[This article was written by Lizzie Weakley.]
Is your retail business outgrowing your current store space? You can move to a larger building, but you may lose sales when your loyal customers have difficulty finding or traveling to your new location. A better solution is adding more room to your existing store, but expansion can be tricky too. If you’re planning to expand your commercial space, here are four tips to keep in mind.
Get Your Permits
Permits are rule number one for any construction project, especially if your building is located within city limits. The good news is that getting a permit isn’t too difficult. First, your contractor will draw up the plans for your building expansion and submit them to the city. After the plans are approved, you will need to pay the fees, which cover inspection costs, and secure your permit.
Match Your Roof Line
Nothing makes your building addition look disjointed more than a mismatched roof. When you call in the roofers, make sure you have a cohesive design in your plans. Whether sloped, inverted or flat, continue the same roof line across the new addition and match your shingles for a seamless look. If you can’t get the same exact shingles, you can either re-do the entire roof or paint all the shingles to match.
Identify Load-bearing Walls
A common mistake that do-it-yourself renovators make is to remove a load-bearing wall. This can have dire consequences because it weakens the entire structure and can cause the ceiling to buckle and cave in. The best way to prevent removing a load-bearing wall is to hire a qualified contractor to do the work. However, if you plan on doing some or all of the expansion work yourself, play it safe by avoiding the removal of walls.
Follow Building Codes
It’s important to know all your federal, state and local building codes before you get started on your expansion project. Following these codes to the letter can prevent the need to re-do work later and ensures that your completed building will pass inspections. You should also remember to follow codes and recommendations related to access for people with disabilities so all your customers can enjoy your store.
Do you need more retail space but don’t have the funds to expand your building? There are many ways to make your store roomier on a shoestring budget. Consider implementing a new layout, narrowing your aisles, adding vertical space with shelves or moving some of your merchandise outdoors.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.