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What Is a Build Out?

What Is a Build Out?

The construction industry has its own set of terms that help communication flow smoothly between architects and contractors, although it’s often complete gibberish to most people. That being said, it can often be helpful to know what some of those terms are and what they refer to. For instance, a common question in commercial real estate is “What is a build out?”  

We answer that below and how a build out is completed. 

What Is a Build Out? 

Most commercial real estate is completely devoid of major elements to begin with other than four walls, a floor, and a ceiling. Making the space functional for a company requires finishing. The process of finishing the property to make it functional for tenants is referred to a build out.  

Here’s a breakdown of what the process looks like. 

Main Components to Consider Before Starting a Build Out 

There are some major components to consider in your planning phase before getting the construction ball rolling. 

Setting up wiring during commercial build out

Replacing/Upgrading the Electrical Systems 

How much power are you going to need to run your business? Does the current wiring support that? Both of these questions are important to answer since this could be a big part of your finishes. Major changes to electrical systems will also require additional permits, so bear that in mind. 

Setting up Plumbing 

This will be highly dependent on the space, but plumbing may not need to be adjusted at all if there are bathrooms already installed as well as sinks or other fixtures. 

In the event these aren’t in place, you’ll need to factor in how customers, clients, and employees will access bathrooms, and how many you’ll need.  

If you’re setting up a food business, you’ll also need to factor in sinks, dishwashing, and other appliances that require plumbing to properly set up the property for the functions you want. 

What Millwork and Painting Needs to Be Done? 

Are there a lot of wooden additions you want to add to the commercial real estate in question? Millwork will define much of the look and feel of a space, so it’s important that you plan for it to be functional for your customers and employees, but also reflect your brand. 

Colour is hugely important to set the atmosphere. Consider what colours you want your space to have instead of trying to come up with a palette at the end 

Commercial build out negotiation with property manager

How the Build Out Process Starts: Performing Negotiations Between Landlord and Tenants 

Once you have created a list of all the changes, renovations, and improvements to the building you want to be done, you’ll meet with the landlord to discuss them. 

From there, you will negotiate who will be paying for what, the person (or people) responsible for taking charge of specific renovations, and what you will be expected or allowed to remove when you end your lease. 

In fact, these build out details should be worked out in the lease to begin with. This is primarily so there are written details of what both parties agreed on and can be referred to with ease. 

TAFCO has many years of experience performing commercial leasing and can negotiate fair, agreeable deals for tenants. 

Zoning and Building Planning 

Now that all the negotiations are completed, the next stage begins. But before the plaster and concrete start flying, the according zoning and permits need to be completed.  

Zoning ensures that commercial properties are located where the city planned for them to be, and permits make sure that the build out is done up to code so everyone can work safely in the property once everything is completed. 

Because this stage of the build out often involves a lot of paperwork it’s important to do it right. Consider hiring a contractor to help you manage the paperwork so you’re not overwhelmed. 

Following this stage, an architect will create the construction plans to discuss with and get approved by the landlord before construction begins.  

With all the planning out the way, construction on your build out can finally begin! Once completed, you’ll have a unique commercial space to call your own. 



If you need help to find the right property that suits your company’s needs we can help! Contact us today to get the commercial space you always wanted.