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Answers To Other Questions

  • Guest asked:
    I am looking to open a small coffee and pastry shop in my neighborhood. How long will it take for design and construction?
    • Margit Whitlock replied:
      Good day, thank you for asking. It will depend on a few factors. Is there an existing kitchen and ADA restroom? Is the location zoned for a cafe? Are there exterior improvements needing either planning or community group review? Like a sidewalk cafe'? There are a minimum of three phases for any project. 1. Design/Construction Documents 2. Permitting and Bidding 3. Construction. Depending on the size of the space you should allow 6-9 months for a small project. You can always call me to discuss further. Good Luck. Margit
  • Guest asked:
    How necessary is it to permit a project? Isn't this just an added expense that is unnecessary? How do you budget time and expense for permitting? Do you have to have a permit to start construction?
    • Margit Whitlock replied:
      Hi there, Permits are required for any improvement over $500. YEP that fancy built-in dog bed with heaters and air conditioning, mood lighting and running water bath! - Permits! Many small project improvements can be built under the radar. ( I didnt say that) In reality the codes are here for a reason. To save people's lives. To assess the permit process and fees you can go the the building department as a "walk in" and meet with staff to review all permits and possible fees. Take notes and get names as we have experienced different answers from different city staff that have caused problems ( I didnt say that) If your project is medium to large we recommend making an appointment for preliminary review. Every jurisdiction is different. And to answer your last question - YES - You can phase your construction to speed up your schedule if needed. You can start with a demo permit to get things going while in the permit process as long as zoning, planning and historical are signed off. Do the right thing! The penalties for construction W/O a permit can add up to mucho time and $$. Margit
  • Guest asked:
    What should be my first step in the interior design process for my business?
    • aciadmin replied:
      Good day, Thank you for asking. First step is to assess your design needs with a scope of work to produce a space program. For example how many offices and what size, reception needs, storage, copy, conference needs, restrooms. Then add up your square footage and see how much space you are needing, allowing for 20% circulation space added on. Think about your "brand image" and do some fun searching on the internet for images of spaces you like. Start looking for space with a broker or by other searches. Once you find one you like I would bring your designer on board to do a "test fit" so see if the space works for the space program you developed initially. Work closely with your designer to get the most out of your budget and achieve a professional space to represent your business. First impressions do make a difference. Good luck! We are here to help if you need further assistance. Margit
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