their Gilbert business.  After the prospective landlord offers a tenant improvement allowance, I’ll get a call asking me to confirm if the offered will be sufficient to cover any costs incurred during the commercial remodel, hoping they will not have to come out of pocket to pay for the construction and design work.

COMMERCIAL REMODEL CONSTRUCTION COSTS

 

Yes the question is simple, but the answer is never easy and usually followed by a series of disclaimers, taking away all value to the answer.

When lease negotiations start to move quickly, the prospective tenant can understandably become very frustrated when they are asked to execute a contract before fully evaluating their financial commitments.  And when the cost of the tenant improvement cannot be established upfront, it makes the decision more difficult to accept any lease offer.

Many Gilbert businesses these days are choosing to make a few minor revisions to their existing office space instead of building a new office building or even undertaking a tenant improvement.  Whether dividing up office space to sub-lease a portion of it, or making changes that improve productivity, or attract customers, companies are searching for ways to increase revenue with minimal expense.

Tenant Improvements Costs are Not Easy to Determine.

Despite the fact that your tenant improvement design may appear to be the same as your last one, in truth it has never been built before.  Many of the workers that have been hired for your project may not have ever worked together in the past.  These new workers may require training in order to address the special conditions of your unique space and be required to interpret a design they have never seen before.  It is this diverse combination of workers as well as the unique conditions of your project that drives the fluctuating, unpredictability in labor cost.

Moving walls for tenant improvements is not as straightforward as most people think.

Actually, walls are not moved at all.

  • – Existing walls are demolished, and new walls in different locations, are built from scratch.
  • – Moreover, changing wall locations requires moving HVAC vents, light fixtures, sprinkler heads, electrical wiring and outlets, telephone and data cabling, and sometimes moldings or wainscoting.
  • – Where existing walls are demolished, entire new areas of flooring and ceiling material are usually needed, because simply bandaging the wounds left by demolished walls would be unsightly.
  • – This means re-carpeting an entire room or an entire office suite, so the carpet matches throughout.

Many subcontractors (trades) are needed to relocate even one wall, so a General Contractor (GC) must be hired to coordinate the necessary sequence of events amongst the various trades. The GC will hire framing, drywall, HVAC, electrical, cabling, flooring, and demolition trades, and charge a management fee about 10 – 30% above and beyond the total trade’s fees.   A minimum amount is charged to make it worth their effort, so small tenant improvement projects in Gilbert can cost more per square foot than large projects.

Construction Cost Estimate

So back to the all important question, “How much will it cost?”

Alternative Approaches to Remodel Cost Estimates.

  1. The traditional, old school approach to answer the question of construction cost, is to completely finish a details set of construction drawings (CD’s), and then request competitive bids from at least 3 general contractors.  Although this traditional method has been used since the beginning, it doesn’t provide the Owner (tenant) with the final construction costs until too late in the game, many times requiring a stressful period of redesign, rebidding and schedule delays.  In addition the General Contractor (the man with the most construction cost knowledge) is kept out of the early design process.  As a result and for many reasons, many design professionals have abandoned this dated approach.
  2. What has proven to be a more preferred, modern approach is called the Design/Build approach.  Once the Architect has prepared a preliminary space plan, the General Contractor is brought in to the team to not only provide valuable construction advice, but also to prepare a reasonable cost estimate to pin down the cost question quickly, so the Owner (tenant) can make the decision to move forward or not.

Generally, the Design/Build approach works like this:

  • – Once your preliminary space plan design is approved, your general contractor will ensure the project remains on budget, by preparing a construction cost estimate to within a +/- 20% range of variability (we can help you choose a contractor).
  • – Then when the construction documents are 75% complete, we will again work with your contractor to refine the construction cost estimate to within a +/-10% range.
  • – And when the final project is bid to the subcontractors, the prices are locked in, assuming no design changes.

About the Author

Doug Rusk is the principal at DESIGNLine Architects, LLC located in Gilbert, Arizona.  We specialize in residential and commercial remodeling for small and medium sized businesses with expertise in space planning and interior design consulting.  We’ll provide your General Contractor a thorough preliminary design packages that will enable an early construction cost estimate to confirm your budget quickly.

Gilbert Architecture Firm
 
Doug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
480-710-3861
www.designlinearchitects.com