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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

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“Architectural Design Strategies” for your Phoenix Floor Plan

Can your front yard be transformed into Private Outdoor Living?  Can the garage or bedroom you’re using today be tomorrow’s organized Home Office?  Is an In-Law Suite needed because of your changing life style?  We can help you use some simple “architectural design strategies” for your next home renovation that will evolve as your lifestyle changes.

Home Sketch 1“Architectural  design strategies” will be used by your Architect to transform your home into a functional and beautiful space for you now, yet has the designed-in flexibility to allow new uses as your lifestyle moves forward.  The next generation home remodels made by homeowners today are typically smarter, more efficient and more focused on good living, rather than designed merely to impress, according to a recent AIA article.  The goal is to work with your floor plan and make better use your existing space.  The promise is you can live more fully in your existing house, if you plan ahead and use the architectural services of a good Architect.

DESIGNLine Architects, LLC has identified three Architectural design strategies we’d like to share with anyone who is considering a modification to their floor plan.

Ideas for Outdoor Living Floor Plans in Phoenix

Home Sketch 2Curb Appeal.  The first thing homebuyers, family and friends will look at when they visit your home is your front yard, the color of your home, the landscaping, and the walkways.  You only have one chance to make a first impression.

Relationship of Inside to Outside.  Consider aligning the elements of the Outdoor and Indoor Kitchen.  This will simplify the plumbing and electrical connections.

Consider the View.  What is your view from each outdoor space? You most likely cannot alter the view, but you can maximize a good one, or minimize a bad one.  Also consider views of key plants from inside.

Functionality and Beauty.  Herb planters are an easy way to add beauty and functionality to the space. Well positioned low voltage yard lights, colorful outdoor candles, and lanterns add a sense of festivity, and light up the more remote corners of the yard.

Music sets the Mood.  A set of outdoor speakers can be used alone or as part of a larger entertainment system.  A small fountain in the background lends some soft water sounds to the rest of the yard.

Ideas for Home Office Floor Plans in Phoenix

Consider Location Carefully. Size and location are two main factors to address when adding a Home Office.  Consider how many people will use your office space.  Will you have client meetings?

Small Space Design. The corner of a room is probably the most effective way to re-design your floor plan to have an office with minimal cost or disruption.

Private Location. Consider a quiet, out of the way location for your Home Office like the attic, basement or enclosed porch.

Ideas for In-Law Suite Floor Plans in Phoenix

As people live longer and healthier lives, more families are finding it beneficial to provide a special space for aging parents by combining households.


Shower Sketch 1

Before Starting Remodel.  Open and honest discussion with your parent and other family members is an essential first step before remodeling.  This will help define the areas you need to change.

Safety and Comfort. Universal design or ADA-compliant living is one in which the occupant can use everything in the home safely without assistance.  Floor plan design features may include one-story living, no-step entryways, wide doorways, extra floor space, floors and bathroom features with no-slip surfaces, improved lighting and details such as lever door handles.

Think Creatively.  In addition to a bedroom, bathroom and closets, the In-Law Suite could include a kitchenette, laundry, living and dining area.  You could renovate the floor plan of a garage, bedroom, attic, office, basement, back porch, even a barn or freestanding cottage on your property.  Consider the help of an Architect to check the local zoning ordinances first before designing the house plans.

Start with a 3-D Sketch of your Phoenix House Remodel

Ask your Architect to draw a 3-dimensional hand-sketch that will allow you to visualize your architectural design ideas.  It will also help your contractor prepare an early cost estimate to verify your budget goals.

Home Remodel Architect Phoenix

Architect Phoenix
Doug Rusk
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona

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Why does this Tenant Improvement Cost So Much?

By Doug Rusk, Architect

“We just want to tear down a few walls and convert a storage area to a small break room.  That can’t cost a lot, right?”

Tenant-Improvement-Architect-ScottsdaleClients asked questions like these 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.

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

Tenant Improvements are Not Always Easy

Moving walls for a tenant improvement is not as easy as you would think.  Actually, we don’t really move walls.  Existing walls are demolished, and new walls are built from scratch in new locations.  Also, changing wall locations requires relocating 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 recarpeting an entire room or an entire office suite, so the carpet matches throughout.

Many construction trades are needed to relocate even one wall, so a General Contractor 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 subcontractors, and charge about 20% above and beyond the total subcontractors’ fees.   A minimum amount is charged to make it worth the effort, so small tenant improvement projects cost more per square foot than large projects.

Tenant Improvements Cost Estimate Provided Quickly

DESIGNline ARCHITECTS offers an alternative Design/Build approach for tenant improvements that will pin down the cost question quickly, so you can make the decision to move forward.    We’ve developed a three-step approach:

Tenant-Improvement-Architect-Gilbert Identify your budget and design goals, and offer a low cost conceptual design package.  Once you approve the conceptual design and scope of work, we will work with your general contractor to confirm the approved design is on budget, with a construction cost estimate to within a +/- 20% range of variability.
Once the conceptual design and budget align, we will finish your final design phase.  Then when the construction documents are 75% complete, we will again work with the contractor to refine the construction cost estimate to within +/-10% range.
And when the final project is bid to the subcontractors, the costs are locked in, assuming no design changes.

About the Author

Architect Phoenix DesignerTo set up an appointment contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at   DESIGNline ARCHITECTS 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 commercial remodeling process from concept to completion.  We will ensure your tenant improvement will look more attractive and welcoming, while also increasing efficiency and comfort for your employees.

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