The Complete Commercial Building Renovation Checklist


Commercial building renovations can bring numerous advantages for both office environments and tenants, such as increased energy efficiency. When planning renovation projects it is crucial to establish a budget as well as hire experienced team of professionals.

Effective project execution begins with clear communication and planning. Use this checklist to start off on the right foot!

1. Building Inspections

Preparing to build from scratch or remodel an existing building requires conducting an in-depth inspection before beginning work. A professional will check for asbestos, lead and mold risks that could lurk within its walls and foundation that could increase costs later on while protecting against unexpected issues down the road while improving resale value.

An inspector will ensure your plans comply with local construction codes, inspecting structural foundations, electrical systems and plumbing to make sure that safety standards are being met. In addition, they’ll make sure water supply is safe to drink while waste is being properly managed.

Once foundation, electric, and plumbing inspections have passed successfully, a final construction inspection will take place. At this point, a punch list review will identify any areas that require further fine-tuning – usually carried out by your renovation contractor – before concluding your project and making your building ready for occupancy.

2. Electrical


Changing electrical wiring during renovation requires obtaining a permit from your local building department, as working with electricity can be hazardous if you’re unfamiliar with its workings. According to Deao, running new wires, adding outlets or switches and working on an electrical panel are all tasks best left in the hands of licensed professionals.

Older buildings must often update their electrical systems in order to comply with current codes, which often requires updating ductwork, wiring and insulation systems as well. Property owners seeking smart HVAC technology that reduces costs while cutting energy consumption may find this impossible without upgrading these aspects of existing infrastructure; an experienced construction team will be able to anticipate potential roadblocks and provide realistic budget estimates.

Plumbing is an integral component of any commercial or office renovation. To ensure it runs smoothly and seamlessly, it’s critical that the right materials and pipes are used that won’t overflow or cause water damage. Incorporating energy efficient plumbing fixtures can help reduce environmental impact while cutting energy costs; your construction team can assist in finding products and fixtures tailored specifically to your budget needs.

3. Plumbing

Plumbing refers to the network of pipes used to transport fluids in and out of appliances and fixtures within a building. It includes drainage and venting systems designed to manage storm-water runoff and dispose of sewer wastes; thus it forms part of basic infrastructure maintenance and improvement requirements for modern buildings. As plumbing is essential to daily life it must be well managed and updated as necessary.

Renovation of commercial spaces often uncovers plumbing issues that need to be addressed, including outdated materials, galvanized pipes, corroded drain lines and more. While they might not always be visible due to layers of drywall covering them up. Your construction team may come across issues like these while renovating spaces that must be addressed immediately.

Commercial plumbing systems are significantly larger than residential systems and must accommodate for increased usage. For instance, restaurants frequently rely on toilets, sinks, drinking fountains and other plumbing fixtures compared to just one household using similar fixtures in a home.

Thus, commercial plumbers are better equipped than residential ones to manage higher-risk repairs during renovation projects. Furthermore, they understand how to adhere to stringent health and hygiene laws when working in restaurants, office buildings or other commercial spaces. Furthermore, the best commercial plumbing contractors will develop detailed riser diagrams and ensure all components meet local code requirements.



HVAC systems regulate indoor air temperatures, improve occupant health and lower energy costs while simultaneously reducing energy expenditures. Design and maintenance of these systems is integral to their proper operation.

IRS guidelines stipulate that in order to distinguish improvements from renovations, taxpayers must identify their building’s “unit of property”. For many buildings this means treating their HVAC system as one unit of property – renovations that increase productivity, efficiency, strength or quality within that unit are considered improvements and should be treated as such by taxpayers.

Along with improving energy efficiency, upgrading outdated or ineffective HVAC components can bring considerable tax advantages. For example, replacing an air conditioner that only meets 10 SEER efficiency ratings with one that has 18 SEER ratings will bring substantial increases in efficiency.

Renovating a commercial building typically includes replacing the air conditioner, air handler, thermostat and ductwork systems with smaller and less intrusive alternatives that use mini-ducts rather than an extensive network. Some units can even fit discreetly inside attics or behind walls without major renovation work being needed to install them.

5. Lighting

Lighting is one of the cornerstones of commercial renovation, providing many important benefits such as setting atmospheres, increasing energy efficiency, and decreasing utility bills. Switching to LED bulbs can save up to 90% on lighting costs!

Selecting appropriate light fixtures provides an opportunity to add design elements that can draw customers in. Large or statement lights may draw attention away from ceilings and create visual interest within spaces such as conference rooms or offices.

Upgraded lighting can improve the safety of your business, especially large warehouses and retail centers. Adequate illumination reduces risks such as accidents, injuries, and fires by making hazards easier to see and reducing risk factors like slipperiness.

When looking to sell your commercial property, proper lighting will allow prospective buyers to visualize themselves living or working there more easily, while dark rooms and dim lighting could put off potential buyers and decrease its value significantly. Given these benefits, renovating commercial building makes good economic sense.

6. Flooring


Flooring is an integral component of any room and serves many important functions – protecting interior walls from wear and tear, providing insulation properties and adding design aesthetics. There is a variety of flooring available so it is essential that you select one which meets both your needs and budget requirements.

Flooring covers any material used to cover a subfloor – such as carpeting, any type of tile (ceramic, stone, or commercial “fake”), wood flooring and other coverings that rest upon it. Subfloors consist of either wood (usually plywood or OCX) fixed directly into the framing process or cement applied as part of foundation process, depending on which method was chosen to build up foundation.

No matter the type of flooring you select, it is crucial that the subfloor be properly prepared in order to guarantee a long-term and durable installation. This step is critical in order to avoid major problems down the line such as subfloor telegraphing and moisture issues – both of which could potentially lead to total flooring failure requiring costly reinstallation costs. A thorough inspection is key in order to identify any issues and resolve them so that installers can proceed confidently knowing their work will provide an outstanding final product.

7. Finishing Touches

Commercial renovation is essential to keeping your property up-to-date and appealing to businesses, from freshening up wall paint to reconfiguring an entire building for different businesses.

Although renovation projects can quickly spiral out of control, you should set clear goals and prioritize projects which offer maximum return for investment. Involve your team members in this discussion as it’s also wise to consider how these changes could have an effect on your company in the future.

If your plan involves increasing capacity with additional staff and need for storage space or extra offices, installing additional storage solutions and offices might be worthwhile. Also if compliance with ADA and OSHA standards requires gender-neutral bathrooms or more break rooms is crucial now might be an opportune time to introduce these features.

Planning out the renovation process carefully will minimize productivity loss and make disruption easier to manage. Furthermore, creating an effective communication plan with current occupants so they know what they should expect as far as the construction schedule and its effects is concerned will also prove helpful in keeping costs in check.