FAQ: How Much Time Should I Allocate For My Corporate Build-out?

We’re glad you asked!

When tenants are in the process of looking for new office space, improvements or modifications are often required so that the space will meet the client’s needs. Walls may need to be moved. There may be specific electrical or HVAC requirements. A break area may need to be added. The list goes on. New spaces and their potential for accommodation, growth, beauty and functionality can be exciting.

But, like everything in the world of business, planning is critical. In addition to planning for the amount of time it takes to actually perform the demolition of existing conditions as well as the construction of the changes, it is crucial to consider the time spent in the pre-construction process. “Pre-construction” is an all encompassing term that describes just what it says it does: the activities that occur prior to the actual construction. These activities are not only necessary and in some cases required, but they also ensure that the tenant is left with a finished product that is well planned; meets all local codes and provides the level of the aforementioned beauty and functionality desired by the tenant. Here are a few items, and their associated timelines, to consider…

Construction documents – Based on the input from the tenant, and the amount of work required, most architectural firms require 7-14 business days to generate construction documents. If the project requires involvement from a mechanical or electrical engineer, this timeline could grow another 7-10 days.
Construction bidding – Once documents are complete, they are submitted to a general contractor for bidding. Again, depending on the size of the scope, this process can vary in length of time required. This process can take 5-7 business days.
City plan review and permitting – Documents are submitted to the local governing jurisdiction for review and comment to ensure their adherence to local building codes. Once the documents have been completed by the design architects and engineers, they can be submitted. The length of time and internal review process varies by city, but in most cases this process is a minimum of 4 weeks, but can last as long as 8-10 weeks. The actual review of the documents does not take this long, but in cities where development is very active, there are often several other plans in the queue to be reviewed by in official.

Once the pre-construction process is completed, a permit is issued and work can commence. If any construction related activities occur prior to the full review and approval, the builder and/or client risk fines and unnecessary antagonizing from the city and its building inspectors. It is wise to budget this duration into the search for space and the commencement date of the lease before formal execution of the lease document.

The Stone Group

12912 Hill Country Blvd,

Building F, Ste. 201,

Austin, TX 78738

Phone. 512-732-8700