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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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Building Permits

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

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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

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Expedited Scottsdale Building Permits

The City of Scottsdale offers an accelerated process to acquire building permits for minor remodels.

If you’re building a minor residential or commercial remodel in City of Scottsdale and need a building permit, there are special programs in place that will significantly shorten the plan review and permit approval process.

City of Scottsdale

If you meet the following criteria and have a form of payment with you, you may be eligible for an Over the Counter Buliding Permit.  The building permit may be processed while you wait, depending on the complexity of the project.   Plan check and building permit fees vary depending upon the type of work being done and the valuation.

Smaller Home Remodels/Addition

Scottsdale Building Permits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.  For smaller residential remodels/additions, the City of Scottsdale offers a convenient over-the-counter plan review and building permit process, available Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM, opening at 10 AM on Wednesdays.  Plan Review is completed over the counter at the One Stop Shop.

City of Scottsdale

HOME REMODEL QUALIFICATIONS:

Over The Counter Plan Review

–  Home Remodels or Additions less than 1000 SF – no second floor additions.

–  Patio additions and enclosures.

–  Carports enclosures into garages or livable space.

–  Garage conversions to livable space.

–  Non-habitable accessory buildings less than 1000 SF.

–  Solar panels that are in compliance with City of Scottsdale placement guidelines.

–  Properties with non-conforming structures and/or properties, requiring additional research, may be submitted for a standard 20 day review.

–  Projects zoned Environmentally Sensitive Lands (ESL) must be submitted for a 20 day review.

–  During busy waiting periods, only one plan per customer will be honored.

Minor Commercial Tenant Improvement

2.  The City of Scottsdale is now processing minor Commercial Tenant Improvements (TIs) using a two-tiered process that will allow certain types of TIs to be reviewed, and building permits issued, either same day or within 15 days of submittal. building permit, building permit, building permit

Scottsdale Buliding Permits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City of Scottsdale

COMMERCIAL TENANT IMPROVEMENT QUALIFICATIONS:

Over The Counter Plan Review

–  2,000 sq. ft. MAX

–  Group B or M occupancy ONLY

–  Single-story, non-structural

–  No use changes

–  Do not require a Use Permit

–  Do not require a Use Permit

–  Ask for a Counter Plan Reviewer

15-Day T.I. / Commercial Remodel Review

–  Groups A, B, E or M occupancy ONLY

–  Non Structural

–  No use changes

–  No Use Permit required

–  No exterior work* (other than roof mounted equipment that is fully screened)

3.   Projects north of the CAP will require some planning input before approving for over-the-counter review. Please ask to speak with a Planner.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

4.  Fire Sprinklers – Any residential improvement that involves 25% or more of the existing structure; and/or adds more than 25% to the original structure, requires that fire sprinklers be installed in the entire home.

5.  Building Code – Any residential improvement that involves 50% or more of the existing structure; and/or adds more than 50% to the original structure, requires that entire structure must be brought up to the current Building Code standards.

6.  Water & Sewer improvements may be required.

Coffee Bar Remodel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City of Scottsdale

Regular Plan Review Turn-Around Times

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

Commercial

–  15 business day review – Tenant Improvement (See item #2 above)

–  20 business day review –  Downtown Projects less than 3,000 sq.ft.

–  10 day expedite review (100% of building permit fee)

–  Super expedite review with negotiated turn-around time (200% of building permit fee)

Residential

–  20 business day review (5 days for master plot plans)

–  5 day expedite review (100% of building permit fee)

Signs

–  10 business days

–  Get Your Sign Permit Approved in One Review – 10 Steps!

To learn more, call 480-312-2500 at the One Stop Shop 7447 E Indian School Road, Suite 105, Scottsdale, AZ  85251

Please Note:  The counter plan review is usually available on TUESDAY and THURSDAY (only) from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM.   To learn more, call (480) 350-8341 to verify availability of services.

City of Scottsdale

One Stop Shop Permit Counter               Ed Peaser C. B. O.
First Floor, One Civic Center                                   Plan Review Manager
7447 E. Indian School Rd.                                        480-312-2532
www.ScottsdaleAZ.gov                                            epeaser@scottsdaleaz.gov
(480) 312-2500

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

About the Author

A Scottsdale 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 or office remodel.  To discuss your Scottsdale building permit needs, contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.com. building permit, building permit, building permit

Architect in Scottsdale

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

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Do Phoenix Tenant Improvements Need Building Permits?

By Doug Rusk, Architect

Tenant-Improvement-Architect-TempeIf you are planning to update the building for your business, like plumbing, electrical or move bearing walls, your municipalities’ building department requires an Architect to submit Phoenix tenant improvement construction drawings for building permit approval.  Not only can DESIGNLine  ARCHITECTS provide the design and construction drawings, we will submit them for you and work with the municipality to get them approved as quickly as possible.

We will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects.  We will also help you to make decisions that will enhance your business by guiding you through the entire remodeling process from concept to completion.

Phoenix Tenant Improvements Means Planning First

Most business owners underestimate the number of decisions they need to make their Phoenix tenant improvement successful.  Proper planning helps you avoid the confusion.

  • Start an image file by collecting pictures of spaces and buildings you like.
  • Create a list of the rooms and functions you want accommodated.
  • Identify your goals for project schedule and budget.

Phoenix Tenant Improvement Considerations

Commercial-Remodel-Architect-PhoenixWhether consulting with your architect or contractor for ideas and advice, there are a variety of decisions you’ll need to work through.    A tenant improvement doesn’t have to mean opening more space; it could mean being more strategic about the space you already have.  At DESIGNLine  ARCHITECTS  we offer an alternative Design/Build approach  that will pin down the cost question quickly, so you can make the decision to move forward.

How do I get started?

Architect Phoeniz Designer

 

To set up an appointment contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.comtenant improvement process can be an intimidating.  DESIGNLine  ARCHITECTS  will ensure your Phoenix tenant improvement look more attractive and welcoming, while also increasing efficiency and comfort for employees.

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