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How to Save Money with Tenant Build-Outs: 5 Pro Tips

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Congratulations! You’ve now found a prime business space, signed a lease agreement, and now, you need to undertake a buildout project. While tenant build-outs sound simple, they can be very expensive, especially if you don’t have proper plans.

This calls for proper planning and budgeting if you want to save money with your project and achieve your desired results. Besides, the last thing you don’t want is to start incurring debts before you move into your new space. While tenant build-outs can be very tricky and costly, the following 5 tips will help you save money on your project.

Capitalize on tenant allowance

The tenant build-outs experts from AFS General say that one of the best ways to save money with tenant build-outs is to capitalize on the amount your landlord will pay for the project. The more your landlord pays, the more you will save. However, you should note that the tenant allowance is very variable. Besides, this is something you can address while negotiating your lease.

Now, if the landlord is offering a turnkey buildout, the tenant will spend little or no money at all. However, this all depends on the landlord. All in all, negotiating for the best possible deal with the landlord helps to save money with tenant build-outs.

Plan well in advance

When it comes to a tenant-build-out project, you should plan how you plan to build out your intended space in advance. Don’t forget to factor in all the offices, furniture, and workstations, among other items. This will help you limit the amount of extra work required.

Adding extra outlets or running wires for a new office that wasn’t planned for earlier is very costly. Therefore, you should consult a professional architect and designer to create a good plan in advance. This will go a long way in saving you a lot of money.

Reuse whatever materials you can   

Recycling materials does not only help save the environment. It also helps you save money. Unless you are renting out a brand new office space, another tenant has occupied that building before you. Now, the more of the previous materials you can use, the more money you will save for your buildout project.

The fewer changes you make, the less money you spend. For instance, moving workstation locations and conference rooms are very costly. So, you should leave them where they are—unless your design forces you to move them. Furthermore, changing floor tiles and ceilings, among other architectural elements will add the cost of tenant buildout.

Doing a complete tenant buildout is very costly. However, planning in advance, and reusing some of the materials that are already in the office can save you a lot of money.

Buy affordable furniture and finishing

If you want to save money with a tenant buildout, avoid buying high-end materials for your project. However, you shouldn’t buy the cheapest furniture that you come across. What you need is quality and durable furniture—that you won’t replace every year. While this might cost you some money initially, it will save you a lot of money in the future.

When buying furniture for your new office space, take some time to search for the best deals, compare different quotes, and negotiate costs. You’ll need to get exactly the items you need and for the best price possible. But, this takes time—and you should note that.

When budgeting for your furniture and fittings, ensure you capture shipping and installation costs. You will come across some furniture companies factoring these costs in their final cost. So, you need to consider this when comparing your quotes. When doing a tenant buildout, it’s a good idea to consult your contractor to help in choosing the best materials for your project.

Also, your contractor can assist you to determine which materials can be exchanged for more affordable options. For instance, it can be a good idea to spend more on areas accessed frequently by your clients like entry areas and conference rooms and spend less on other areas like workstations and break rooms. So, this could mean using cheaper furniture in your workstations and break rooms, and high-end furniture in your conference room and reception area.

Don’t forget about value engineering

Now, once you get your initial design plans and preliminary budget, go over the initial budget with your project manager to determine which areas of the project are unnecessary or miscalculated. Besides, your project manager can help you determine which areas of your projects can be scaled back or eliminated, and what should go on as planned. Once you identify these areas, your project manager can start implementing these changes and creating a plan that will prevent unwanted delays. At times, this can be as simple as changing the proposed high-end materials to a cheaper alternative. Or, it can be a major change like retaining the private offices, instead of demolishing the entire space to redesign and rebuild an entirely new space. Value engineering can go a long way towards saving your costs during a tenant buildout project.

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