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  • Renovation Tips to Revitalize Your Office

    Sometimes an office lacks personality or needs a modern update. What reasons do you have for considering renovation of your office? Is the aim to improve work environment or appeal to a wider clientele?

    It’s important to look at your needs before you dive into the renovation process, and if you decide the changes will pay off in the end. Get ready to make some amazing changes to your space, one element at a time.

    1. Focus on Your Most Essential Need

    Consider your primary goal for renovation. Is it to improve work environment and raise morale, increase productivity or draw in more customers? The business may be growing, and you love your location, so you choose to renovate rather than move. If this is the case, pick one goal to focus on, and tackle your most essential need first.

    If the building is older, it may need more than a face lift, such as foundation work or a new roof. Your aesthetic goals may need to take a back seat to more structural concerns first, especially if the business site is in a historic house.

    Your overall goal is still important to guide the renovation along. Your contractor will help you develop a plan of action with appropriate estimates and schedule for completion.

    1. Communicate With Employees, Visitors and Neighbors

    Depending on your role at the office, there are several parties to be in communication with regarding the renovation schedule. If this office isn’t your primary location and you’re setting up the renovation, you’ll need to alert the employees of the building and maintain communication about the process, including guidelines for safety while at work. Visitors will also need to be informed. Contractors typically tape off the unsafe areas to avoid.

    Likewise, neighbors will need to be informed as to when the construction starts and is expected to end, to better prepare for any projected inconvenience.

    1. Choose Designs to Fit in, but Stand Out

    Renovation gives you the opportunity to improve your office’s curb appeal. First impressions are important to business success. You must streamline designs to be recognizable to the industry, yet be innovative and stand out. How do you strike that balance?

    Look to the history of the neighborhood for inspiration. What architecture is common to the area, or are there more famous, ancient designs you admire? Is your office in an old home with a unique porch, art nouveau designs or other features original to the home? Seek to restore these and work with a contractor who specializes in historic renovation.

    Ask your expert about popular and innovative designs that would work well when renovating the building. Does the building have potential to add unique features or layouts?

    1. Rent Construction Equipment

    If you’re not working with a larger firm to renovate, consider renting heavy-duty equipment you’ll only need in the short term. Roughly 40 percent of construction equipment used in the U.S. is rented, and that number is growing. A 75 percent increase use of rental equipment has surged in the last three years for contractors.

    How long will the company need the equipment, and does it need regular long-term access? Larger companies will benefit over smaller companies when opting to own construction equipment, due to cost and need.

    1. Go Energy-Efficient and Save Money

    Renovation is the perfect opportunity to tackle electrical, insulation and heating/cooling challenges. If an old system has seen better days, go green to keep up with the trend and save money in the long term. Simple changes may mean a big impact for energy-efficiency, such as updating your windows.

    Depending on what you choose to do, you may also qualify for an energy credit when tax time comes around, and power company rebates may be available. Check with your tax prep-er or energy provider to see if you may qualify for credits or rebates:

    • Renovations that are comprehensive, reducing the consumption of energy through ventilation, heating/cooling and lighting by at least 50 percent, may qualify for a credit of $1.80 per square foot maximum.
    • Tax credit close to 60 cents per square foot may be possible for projects that decrease consumption of energy at 20 percent each for lighting and heating and cooling system.
    • Projects that target energy-efficiency are also eligible for rebates with most energy companies, and they may offer loans or grants to help you get the job done. Be sure to contact your energy provider.

    Whether it’s structural or aesthetic renovations you’re making, view this as an opportunity to make changes and see your office in a whole new light. What is your essential need or primary goal? Don’t be afraid to pose questions or ideas during renovation planning.

    Energy-efficient upgrades may help save you money on your power bill and qualify you for tax credits or rebates. You’ll also save money if you choose to rent construction equipment when working with a smaller contractor.

    Before starting the renovation, be sure to inform employees and neighbors about the impending construction, with a list of safety guidelines and an idea of estimated completion. When you choose to renovate, you’ll see the building’s history unfold before your eyes and may decide to preserve certain features. Whatever changes you make, let the personality of your business shine.

    Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and Digital Marketing Specialist. She is also the founder of Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to sharing advice on navigating the work world. Passionate about helping others find happiness and success in their careers, she shares advice on everything from the job search and entrepreneurship to professional development, and more! Follow her for more great tips @SarahLandrum

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