There are some very important steps to consider in finding the best office tenant fit-up construction companies. But first, what is office tenant fit-up construction?
When leased commercial building space (such as an office) becomes available, the lender has to do certain things to attract new occupants. For starters, the space should be turned into a “white box” – that is, gutted and cleaned from previous occupants or building materials, to contain clean white walls, ceilings, cement floors – everything ready for new tenant specific building requirements to be put in place. These new requirements are tenant “fit-up” construction – the activities (or tenant improvements) necessary to satisfy the new occupant and make the space business-ready for opening and every day business function. These fit-up requirements can include everything from specific wall paint colors to ceiling light fixtures. Typically these tenant improvements are executed by the tenant’s fit-up construction company, but sometimes can be the same contractor who executed the white box, and could be the landlord hiring the contractor on behalf of the tenant as part of the lease agreement.
So whether you are the tenant looking to find the best office construction company, or the landlord working with his/her previous contractor to appease the tenant, you want a service provider you can trust to meet your needs. Finding the best tenant fit-up builder is instrumental. There are many opportunities for issues to arise in construction – you want to ensure you have the best contractor to make things go right. But it all starts by identifying the upfront requirements, budget and schedule for the project.
Identifying requirements means identifying scope – a vital first step for any building project (whether the project is a fit-up project for the tenant or a white box construction for landlord).
The tenant fit-up project means finishing everything in a commercial office building to make ready for tenant move-in. The fees for fit-ups are typically paid by the tenant, but tenants can negotiate some of these charges with landlords prior to move-in, getting the landlord to pay some of the fit-up fees. Regardless, the contractor needs to understand the scope and which party is responsible for payments, requirements and approvals prior to the fit-up execution.
Terminology is important – and terms such as fit-up, vanilla or white box and tenant improvements can affect the planning, leasing documents and building specs. It’s too easy for documentation to get only a glance from responsible parties. Therefore it’s highly recommended to have a pre-construction meeting before finalizing contracts. This meeting can help all parties determine their requirements and contributions to the planning process. It can also help eliminate heavy change orders later.
Budget plans are also a vital element and piece of the process. The tenants need to plan upfront to identify what they can negotiate with landlords as far as fit-up costs go, versus what the tenants will have to pay for themselves. It is also important to know that the builder will adhere to the pre-defined budgets. This is an element of trust – and it goes both ways. A good construction company is made of professionals offering quality services. You wouldn’t want the lowest-price lawyer or doctor – the same goes for a builder. An honest, good builder will be transparent on what can and can’t be done based on budgets. A good builder will also be honest about the deadlines. So look for these attributes in finding the best office tenant fit-up construction company to get the job done right.
Want to read more? Read about Buildrite Construction’s renovation services.