As a business owner, whether veterinary, retail, medical, or hospitality, you always have the goal to grow your business. With that growth comes the enviable position of needing a bigger space, or even adding a second location. But when?? Is there a better “time” to start that process? The quick answer is this…it is always a great time to jump start your dream! That being said, here are a few things to consider as you prepare to hire a commercial architect and begin this exciting journey.
When do you want to open or begin to use your expanded space? It takes time for your architect to sit down with you, ascertain your needs, and turn those needs into a workable plan. You want to allow 2-4 months from your first meeting with your architect until you are ready to start the construction process. If you’re building new, it’s always ideal to break ground late spring, early summer. This helps to avoid the winter and spring rains and gets you “out of the ground” quicker. This would mean you would want to start engaging your architect in the first months of the year. If you’re expanding or renovating an existing space, weather is less of a concern.
What about construction costs? Here again there are a number of things to consider. Has there been a natural disaster this year? If so, construction material costs may be higher due to reconstruction demands. Perhaps the unemployment rates are higher. This usually means contractors are hungrier, and will offer even more competitive costs just to get the job. Interest rates low? This signals an opportunity to build bigger and get more “bang for your buck” while having a smaller mortgage payment. Interest rates higher? As mentioned above, this can benefit you by having contractors offer even more competitive bids in hopes of securing work in a slower economy. Right now we see the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the supply chain for parts and supplies. This has impacted the cost some but has also impacted the time it takes to construct the project. This means a 90 day interior fit-up project now takes 140 days.
As you can see, there are so many variables that can determine when is the “best” time to start your project. One thing is certain, waiting around for an ideal time only delays the growth you already know you need and desire. Start now by engaging a qualified veterinary architect, and let them guide you through the process. No time is better than right now.