This concludes the series on the commercial construction process. When we left off a few weeks ago, the HVAC, plumbing, electrical systems, drywall and doors had all been completed. (You can read part one here and part two here.) Now let’s turn our attention to finishing up and moving in.
After the building’s main systems have been installed, it’s time for the cosmetic details to be applied. Flooring, painting, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, door hardware, electrical device covers, trim and cabinets are installed as the last step of the building process.
Landscaping and final site improvements are completed. HVAC, electric and water systems are turned on. All required inspections are completed to assure that construction has been performed in accordance with the plans and specifications and that the building is safe to occupy. Once all inspections have been satisfactorily completed, a Certificate of Occupancy is granted deeming the building safe to begin business.
As the building was being built, it was inspected by professionals at every step of the process. After the final inspections, most general contractors will call a meeting with their team to discuss how the project went. This provides them a chance to discuss any problems that may have occurred along the way and develop a plan for their next project. It’s also a good time to review the budget and verify that everything has been completed as budgeted.
As the contractors walk through the building, they create a punch list of any items that need immediate repair. These normally relate to defects in finishes and typically include repairing nicks in walls, repairing a crack in the floor, or changing light fixtures.
If a formal closing has not already been established by the lender, the building owner will need to complete this step before anything else can be done.
Lastly, if not already on site, curtains, blinds, cabinets, furniture, office equipment, desks, chairs, phone lines and appliances (such as microwaves and refrigerators for breakrooms) will be installed.
Depending on the size and planned use of the new building, the business owner may arrange for the press to come out for a grand opening. Often, a ribbon cutting ceremony is accompanied by a festival-like atmosphere as employees and members of the community are brought in to tour the building. A start date for operations is determined and staff are given a report date. Generally, within a few days or weeks of taking occupancy of the building, the business is ready to open its doors, and the process is complete.