10 Tips for Getting Started with Dental Office Construction

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Revamping your dental office design can represent a big step forward for your organization. An enhanced dental office layout can lead to better patient experiences, improved employee morale, and increased overall productivity among staff members.  However, before you start making calls and scheduling your dental office construction project, there are a few things that business leaders need to address first. Luckily, Key Interiors is here to help!

Here are 10 things you should do before embarking on dental office construction:

#1 Clearly Establish Your Goals & Plan for the Future

Arguably, the most essential part of a dental office construction project is getting a clear outline of the dentist’s goals in their new practice. Is it simply updating an existing space, or are you taking on a larger space and doing a full build-out? Are you looking to be able to tend to more clients at once? Will you want to add new technology needing a particular room or extra space? Will another doctor be joining your practice anytime in the next 10 years? Think ahead. There are many scenarios for which you should consider, including space.

#2 Review Your Budget

There’s a big difference between knowing how much you’re prepared to spend on a dental office construction project and knowing the availability of your funds to complete the project as desired. You should always have a range or an idea of how much money you have available before taking too deep of a plunge into planning a renovation. If you don’t, you could get entirely through the design phase and realize your available funds won’t cover it. 

Once you know how much money is available to you and preferably also an idea of how much you want to spend, make sure that whoever you decide to partner with as your dental office construction contractor discusses your financial options. There are always ways to save money in a renovation without sacrificing the ‘wow’ factor of your space.

#3 Permits & Working with Your Land

Depending on whether you rent your space or need to perform extensive dental office construction, you may be required to speak with a landlord or government official to gain clearance for your redesign project. For the most part, Key Interiors can handle local permits and approvals, but you still may need to work with your landlord if you don’t own your space. Obviously, you won’t get very far if the authorities don’t give you the green light, so don’t skip this step – it will only take longer and be more expensive.

#4 Choosing the Right Partner

Before choosing a company to work with throughout your design/build process, ensure your contractor has experience working with dental/medical facilities and has done dental office construction projects in the past. You may not think this has a significant impact, and the non-specialized contractor may mean well (and may come in the cheapest), but they will hit unexpected delays and costs due to a lack of experience in the industry. So many requirements and layout specifications are dental-specific that an industry expert is ready for, and these could throw a wrench in the project for an inexperienced contractor.

#5 Set a Timeline

Dental office construction projects can run the gamut from a few weeks to many months –– take time early in the process to work with your contractor to create the timeline you’d like while considering the extent of work needed. Establishing a realistic and detailed timeline that encompasses each phase of the construction process is imperative. Begin with a pre-construction phase involving site preparation, permit acquisition, and necessary demolitions. Factor in installing essential infrastructure such as plumbing and electrical systems, ensuring compliance with industry standards and regulations. Allocate time for selecting and procuring specialized dental equipment and technology, considering potential lead times. Collaborate closely with the contractor to promptly address any unforeseen challenges and streamline the construction timeline. By meticulously planning the project schedule, you can minimize disruptions to your dental practice and ensure a seamless transition to the newly designed office space.

#6 Plan for Disruption

Some dental offices can schedule construction on their office around regular work hours. Regardless, business leaders must plan for construction to disrupt certain parts of their office or their workday. Have plans ready for accepting patients even during times of peak construction. Some dentists may consider looking for temporary office space while construction is ongoing. If dental office construction occurs at a different location than your current practice, disruption should be minimal besides your needed input into construction & design decisions.

#7 Establish Contingencies

What happens if construction is delayed for two weeks? Or if a project goes over budget? Or if one or more aspects of your strategy need to be changed? Answering these questions may not be easy, but it’s essential to have contingency plans ready in case of emergencies. Implementing a comprehensive risk management strategy is essential to navigate unforeseen challenges effectively. Devise backup plans for potential delays, considering alternative construction schedules or temporarily relocating critical services. Establish a financial contingency fund to address unexpected budget overruns, ensuring the project stays on track without compromising quality. Regularly review and update the contingency plans as the project progresses, fostering adaptability and preparedness for any unexpected twists in the construction journey.

#8 Talk to Your Team

One of the best ways to create an office space your team loves is to speak directly with them. It may sound obvious, but the truth is that your employees may have ideas, concerns, and preferences that could help you along in the redesign process.

#9 Talk to Your Neighbors

Let your neighbors know if you’re planning construction on your property is always a good policy. This is particularly important if you expect construction crews to make noise that could bother nearby businesses or construction workers may take up public parking spaces.

#10 Call a Professional

If all of this seems like a lot of boxes to tick –– before construction even begins –– then you’re right! The good news is that companies like Key Interiors can help your organization pull off a dental office renovation seamlessly. We have years of experience working with dentists and other medical professionals, have extensive contacts in the construction industry, and can help you handle any logistical challenges that may arise during the redesign process. Contact us here for more information or to get started today!

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