Learn about Tenant Improvement and how architects and interior designers can help create the perfect space for your business.
TI or Tenant improvement term is used by interior designers, architects, engineers, contractors, and real estate professionals to describe the design and construction of interior commercial space to meet a tenant’s needs.
Tenant improvement architect services can range from replacing materials–such as paint, carpet, and countertops–to custom buildouts that meet the new tenant’s usage requirements.
Tenant improvement architect work can be paid for by the tenant, landlord or by both based on the terms of the lease. Who the tenant improvement architects and/or interior designers work for depends on the contract agreement and who’s responsible for paying design fees.
Tenant improvement allowance is called any fund a landlord offers for design and construction (if you need more information please contact your licensed real estate broker).
MEEE Design Services offers an integrated approach to tenant improvement design that includes both architecture and engineering as well as interior design. Our services can include code review and due diligence (to ensure space will work for your needs), budgeting, space programming and planning, engineering and professional services coordination, contractor selection and permitting.
Sometimes our clients think they need a signed lease before hiring an architect, but we explain to them that it’s much better to bring an architect on before you sign that lease, locking you into a space that might not meet your business’s needs as well as you hope it will.
So, you’re ready to find a real brick-and-mortar location for your office, retail store, restaurant, coffee shop, or whatever other business you’re ready to launch. You are looking at potential locations with the help of a real estate broker. You know you need an architect (maybe because you’ve realized that you need help with that all-important building permit), but you’re not sure exactly when you should reach out to one.
Often, our commercial clients think that they need to have a fully signed lease before any architect will be interested in working with them, but we’re here to tell you that the exact opposite is true. Before you sign a lease is the best time to start building your design team. Our architects can help you identify items that may present challenges to your project schedule, budget, or just general feasibility.
In the past, we have identified discrepancies between the size of the space listed in the lease and the actual square footage.
Our team helped business owners realize that the occupancy of the previous tenant could lead to a long permit process. We have helped clients understand that their budget may stretch farther than it can reach if they are the first tenant in a brand-new building. Clients were able to back out of leases on spaces that likely would not have worked for their business.
So, when it comes time to start searching for a new space, don’t hesitate to reach out to an architect early in the process. You don’t need to have the perfect space selected before you talk to a designer. Instead, allow your designer to join your team and help you find that perfect space for your business.