How to Minimize Construction Surprises


Are you considering remodeling, a new location involving tenant improvement or a new ground up clinic? A key component of a successful clinic construction or remodeling project is the Pre-Construction Phase. This is the time to minimize surprises. In this article, the team at Vison Advisors shares best practices for minimizing surprises and ensuring your project goals become reality.


The Budget

As a part of developing budgets and timelines, we start by looking at the site. Again, regardless if it is a remodel, tenant improvement or a ground up project, the purpose is to identify items that will lead to budget issues or circumstances that might affect the project timeline. Careful examination of the site is needed and all issued must be identified and discussed. For example, if you are planning on completing a remodeling project while keeping the clinic open, how will the project be phased to keep exam rooms operational? Where will the waiting room be located during construction? How will you keep the clinic safe for patients and staff during construction?


Tenant Improvements

In the tenant improvement scenario, we review what the Landlord is providing and what they are not. Assumptions cannot be made here; the lease will make it very clear. We also analyze mechanical items such as is there proper heating and cooling available? Do we have enough electrical power for the general needs plus equipment? You might be surprised how often plumbing has not been extended into a vacant suite – a potential major and costly surprise.


Location Matters

We provide guidance in choosing the best location, negotiate the most competitive rates and terms with the landlord or seller, and assist in assembling the rest of the team. We advise you on current market conditions, vacancies, costs to open a new office, and help you avoid common pitfalls in choosing a suitable space.


Should you choose to lease an office, our experience in representing healthcare tenants can also help you achieve concessions that landlords only make available to the highest quality tenants. Services are typically paid for by the landlord or seller, so there is usually no out of pocket cost to you.


When it comes to looking at land, it is extremely important to confirm that the quality of the soils to insure the building foundation will be supported properly, in addition, confirming the utility’s are easily accessible is important just to name a couple.


Healthcare-specific Architecture

An experienced, healthcare-specific architect is the key to transforming your new space into your ideal office. The architect will meet with you, your equipment and technology providers, and building engineers and determine the best way to achieve your design ideas while completing your new office. The architect is responsible for the overall design, complying with building codes and coordinating the work of the engineers, contractors and suppliers. Through constant oversight and communication with the whole team, the architect holds everyone accountable to meet deadlines and makes sure your space is done on time, on budget, and will meet your functional and aesthetic requirements.


In short, the objective is to minimize surprises. Having the right team produces a project that is on time, on budget and of the highest quality. Equally as important, having the right team protects your time and frees you to focus on your practice and enjoy your new office.




Jon Helle | CARR Healthcare Realty

Jon specializes in Optometry clinic real estate site selection and negotiations. He advises his clients on current market conditions, vacancies, costs to opening a new office and how to avoid common pitfalls in choosing a suitable space.


Roger Swagger | |Karkela Construction

Rogers’ primary focus is the construction of private medical practices including Optometry, Dental and Veterinarian in Minnesota and western Wisconsin while partnering and guiding clients with pre-construction services including site review revealing construction concerns, establishing and maintaining budgets, timelines and providing a variety of construction options.


Bob Shaffer | Foundation Architects

Bob loves to work directly with optometrists to develop creatively unique, personal, and affordable design solutions that exceed your expectations. His methodical and pragmatic approach returns high-value results while involving you, the optometrist in the design process from beginning to end, from concepts to finishes.