If your building or space needs work, you’ll be thinking along the lines of one of the three R’s: a refit, refurb or renovation. However, when one term merges into the next and are often seen as interchangeable, how do you know what you actually need to undertake?
Let’s Start With the Definitions…
To begin to untangle these terms, we’ll take a look at the definitions of the words themselves to clarify where one ends and the other begins.
Refit: This refers to the repair or addition of new fittings in order to update or maintain a space. For buildings, the expectation is that the work will involve adding aspects which were not present at the time of construction or previous fit out.
Refurbish: This is often in reference to the aesthetics of a building or area. The target is to make a building look new again by doing such work as painting, repairing or cleaning. What we understand from this term is that it encompasses a redecoration scheme to refresh or rebrand the image of a building.
Renovate: This term is more to do with changes in or additions to the structure; to repair and improve what could be a defective aspect of the building. This term also covers returning a building to its former condition should it have fallen into disrepair so you could conceptualise this as rebuilding a structure within the shell of the previous one.
So, before you embark on your building’s makeover it is important to decide which of these three R’s you are aiming to achieve. Firstly, you need to consider to what extent the building is in disrepair and to what extent you intend to alter the original structure. Secondly, is the action that you wish to take concerned with the practical function or visual aesthetics of the space?
Still Not Sure…
If you’re still feeling a bit lost in the grey areas, it can be helpful to ask yourself these questions:
What are the building’s issues?
If there are underlying maintenance issues, perhaps things which you know will gradually affect the use of the building or indeed impact your legal obligations, you need to be renovating. These issues will tend to lie within the structure of an entire building and involve such functions as heating, wiring and utilities.
Are the building’s facilities up to scratch?
If the fixtures and fittings are not fit for purpose as a twenty-first century space then you need a refit. This is all about future proofing, technology and modern expectations rather than legal requirements.
Is your building’s appearance dated?
If your main concern is that the look of your space is letting you down, you need a refurbishment plan. It could be that the office paintwork is tired and neglected or that you want your premises to visually reinforce a commercial rebrand. For these situations, planning a refurbishment design will fulfil your needs.
How much change do you want to make?
If you manage a whole building, do your plans involve one floor or the whole building? If you need to meet new building regulations or want to create premium commercial rental spaces then renovation is the clear path. For more targeted updates to your building or unit’s function, a refit will suffice, and for surface alterations which do not require substantial change, refurbishing is ideal.
All the R’s
What if it’s all of the above? Maybe your project is epic in scale, or perhaps your individual requirements are hard to define in the terms above. In reality, what you really want to achieve for your commercial office building or space will likely feature aspects of all three R’s. At HL Decorating we see buildings like people: they are all different and they have unique features and needs. So to work out your perfect balance of renovation and refurbishment, contact us.