Important Pre-Construction Budgeting Questions

10 Important Construction Budgeting Questions For Commercial Remodels

by | Aug 3, 2020 | Blog

Budgeting is a critical part of determining the feasibility of your construction project, especially if you have a tight budget.  There are many factors that affect how much a remodel, renovation, or expansion will cost.  We’ve pulled together a list of some of the most common things that might influence the total cost of your venture.

Questions Pertaining to Project Goals:


What business objectives does the remodel need to accomplish?

Examples of remodel goals include increasing building efficiency, improving the look and feel of a space, and preventative maintenance by upgrading old systems.

How soon does construction need to be completed?

If you are on a time crunch, costs may go up depending on contractor availability.  The further out you plan, the better.  A shorter timeline means that materials will need to be ordered sooner in order to make your deadline.

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Questions Related to Project Features:


What type of building is being remodeled?

Consider whether you are dealing with an empty shell building or a second generation space that already has some features built in. Contractors may be able re-use materials creatively. Shopping around for inexpensive building materials can help keep costs down.

Which remodel features are essential and which ones would be nice to have, but aren’t deal-breakers if left out?

There will always be components of a remodel that are non-negotiable because you know your business can’t live without them.  But, it would be great to also pinpoint the features that you can compromise on if omitting them will keep the project within the budget.

What grade of materials and finishes will be used?

Higher quality finishes mean higher cost per square foot. For example, if you use natural stone for countertops and floors you will pay more than if you choose to install less expensive alternative materials. In the end, the type of materials depends on the needs of the business.

Is it necessary to hire an architect and/or interior designer for the project?

The complexity of your project will play a big part in determining whether or not you will be able to design it yourself.  If you are inexperienced when it comes to pairing materials, paint, furniture, etc. in order for the space to have a cohesive feel, it may be wise to hire an interior designer. When it comes to drawing up technical plans, however, that is best left to the professionals.  You can either hire your own architect or go with the architect of the general contractor’s choosing.

Questions About Applicable Rules & Regulations:


What Zoning Ordinances Apply to the Commercial Remodel?

Ensure that you have read and understand the applicable zoning ordinances for your municipality. If the structure’s current zoning doesn’t match your business plan for what you will use the building for after the remodel a re-zoning may be required.

Is the building non-compliant or up to code?

You should be aware of states, county, and city building codes and ordinances because there’s a chance your commercial remodel will need updating in order to meet code. A remodel or expansion might have new building code requirements such as the addition of a sprinkler system, changes to HVAC, plumbing, electrical, or something else.

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Other Critical Questions:


Will the construction project impact current operations?

If you are considering remodeling the space where your company currently resides you may have to make accommodations in order for work to continue and to make a plan to minimize disruptions.

Have all unexpected costs been accounted for?

It’s likely that unexpected costs will arise during construction, so it’s better to plan for them now. Renovation might uncover areas that must be fixed, replaced or brought up to code. It’s common to add 10 to 15% to a contractor’s quote to offset unforeseen costs, which helps ensure that the project will keep moving even when the total cost increases.


Hopefully this list has been helpful in identifying the areas of your construction project that will have the biggest impact on your budget.  We hope that you’ve learned which things to think about when putting together a projection for the total cost of the project.  Of course, this can be difficult to do without exact prices for materials and labor.  That’s where we’d love to help out– email us today or call us at 480-832-9808 so that we can get you an accurate, realistic  estimate on your next commercial construction project.