This is part I of a series. Part II will be published on Wednesday.
When you're looking for office space, you're going to end up having to do some work to it. It might even need a complete top-to-bottom redo before you can move in and make it yours.
This is what’s called a “build-out,” to use the parlance of the construction industry. Dental office build-outs happens to be the most expensive kind of build-out there are.
That’s why you need to do it right.
Some dental practitioners get overwhelmed at the prospect of having to do one. What often isn't understood is that if you play your cards right, the landlord will pay 100% of the costs of one. This is one of the many concessions you can get from your landlord during lease negotiations.
A great build-out makes all the difference in the world. Make sure your space conveys the kind of professionalism that inspires confidence in patients.
A customized build-out allows you to do this in a way that’s uniquely your own.
Start with a Discussion
Have a preliminary conversation with your landlord to see what he’s willing to cover. You’ll also want to discuss what part of the build-out you’ll be required to remove at the end of your tenancy.
Also, if you’ll be able to hire your own contractors or if you’ll have to use his guys.
Often this depends on how big the job is. For small jobs, the landlord's property manager will most likely handle the construction. If you're going to be in your space for a long time, you’ll want to have your own project manager do the work.
Revisit these discussions when it's time for lease negotiations. Then, make sure everything gets put in writing. That way, everybody will be on the same page and there’ll be less confusion.
Ideally, you should have a tenant rep with you when you talk to the landlord.
Build-out Vs. Remodeling
When you’re thinking about opening a new office, you can either do:
- A complete top-to-bottom build-out
- Minor cosmetic renovations to a space used before
A top-to-bottom build-out is best if you want total freedom in the way your space looks. This allows you to completely customize every detail of your space. Then, you can more fully realize your creative vision.
There’s something powerful about office space that perfectly expresses your professional identity. This is an opportunity to speak to your patients through the language of design.
With a complete build-out, the only limits are those of your imagination and your wallet. You’ll design your space exactly the way you want it to look. If you plan to stay in your office for a long time, a build-out might be your best bet. And, your landlord will be more willing to pay for it because you’re going to stick around.
But if at all possible, try to factor in future expansion. You don’t want to have to go through the hassle of packing up and leaving because of unforeseen growth and a too-small space.
Consider the type of practice you’ll be operating when planning your build-out. This way, you’ll be able to incorporate design choices that complement how you’ll be using your space.
If it's for geriatrics, make sure your space allows access for those with limited mobility. You also have to make sure that your design accommodates any medical equipment you’ll need. But before you let your imagination run away, set a budget at the beginning of the process.
This keeps everything firmly rooted in reality and out of the realm of runaway costs.
You might not need an extensive build-out. Sometimes, you’ll be lucky enough to find an office that only needs minor cosmetic changes. This saves you time and money