Renovation of Existing Buildings


The process of renovating a building can be quite a task to conquer. Whether it be an investment property, commercial building or personal residence, building renovations require attention to detail, budget management, personnel management and even a back-up plan. Before the tear-down process even begins, there are several steps that have to be taken to make the process less stressful, and more importantly, legal.

Identify Problem Areas

  • Properly identifying the scope of the project helps identify all possible aspects of planning and budgeting required. Determine the areas of the building that will be remodeled or physically affected by the proposed project. This step sets the foundation for all work, contractors, materials and permits that will be needed for the project.

Calculate a Realistic Budget and Timeline

  • Being realistic with a project budget will save your sanity and even your professional reputation. Assume that your project will not go smoothly and leave room in the budget for surprises. Contractors and employees must be paid. Materials must be purchased. Incorporate incidentals such as delivery charges into the budget. Take care to calculate the potential upkeep increase of the completed project. Include tax increases and costs of any maintenance required.

Obtain City Permits

  • The permits required from the city will rest, once again, upon the accuracy of the project scope. The general contractor is usually responsible for acquiring the proper permits according to the plans he has been given. If this is a do-it-yourself project, you will be responsible for obtaining the proper permit. Stay on your timeline by preparing in advance because permits may take a few business days to obtain. The lack of proper documentation will bring a renovation project to a screeching halt.

Select Contractors

  • A general contractor, engineer, electrician, plumber, architect, painter, mason and interior designer are just a few of the types of contractors that may be needed on the project. These individuals will likely use subcontractors to fulfill their portion of the project. Obtain quotes, check references and select contractors carefully.


  • Photo Credit plan of a flat image by forca from
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