Starting a new project is always challenging. Here are a few tips to make sure your project gets started the right way.
1. Did you check the work your Landlord is required to do in the space prior to delivering it to you? Make sure that work is completed prior to legally taking possession of the space.
- Read the exhibit in the lease that explains what the Landlord’s work is.
- Understand how the space will be delivered.
- Visit the space or ask for pictures to make sure the work is completed. Also ask the Landlord to send you a letter confirming the work has been completed.
2. You need to hire an Architect ASAP. Choose the one that has already worked in that geographic area (City or Mall)
- You need to have an Architect on board while negotiating the lease.
- An Architect that has experience dealing with the permit process in the City or Mall that you are starting the projects at, will save you time and money.
- Have the Architect do a quick code review of your design.
3. Did you send your Architect the construction requirements included in the lease? You want him/her to review all of them and make sure all the points are included in the Construction Drawings.
- Review in detail all the construction points in the lease with the Architect.
- Ask the Architect to visit the space prior to signing the lease, to make sure the space and what is indicated on the lease match.
- The Architect needs to verify existing electrical and mechanical systems so the new Construction Drawings will be accurate. Don’t always trust the drawings the Landlord sends you!
4. How long does the Building Department take to approve plans? This is something you should check immediately with your Architect. Keeping the schedule under control is important.
- The time the BoD takes to review and approve plans is a major factor for your schedule.
- Ask your Architect to check how long it takes and what the process is.
- Permit applications are different in almost every city. Make sure you know it prior to confirming the schedule.
5. Is the project Union or Non Union? This will impact your budget and schedule. Better to find out the answer ASAP
- Ask the Landlord if Union labor is required.
- If it is required, you need to adjust your budget and schedule accordingly.
- Make sure all the GC’s know while bidding the project.
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