Renovating on a Budget: Commercial Project Edition

Having a leaky ceiling whenever it rains or plumbing that doesn’t work is a surefire way to keep clients and customers away. Putting off renovations for your commercial building could be repelling opportunities, revenue, and foot traffic to your business. 

Yet, as a business owner, you don’t have endless time and money for renovation projects. Luckily, there is one key way to renovate a commercial building on a budget. It isn’t to consider cheaper materials or cut corners to save money. It’s to find a contractor who can communicate clearly with you about your budget and project timeframe.  

How do you know if a contractor is good at communicating and saving you money? They most likely will have these three traits.

Adept Planning Skills

 A good contractor is always looking ahead and planning accordingly. As you might imagine, a construction project involves a lot of moving parts and collaboration between teams. A poor contractor is only focused on the current part of the project while a good contractor is coordinating next steps in the background.

 Let’s say your renovation project involves replacing the doors in your office building. Usually, doors take six weeks to arrive. A bad contractor would wait until they are ready to replace the doors to order them while a good contractor will order them at the beginning of the project so the doors are already there when it’s time to replace the old ones. 


Flexibility with Scope

 If a contractor is good, s/he will be able to be flexible with the scope of the project. The prices of certain construction projects aren’t negotiable, but the included projects for your renovations are. For example, if a contractor understands your budget, they could decide not to move a certain wall, saving you thousands of dollars.

 In order for a contractor to be able to adjust the scope, they need to be adept at communicating and understanding your budget. However, you also need to be upfront about what your budget is. So often, people refuse to share their budget with their contractor. They ask how much is this going to cost like they are buying produce from the grocery store. 

 When you don’t share your expectations on budget and time frame, it’s hard for a contractor to meet those expectations. Contractors need these expectations in order to do research, visualize the end result, and adjust the scope as needed. 



 A good contractor will collaborate in order to make sure problems are solved ahead of time and that the construction project doesn’t stall. Similar to the first two traits, this stems from good communication skills on the side of the contractor. For example, a good contractor will work with the architect in order to solve problems ahead of time and determine cost saving strategies before the project even starts. 

Contractor and architect talking at construction site

 At the end of the day, sticking within your renovation budget comes down to one thing: communication. You must be confident in communicating your expectations to your contractor and you should shop around for a contractor who is skilled at communicating with you and others before starting. When you find this level of communication in a contractor, your renovation project will be affordable, your company can get back to business as usual faster, and you will have less headaches throughout the process. 

Carlton Building Services in Hampton Roads Virginia

Carlton Building Services specializes in repairs, maintenance, renovations, remodelings and build-outs for a variety of clients in Hampton Roads, Virginia. We have years of experience handling projects in the retail, office, and healthcare space and would love to work with you on your next project!

To learn more about our services, check out past project highlights or contact Carlton Building Services to see how we can help with your next project. 

JP Carlton

J.P. Carlton

J.P. Carlton is the founder of Carlton Building Services, a Hampton Roads-based construction company.