Top 5 Proven Strategies For Your Commercial Tenant Improvement Renovation

If you own a commercial property in need of tenant improvement renovation, read on to learn how to implement a successful renovation plan that will attract long term tenants

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Plan a Successful Commercial Tenant Improvement By Following These Strategies


To stay relevant and functional with an existing commercial building, performing a tenant improvement renovation is a cost-effective business strategy in attracting new traffic to business space.

Contact ProBuild Construction to optimize a commercial space work system or to complete an office build-out, a retail space, luxury condominiums, a restaurant, or some other venture.

In this article, we provide 5 proven strategies to ensure a successful commercial tenant improvement renovation.

By following these tips and guidelines, you will attract new, long-term clientele while creating a dynamic, more accessible and relevant space.

What are the top 5 proven strategies in commercial tenant improvement renovations?

First, let us go over why it is important to renovate and improve an existing commercial tenant building.  

Here are the top reasons why commercial property renovations are beneficial:

By completing tenant improvement renovations, it makes the building more attractive and desirable, makes current tenants wish to stay longer, and increases ROI.

Simple improvements can also go a long way. It is crucial to keep up with regular maintenance and energy upgrades. Commercial buildings can quickly deteriorate and once that happens, costs rise and tenants become unhappy.

The top 5 proven strategies when completing commercial tenant improvement renovations are:

  1. Have a master plan. 

Going into a renovation project with a master plan facilitates a successful build, time efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

Project success correlates with solid planning and working with the right team of people.  

The master plan should include:

  • Company’s budget
  • This includes the design, permits, & construction renovation costs
  • Keeps planning realistic
  • Makes contractor’s job easier
  • Long-term goals
  • Upgrade in phases
  • Ability to use higher-quality materials
  • Timeline
  • Be realistic
  • Write out contingencies

When creating a budget keep in mind the scope of costs go beyond the design, permits, and the construction renovation itself.

The costs include getting the building code-compliant, updating energy-efficiency, electrical, furnishings, etc.

Working with the experienced project managers at commercial construction companies such as ProBuild Construction, assist in developing space plans, preliminary budgets, and project timelines eliminating all guesswork and pointing out hidden fees to keep the project moving without delay.

  1. Solid Design Details

Once there is a solid master plan put together with a realistic budget, the architectural and interior design details can be addressed.

Don’t forget to get the building code-compliant prior to the renovations to save on time and money.

Here are some valuable insights when estimating interior design details for a commercial tenant improvement renovation:

  • Unoccupied Space - Carpet & Paint: $5-$8/sq ft
  • Occupied Space - Carpet and Paint: $8-$11/sq ft
  • Moving Expenses: $1/sq ft OR $350/cube
  • Cabling: $1-$3/sq ft 

The experienced project managers at ProBuild Construction understand unique tenant improvement renovations and together they help clients determine the project details required for each type of space while providing affordable budgets covering the architectural and engineering design.  

Getting the building into code-compliance is crucial before beginning a commercial tenant improvement project.

Working with a professional commercial contractor will assist clients in determining what existing electrical, mechanical, and plumbing that are out of date or in need of service. 

  1. Bids Bids Bids

This isn’t personal, it’s business.

Don’t go with the best bid from a friend; choose a general contractor with the experience, knowledge, and referrals to back up their past projects.

The commercial contracting team should also be one that maximizes every penny with the highest quality of materials and workmanship.

How does one know which commercial contractors to choose when bidding out a tenant improvement project? 

The characteristics of a quality commercial contractor:

  • Offers a design/build process 
  • Keeps project within budget
  • Smooth job progress
  • Keeps costs down
  • Improves risk management
  • Willing to review calculations
  • Explains final figures
  • Wants to work closely
  • Knowledgeable in permitting & zoning regulations
  • Wants to build long-term business relationship
  • Positive referrals from past projects 

Take multiple bids. A number to strive for is four bids and engage in healthy conversation with the firms.

A company’s integrity, character, and work ethic are quickly revealed through a handshake and conversation.

  1. Be Involved in the Process

How does staying involved with the commercial contractor help during a tenant improvement renovation? 

The reasons why being present and staying involved in the renovation process are important, include:

  • Facilitates a positive customer-contractor relationship
  • Gain a new perspective
  • A better understanding of the finer points & details
  • The contractor can provide an accurate overview
  • Smoother building process
  • Reduces anxiety

Getting the contractor’s perspective will better facilitate a mutually respectful business relationship making the process smoother for all parties involved.

  1. Tenant “Buy-In”

During a tenant improvement renovation, the construction phase may cause disturbances amongst your current tenants with the noise, dust, and heavy machinery.

There are ways to avoid tenants from becoming unhappy.

How does having the tenants “buy-in” help in completing a commercial tenant improvement renovation? 

Communication. Completing a tenant improvement is beneficial for all.

It provides a more modern, functional space that drives traffic to the tenant’s business as well as gaining more long-term tenants in the building.

Getting ahead of any feeling of uneasiness is crucial. Communication is key. 

How does a commercial building owner get tenants to “buy-in”? 

Timing. Having a tenant “buy-in” isn’t about money exchanging, but about communicating with current tenants before resentment occurs.

Approaching each tenant well before the renovation begins is very important in creating a happy and long-term tenant relationship. 

Here are strategies for getting current tenants to “buy-in”: 

  • Include them in design details & construction planning
  • Have a face to face meeting explaining the plan. Include time-frame, options for employees working remotely & explain the benefits of renovating.
  • Provide temporary relocation
  • Hire professional space planners to work with tenants
  • Keep highly disruptive work for after-hours/weekends
  • Keep work areas clean, use air filters
  • Clear work area notifications
  • Do not block tenant access
  • Keep in communication during construction. Check-in on how remodeling is affecting them.
  • Treat them to an “end of construction” dinner to celebrate 


It all boils down to quality, time, and cost when it comes to a commercial tenant improvement renovation project.

It should be done with the highest quality of materials and workmanship, within the smallest time frame, at an affordable price. 

If a company is looking to maximize their dollar and attract new, desirable tenants, follow these top 5 proven strategies for your tenant improvement renovation. 

To learn more about ProBuild Construction, contact them at (253) 381-7517, chat online, or send a request to schedule a no-obligation consultation. 

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