Scan and Plan: The essential first stage in your Brisbane Commercial Renovation

Dec 10, 2019 | Commercial and Industrial, Hospitality, Retail

In Australia it seems like everyone’s an expert on renovations. We all rate different contestants on The Block … and secretly think we could do better than any of them.

Commercial renovations are a different ballpark. Imagine a reality show that tackled a Brisbane CBD commercial office unit refurbishment. It would follow a busy body corporate manager as they juggled their everyday responsibilities with managing the office makeover: herding builders and subcontractors, dealing with other unit landlords, office staff and daily city shoppers, and reporting back to the building owners ….

Sounds more like Chaos Rules than House Rules!

Commercial renovations don’t have to be a headache though for body corporate managers and unit owners. Core4 has managed dozens of projects in Brisbane, from major transformations to smaller fitouts.

Based on our expert industry knowledge, there is an easy end-to-end process that simplifies even the most daunting renovation. Core4 has put together a 12-point checklist that steers Brisbane locals through the main steps in delivering a smooth commercial or body corporate property renovation.

Scanning and Planning: the Essential First Stage in A Commercial Renovation

The essential first step is often the first misstep in the renovation process. We get hooked on reality TV because of the drama: nothing ever goes according to plan. But in a real-life building rejuvenation, starting without a script is a recipe for expensive disaster.

Plan. Then plan some more. Planning is the vital initial step as you embark on what will consume your working life over the next few months or years, depending on the scale of your project. Sometimes in the rush to meet a critical deadline – sale of a building, say, or deadline for an existing Development Approval – the need for methodical planning can be underestimated.

It’s easy to overlook key elements of the planning process, which is why Core4 recommends getting an expert Project Manager on board before you start your project master plan. They will help you piece together background documentation and map out a realistic budget, as well as go through the variables to factor into your planning.

Effective Planning for a Seamless Commercial Renovation

Core4 could write a book on planning a commercial reno. At a minimum, here are some things to consider.

  1. Does the building – or commercial precinct you’re operating in – have an overarching master plan? Was there a plan to extend or repurpose currently unused spaces? Get hold of the master plan and other documentation (architectural and engineering designs, concepts and sketches; Council Development Approvals; legal documents) that is relevant to your proposed work.
  2. Is there other urban planning underway in the area? Brisbane CBD has a City Centre Master Plan, for example, with a focus on open spaces and sustainability. Will your project align with local planning goals? What other projects are going to be underway that might have an impact on timeframes? Having a sense of the bigger picture is important for planning approvals and for your relationships with building neighbours and occupants.
  3. Which stakeholders do you need to consult? You’ll be accountable to the building owners, maybe a company Executive, Board, in some cases ultimately the company shareholders. Depending on the scale and location of your project, you need to consider other building landlords and occupants, your current contractors, and members of the general public who might be impacted.

Mastering your Project

Core4 has learned through years of experience there are major benefits to hiring a Project Manager for your renovation or refurbishment. If you don’t have an in-house expert, consider outsourcing. Engaging a specialist saves time, money and hassle, and brings in valuable expertise and access to a wealth of industry knowledge and contacts.

We find there is a lot of advice on the Internet for tackling home renovations. Some reno reality show celebs even run their own online courses for keen homeowners or investors who want to “flip” properties. Maybe the theory is that commercial properties are run by big multinationals who have in-house specialists to get the job done.

It’s not always the case. Core4 has built a trusted reputation delivering commercial property renovation advice to Brisbane owners and investors. We find people want high quality tips and tools on how to manage a renovation or refurb smoothly, from start to finish.

Our blogs aim to make your life as a commercial property manager in Brisbane easier. Shoot us your thoughts on topics you want us to cover, and don’t forget to contact Core4 for all your property needs.

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