Most people don’t realize that an office renovation can be just as prone to surprises and disasters as residential ones are. Here’s what to look for.

When most people think of office renovation ‘surprises’, the first thing that comes to their minds is home remodeling disasters — much like what you see on TV. Most people don’t realize that commercial remodels can be just as prone to surprises and disasters as residential ones are — and a lot of them are pretty similar. 

Older commercial buildings (and even newer ones) can be full of unexpected surprises. Whether you’re remodeling your office space from the ground up with a full office renovation or getting an office makeover, be ready for potential extra costs or unexpected health code violations. Being prepared for the worst not only helps you control the budget, it means you can respond faster to dangerous surprises.

These are some of the top ‘surprises’ you should look out for when doing a commercial remodel:

Asbestos might be in the old building materials

Asbestos was commonly used in Canada up until the 1990’s. Before people knew asbestos could cause diseases like mesothelioma and other lung diseases, it was a popular construction material. It offered a lot of insulative value, which means you may come across it near the furnace, in the ceiling, and in between the walls. There might even be fibers in the walls and the flooring itself.

The best way to protect your employees and your office is to have a professional inspector take a look. Materials have to be examined in a laboratory for definitive testing, and starting reconstruction without a final verdict can release asbestos into the air. Any level of airborne asbestos is dangerous.

Want to learn more about asbestos? Watch this video:


There could be covered up water damage

Water damage happens. Whether it’s from a cracked pipe, a leaky roof, or even a busted appliance, water can seep into your buildings wall and flooring. But sometimes it’s hard to find the full extent of the damage. As your contractors pull down wallpaper and remove old drywall, they may come across rot and mildew from old leaks. They may even find long-term damage from a dripping air conditioning system.

Even if the damage was caused by a previous owner, the best thing you can do is completely remove the water damage. If it’s left to linger, it can create more rot or start to damage the building’s structure.

Want to learn more about water damage? Watch this video:

Previous renovations may have been handled badly

People can do a lot of dangerous things to save money short-term. When it comes to office buildings, that can be anything from some DIY wiring changes to plumbing that wasn’t handled by a professional. Just like with the potential for asbestos, the best way to start off a renovation project is with a professional inspector. They can recommend the changes you need to make to bring the building up to code and keep it safe.

Want to learn more about the perils of DIY renovation disasters? Watch this video (mostly about home renos, but the idea is the same):

Commercial construction projects have to do more than just look good. No matter what surprises might lay ahead, as long as you are well prepared and have the right professionals on your side, you’ll be able to handle anything a remodel can throw at you. Let us know what we can help you with today!