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Dental Office Build Out/Remodeling Myths

In November 2011 Janyce Hamilton wrote an article for the Chicago Dental Society titled Five Big Misconceptions of Dental Office Construction.

Four years later her 5 Myths still stand true:

Myth #1:  The Economy is Bad Today, Wait to Remodel Tomorrow

While the economy is better today than it was in 2011, people are still shy thinking tomorrow it could be better.  There are still deals out there on spaces to build out, or maybe your current space is the one to remodel.

Myth #2:  Reputations are Bogus, go with the lowest cost-per-square-foot bid

Commercial construction refers to cost per square foot regularly, but with a dental office that just doesn’t work out.

Say you’d like your office to include 4 operatories, waiting area with check-in and ADA compliant check out, steri center, lab, staff lounge, ADA restroom, private office, consultation office, pano space and an IT storage/mechanical closet.  You have two locations, both similar in monthly lease price but one is 2,800 square feet and one is 1,700 square feet.  Your price to build your wish list is $200,000.00 in both spaces.  That makes your price per square very different.  2,800.00 per sq. ft. is $71.43 per sq ft and 1,700 sq ft is $117.65 per sq ft.  The true cost needs to be based on what is being done inside the space.

Myth #3:  The office will be closed (or a dusty, noisy mess) for months of construction

Dental office contractors use workarounds, such as closing off zones so that disruptions are minimal.  Some remodeling work may be completed in as little as three weeks by closing the office while the staff vacations.   This is not the ideal situation and before you embark on it, talk with another dentist that has gone through it.  It can be done with a well laid out plan and understanding from all parties involved.

Myth #4:  Communicating during construction is frustrating

While in negotiations with contractors ask them how they communicate with you, and what they find to be the best way to keep you in the loop.  Weekly updates in writing are ideal, so if that’s what you want from your contractor be upfront about that.  Some clients want a project schedule and to only be notified if some reason the schedules need altering.  With the software programs available now and with today’s technology there is no reason for a client to get frustrated while being informed of their projects progress.

Myth #5:  Dental office builders will push you into made in America and green materials

In most all market areas green building materials are infrequently requested due to slightly higher costs.  Sustainable all day long, porous cork and soft bamboo remain impractical flooring for dental operatories.  More important is that your builder follows state and local energy efficiency codes.