5 Ideas for a Successful Office Renovation

By Blog, Renovation Resources

blog-5-ideas-office-renovationWhether you’re just moving into an office or your current one is in need of some upkeep, executing a successful office renovation can be tricky business. The good news is that with some forethought and planning, everything can run smoothly and you can enjoy your newly renovated office in a short amount of time.

Here are 5 ideas to help make the process easier:

  1. Clear goals: While your main reason for renovating might be “this office is just too ugly,” you’re going to need to dig deeper when it comes to defining your goals for renovation. Are you renovating the space for you and your employees? Or are you trying to make the space more comfortable for clients? Is your main reason for renovation cosmetic or are their structural changes that need to be made? All of these factors need to be identified ahead of time so that you can create a realistic budget. Make sure everyone involved in the renovation is on the same page when it comes to goal-setting.
  2. Think long-term: You’ve identified your current goals for the renovation, but what is your long-term plan? Do you anticipate staying in this office space for 5 or more years? Does the current renovation give you room to grow as your business grows? If not, will you be able to recoup some of the costs from the renovation?
  3. High-ball your budget: There’s nothing worse in a renovation than coming across an unexpected expense along the way. To make things easier when the expected unexpected comes up, set aside a contingency of 10 percent so that your whole project doesn’t become undone.
  4. Timing: An office renovation is unique in that it impacts a large group of people. You’ll want to make sure your renovation isn’t timed during your office’s busiest season, and you also want to make sure that contractors will be available to get the work done quickly so the project doesn’t drag on longer than necessary.
  5. Identify wants versus needs: It’s tempting to go all-out during a renovation and spring for extras like aerodynamic office chairs or the premier top-of-the-line copier. However, it’s important to stay focused during your renovation and only spend money on things you need, not things you want. You can add in extras like expensive chairs later, once you have enough money to cover those extra costs.

Our design team can help you choose a design for your office renovation that matches your goals and budget. For more information on how we can help, contact us today!

5 Things to Consider Before Starting Up a Restaurant

By Blog, Renovation Resources

blog-openuu-5-things-restaurantOf all the start up business ideas, starting up a restaurant is among the top when it comes to creativity. After all, the sky’s the limit when it comes to your restaurant’s concept, and your menu is as creative and thoughtful as your head chef. If your thinking about starting up a restaurant, here are the top 5 things you need to consider to make sure your restaurant is a success:

  1. Concept: The most important element of your restaurant is the concept. This is one of those areas that appears deceptively easy, but the reality is this requires a lot of thought and research. You want to make sure your concept is going to stand out among your local competition (i.e. avoid starting up an Italian restaurant if there are already an abundance in your area). You also don’t want to fall on the other extreme, which is developing a concept that is too avant-garde or otherwise “out there” that your local clientele just aren’t ready for. Do some research to determine what you can offer that is different from all the restaurants in your area.
  2. Work with a consultant: This goes hand-in-hand with the above step. Rather than take on the task of branding your restaurant yourself, hire a brand consultant to work with you to develop a strategy for branding your business based on your target audience and your goals for your restaurant. You’ll also want to work with a consultant for your interior design because, let’s face it, Your food can be the best in town, but you won’t get people in the door to try it without an inviting interior. Hire a professional interior designer who will work with your vision for your restaurant to develop an inviting design that will match your restaurant’s concept and encourage diners to come in. Designing your restaurant is one step that you shouldn’t take alone. A professional designer will have insight into current trends as well as what doesn’t work so that you can rest assured your restaurant’s design is unique but in line with current trends.
  3. Menu design: When people think of the menu, they often think just about the food on it. But how that food is organized and displayed is important for maintaining your concept. You want to make sure your menu is accessible and that its design makes sense within the concept of your restaurant. This is another step that can benefit from a professional eye who will already know what works and what doesn’t work, saving you time and money in the long run.
  4. Be accessible: Location is extremely important when it comes to opening a restaurant, and your success will largely depend on how easily people can get to your restaurant. It is important to strike a balance between the location (which brings you the foot traffic) and your overall budget. Without a high volume of traffic, your restaurant has little chance of getting people in the door. You also want to be accessible for your guests inside by having tables for large groups as well as tables for two. Your interior designer will work with you to develop an interior that flows while also including enough options for seating a variety of parties.
  5. Work with a head chef you trust and respect: Having unique quality food on the menu is one of the most important aspects of owning a restaurant, so you need to have a head chef that you trust and respect. Your chef will be responsible for overseeing the quality of the food and selecting menu options, so you need to hire someone who you believe will be able to create unique and memorable dishes that will keep people coming back for more.  You also want to hire a chef who you trust won’t cut corners when it comes to food safety and quality control in the kitchen.

For more ideas on what you need to do before you start up your restaurant, contact us today!

5 Tips to Know Before Renovating a Warehouse

By Blog, Renovation Resources

blog-5-tips-warehouseIt’s has become a trend to take old commercial warehouse spaces and repurpose them, such as converting it to loft apartments, restaurants, or office spaces. Before shelling out money to rent or purchase a warehouse space you’ve been eyeing, here are some tips and things to consider.

Purpose. What is the purpose of conversion? Is the current condition fit for the purpose, or will additional work need to be done? The needs from apartments, to restaurants, storage units, to office spaces can vary greatly, and the current condition may require a lot of time, effort, and money to get the unit where you want it to be.

Usage. This bring us to the next question, what type of usage is allowed for the unit. One of the most important things is to understand the zoning, rules and regulations of the building itself. What is included, and what is the owner usage when you rent or purchase the unit you are considering. If you are purchasing, is renting it out ok? If you plan on living in it, is the building fit for a dwelling?

Maintenance. Maintenance and upkeep for short and long term should be considered carefully. You should check how old the building is, and if the drainage system, electrical system needs to be replaced or repaired. If not immediately, then replacing these in the future can become costly.

Safety. In addition to upkeep and maintenance, the unit and building will have safety regulations. Typically there should be fire separation between units, and if new renovation is involved, this should be included in the process.

Renovation. Is there going to be interior design planning and renovation involved? Will you be re-locating the bathroom and plumbing system? Are you adding a kitchen, and is gas allowed in the building or is it even an option? If the building has an older plumbing system or no existing gas pipes, altering them can become costly.

Unless you have a structural engineer working with you, the structure probably cannot be altered. With a bit of design and innovation, the unit’s characteristics, such as raw finished walls, exposed bricks, or door ironmongery, can become a beautiful feature and focal point for the space.

For more ideas on what you need to do before you start your warehouse renovation, contact us today!