Categories
Office Design office redesign

5 Questions to Ask Your Interior Contracting Firm

Two business leaders discuss interior contracting in their office

When it comes to hiring an interior contracting firm, there are a lot of important factors at play. No two interior contractors are the same, so getting one that fits your needs and budget is key. Fortunately, there is a crystal-clear process that any business or individual can use to determine if an interior contracting firm is a good fit. So, let’s take a look at the 5 questions to ask your interior contracting firm!

Can You Create a Design From Scratch?

A lot of people get confused between an interior contractor and an interior designer. Typically, a contractor works off of an existing design, while a designer takes the process from the design phase all the way through construction. As a result, it’s important to ask an interior contracting firm if they can create their own designs.

Some people get started with a contractor and realize that it’s up to them to provide the contractor with a design. Without expertise in interior design, this could leave you in a tough position. Fortunately, many interior contracting firms like Key Interiors can see your project through from start to finish.

Do You Specialize in Residential or Commercial Construction?

Many interior contracting firms have specialties in either residential or commercial interior construction, while others have a solid track record in both. In any case, it’s important to know what the firm is able to do with different spaces. If you’re trying to remodel your house, you probably wouldn’t want a firm that focuses on commercial interiors. On the other hand, if you want to relocate your company’s office, you wouldn’t want an interior contracting firm that specializes in residential designs.

What Kind of Services Do You Offer?

In a sense, this is an extension of the first question. Some interior contracting firms offer design services, while others do not. Similarly, some firms only offer basic construction services, while others offer redesigns, relocations, expansions, and many other services. Even if you just have a simple plan in mind, it’s often best to go with a contracting firm that’s capable of taking on most (if not all) of the different tasks that are involved in your project.

What’s Your Pricing Structure?

This is an incredibly important question. When it comes to cost, it’s easy to find yourself paying too much for subpar service. That’s why you should always confirm the type of services they offer and then ask about pricing. If the cost doesn’t align with the services (or with your budget), then you know you should look elsewhere. Fortunately, many interior contracting firms offer scaled pricing structures to meet the needs of just about any budget.

What’s Your Turnaround Time?

Naturally, the answer to this question is complex. However, a good interior contracting firm will be able to give you an approximate timeline based on the details of your particular project. For example, if you want to expand your current building and redesign the interiors, the interior contracting firm should be able to give you an accurate timeline and an  approximate completion date once they know the scope of what needs to be done.

Want to learn more about hiring an interior contracting firm? Contact the experts at Key Interiors today!

Categories
Office Design Office Renovation

4 Ways to Stop Office Construction Issues Before They Start

Two men in hard hats discuss office construction with a laptop nearby

If you’ve ever managed a construction project, you know that there are a million potential issues that can crop up. From inclement weather to delayed material shipments, there’s no shortage of problems that can cause your office construction to take longer and cost more than it should. Though some issues are unavoidable, many common construction problems could be avoided with proper planning and foresight. So, let’s take a look at the top 4 ways to stop office construction issues before they start. 

Set a Budget Ceiling

While you should always set your budget above the initial projection, you shouldn’t throw endless amounts of cash at a construction project. Some contractors or interior designers will try to upsell you with things that you don’t need, leading to seemingly endless costs. To avoid this problem, set a hard limit on what you’re willing to spend. Don’t be afraid to share this number with your contractor or designer, as it will help them stay on track and on budget.

Get a Designer’s Opinion

You may have a very specific vision in mind for your new office. Unfortunately, it may not work with your budget. It also may not be feasible based on your location and a variety of other factors. So, make sure to get an opinion on your office design before you break ground with the construction crew. A good commercial interior design firm can usually spot poor or impractical designs from a mile away. Even better, a design build firm, like Key Interiors, can cover both pieces of the process from design to build.

Take an Active Role in the Process

A lot of business owners want to hire a construction firm, and once the process is started, walk away until it’s done. While this approach may work, you can avoid potential miscommunications and change orders by staying up-to-date on the construction. This way, you’ll be informed of any potential construction issues before they start, giving you more time to work with your contracting firm to fix them.

Hire a Trusted Office Construction Firm

All of the steps above are pointless if you don’t hire the right business to construct or redesign your office. Some interior construction firms do not have the expertise to build a modern office, while others may have a history of going over-budget. So, do your research in advance. Reach out to multiple firms to get price quotes and timelines. If you take these extra steps, you could end up saving your business a lot of time and money.

If you’d like to learn more about hiring a construction firm for your office, contact the experts at Key Interiors today!

 

Categories
Office Design office redesign

How to Reduce Potential Tax Liabilities with Capital Expenditure Projects

business and office construction leaders discussing capital expenditures

“Unprecedented” is a strong candidate for the unofficial word of the year for 2020. Business leaders have had to face unprecedented challenges, and, as a result, they’ve had to use unprecedented methods to meet them. For many business leaders, this meant –– at least in part –– applying for government assistance in the form of a PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) or EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster) loan. While these loans may have provided businesses with much-needed injections of cash, capital from these loans may now represent a potential tax liability.

Given that fact, today we’ll explain a little more about how this process works, and what business owners can do to reduce potential tax liabilities with capital expenditure projects.

Loans & Profit

Numbers may not lie, but they also may not tell the entire story either. Such is the case with PPP and EIDL loans. Earlier this year, many businesses applied for government loans at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the loans required that businesses use most or all of these loans to cover essential expenses (like payroll), this income still counted as a big chunk of profit on their books without any expenses directly against it. Think about it – almost every time you make money in business, you must spend money. So each piece of income has an expense directly against it – thus resulting in some profit. But with these loans, you got a big check that was entirely profit.

For businesses that struggled through COVID and took a loss in other areas of their business, this extra profit on their books isn’t an issue. For the businesses that actually boomed in this period, such as the residential construction and supply industries, their net profit will be inflated with the infusion of PPP monies. These companies have not only made a profit on their regular business, but they also had a large amount of pure profit come with their forgiven loan.

Of course, businesses are responsible for paying tax on their profits at the end of the year. With such a large amount of profit in their business, they could be due for a whopping tax bill at the beginning of 2021.

Capital Expenditures

Business leaders can choose to invest a portion of their profits into “capital expenditures” to cut down on their profit figure. Capital expenditures are considered purchases that businesses make to improve any assets that they own. So when a business makes an investment into a capital expense like updating an office space or investing in new machinery, computers, or office furniture, this can be at least partially written off as an expense with no direct profit related to it. Because of that, it reduces the overall profit figure and, subsequently, the business’ tax responsibility. Unlike operating expenses, which can be written off the same year as their purchase, capital expenditures go through depreciating value on a year-by-year basis. If a business were to make a significant capital expenditure this year, they would be able to deduct some, but not all, of the amount on their upcoming tax balance sheet.

Please reach out to your accountant and confirm that this expenditure would help you before making any plans for capital expenditures.

A Word from Key Interiors

As we begin to wind down a very unusual year, we do like to remind our clients that putting money into capital expenditure improvements can be a great way to reduce potential tax liabilities. Some of our clients have seen this year’s tax payment jump due to receiving PPP or EIDL money from the US Government. Additionally, some businesses may have an urgent need to alter their office setup in order to meet social-distancing guidelines and ensure the safety of their staff and clientele. (For more information on this subject, you can check out our blog here.) Another reason some businesses have needed to alter their set up is because they have gotten much busier and added staff – increasing the need for updated workflows and more bathroom and break room space. Growing businesses may be compelled to rethink their workspace to accommodate this increase in employees or a larger production outlay.

If any of this sounds like it could apply to your business, then we’d be happy to have a no-obligation call to discuss possible projects that fall under a capital expense category.

At Key Interiors, we have a long history of partnering with a wide range of businesses. Our team will work with yours to improve your business’s office and subsequently boost workplace efficiency to deliver significant return on your investment. You can contact us here for more information or to get started today.

Categories
Office Design reception desk designs waiting room design

Reception Area Design and Build: How to Stick to a Timeline

reception area design by Key Interiors

It’s possible to make an argument that the reception desk is the most important space in any office. Waiting rooms often help form the first impression a client, partner, or new employee has of a company. Additionally, individuals may have to spend 5-10 minutes unattended in a reception area before their appointment begins. So, if your company values getting off on the right foot with visitors, quality reception area design is key.

The most recent need for a reception renovation has been caused by the infamous COVID. Shared spaces in the office environment have been put in the spotlight with a skyrocketing focus on hygiene in the workplace. Office managers and business owners want to redesign their waiting area to have easy-to-clean surfaces and plenty of space for a few people to sit while adhering to social distancing.

Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to schedule much-needed reception renovations. Few businesses can afford to shut down completely for months at a time to complete an office redesign. And reception repairs can be uniquely disruptive to regular business. With that in mind, today we’ll share a few tips on how business leaders can create a renovation schedule –– and stick to it –– when they decide to upgrade their reception area.

Account for Scheduling Variables

When planning an office renovation project, it’s unwise to base your schedule only on the time it will take to complete the actual, physical component of the redesign. That’s because a number of logistical variables can slow down or halt your team’s progress. As such, it’s crucial for business leaders to build variables into their renovation schedule. If you fail to account for material lead times, building permit requirements, engineering issues, lease stipulations, building code standards, bad weather conditions, and/or potential tenant disruptions, then it’s possible (if not likely) that your project will run over schedule. 

Avoid High-Volume Periods

Many businesses follow seasonal patterns. Or, at the very least, most companies experience periods of high and low customer volume. If at all possible, avoid scheduling renovations during weeks/months when you know your team will be busy. Planning a renovation during your off-season can minimize the impact on your day-to-day operations.

Note that some businesses choose to schedule the bulk of their renovations at night or on weekends. While this can help expedite the process, hiring contractors to work outside of “normal” hours will cost a premium. So, keep that in mind.

Utilize Alternative Spaces

Some businesses may be able to make use of temporary office spaces or entrances while renovations take place on their regular reception area. Business leaders may also consider using remote technology to complete check-ins with visitors during reception area renovations. Additionally, having certain staff members work remotely for a period of time could free up extra space to use as a “de-facto” waiting area. This may not be ideal, but it could significantly cut down on your renovation timetable.

Break it Up

Occasionally, a reception area may need a complete overhaul and need it ASAP. More often than not, though, businesses can effectively schedule redesigns in phases. By introducing positive changes bit by bit, businesses can improve their reception area design without affecting the regular rhythm of their organization.

Contact the Pros

Overseeing an office renovation calls for a huge commitment of time and resources. Since many business leaders already work 50+ hours a week, it simply may not be possible for them to take on this task as well. The good news is that by partnering with a firm like Key Interiors, professionals can ensure their office design project both 1) fulfills their original vision and 2) is completed on time and on budget. Our team has years of experience completing reception area projects, and we understand the numerous nuances and challenges such undertakings present. You can contact us here to learn more or to get started today!