Can A Home Contractor Handle Office Renovation In Singapore?


Every business will need an office space dedicated to administrative support and operation. This built environment then should be able to accommodate the needs of the business and function efficiently. In addition, a well-designed office space should exude a healthy work environment where the atmosphere is comfortable yet not dull for employees to stay for the long hours of work.

Office renovations are unavoidable and a lot of businesses will need several updates during their operating years. Newly established businesses will usually rent an office space where the said leased space is transformed to showcase the brand and service of the company.

If you’re wondering how to start with your office renovation you might have already scouted a good number of office renovation companies. Read on the following to know more about hiring a contractor for your office renovations.

Hiring a Professional Office Renovation Contractor

Your office space is one of the most important assets in your business, therefore careful planning and designing of space are essential. To help you realize such a critical endeavor is to hire a contractor that specializes in office renovation.

Whether renovating a newly rented office space or upgrading the look for your existing work area, getting a professional insight yields a systematic and efficient approach when constructing such complex occupational space. Though, there are business owners who may be inclined to hire a general contractor who lacks or is inexperienced in handling office renovation. It is not uncommon for entrepreneurs to rehire their past home renovation contractors especially if they have already built trust and rapport with their past contractors.

Unknowingly, owners who are inclined to hire their home renovation contractor can be a major disadvantage and can cause added costs to your office renovation.

Residential Contractor Versus Office Contractor

Not all contractors are alike and each general contractor will have some specialization when it comes to their trade. When selecting an office contractor, a home renovation expert even with years of experience may not be able to meet the needs of the complex and different projects. Yet there are instances wherein a business owner might turn to a home renovation contractor that he had hired before and had already build rapport.

1. Building Codes. One of the major differences between the home contractor and the official contractor is knowledge of building codes. Office buildings will have a different set of building standards and regulations from that of the residential buildings. These standard guidelines should be realized and considered as early as the planning stage and reflected on the working design plans before the actual construction. An office renovation contractor should be familiar with these building codes so he is able to monitor the progress and check any anomalies during the construction. Furthermore, a knowledgeable office renovation contractor is able to present a solution and take action once these irregularities during the construction

2. Building Permits. The permits required such as planning permit, renovation permit or occupancy permit are different between residential and office renovation. Experienced office renovation companies are knowledgeable on how to acquire such permits that they can guide and assist you during your application.

3. Project Insurance. Office renovation which is under commercial building classification will have a higher risk factor and different coverage to that of the home renovation insurance. Office renovation companies will typically have full insurance coverage.

4. Building Systems. Aside from building codes, when it comes to the complexity of systems involved, office renovation can be more intricate than that of the home renovation. Probably the most part of the complex system of offices is the Air Conditioning Systems as well as the mechanical and electrical systems. Furthermore, fire safety and plumbing systems should also be considered for office buildings such as sprinklers and down-feed systems.

5. Design Goals. One of the major differences between a home and office renovation is the design goals. Office renovation’s main objective is to create a working environment that is conducive for employees and is efficient in providing the functional aspects of the office. For instance, the challenge in the lighting effect for offices will entail illumination that is favourable for different office tasks while it is efficient enough as to save on energy bills. As for home renovation, generally, lighting design should induce a homely and relaxing atmosphere. Office renovation companies are familiar with these design approaches as well as the installation needs of the different types of lighting fixtures.

6. Functional Areas. In relation to the design goals, the functional areas differ between a home and an office setup. Offices typically will have a reception area, lobby, conference room, break room, communal toilets, office cubicles, and specific offices for different departments. This includes more work scope compared to that of the residential project.

7. Working Drawings. Unlike home renovation which can do away with 3d and other detailed plans for simple projects, office renovation will need complete working drawings before the commencement of the construction. These plans are needed to be signed, approved by a qualified person, and submitted for acquiring permits. The most common type of drawings when it comes to office renovation is the interior plans reflecting the measurements needed during the construction. Though these plans are typically done by the interior designer or architect, a contractor should be able to read and interpret these plans

8. Building Materials. Although both home and office renovation can include drywall installations, office renovations will consider temporary or semi-temporary interior walling. Added sound insulation may also be needed for conference and meeting rooms. For high-traffic areas such as the lobby or reception area, high surface abrasion wears resistance tiles are typically specified. Furthermore, most offices have modern or contemporary theme to be followed which means that glass partitions with aluminum or uPVC framing is likely used. Office renovation companies have contacts from reputable suppliers for these materials wherein you can have good options and work with the different quotations offered.

9. Subcontractors and Trade Contractors. Depending on the complexity of the office renovation project, typically there are a number of subcontractors and trade contractors involved during office renovation where home renovation may not require. It is best to have an experienced office interior designer who can handle and coordinate well with these various trades.

You should understand that the subcontractors and contractors have a different skill and labor workforce that works for their company and office renovation contractors should be able to monitor these workforces. Unlike home, renovations have minimal because of the limited scope of work.

10. Building Area. Unless you have a very small office, most business office renovation will entail a larger area compared to that of a home renovation that may only comprise a few hundred square feet to two thousand square feet in most cases. There are office renovations that require construction at multi-levels as well.

11. Project Management. Although home renovations to some degree will need project management, an office renovation will need a capable project manager to keep on schedule. Most large office renovation companies will hire a project manager to overlook the construction and ensure that the turnover period is met.

12. Project Budget. Though the cost of renovation depends again on the nature of the project, generally speaking, office renovation can be more expensive because of the typical area coverage. Reputable office renovation companies are able to accommodate larger renovation and upgrade and have a healthy budget cushion or contingency budget.

13. Construction Schedule. Unlike home renovation, office renovation will need to take place during the night time as most business offices are located or are pre-existing with other tenants within a building or establishment operating during the day. This also means that the construction should complete in the soonest possible as every day that passes is a loss to the business owner.

14. Manpower. The number of skilled and labor force needed for commercial space are usually varied and more than that of a simple home renovation.

15. Furnishings. Both home and office furnishings will need to strike a balance between functionality and aesthetics, office furnishings the main objective is to have furniture that is ergonomically designed. A properly designed office furniture will help employees comfortable and productive during long working hours.

Beyond Certifications and Licenses
When selecting a contractor for your office renovation, it is best to hire an office interior designer that has extensive experience in office renovation. This also goes when renovating your home. Although there are renovation contractors who may have both residential and commercial renovation licenses or capabilities, it is best to weigh in their experience in the particular trade as well. Ask for their past projects for your reference to make sure you are getting an office renovator who has gained knowledge and is flexible in offering contingency plans.

About Office Finder Singapore

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If you’ve needed to find an office space for your new business, check out our list of office spaces for rent in Singapore or let us recommend an office real estate agent to assist you.

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