If you are thinking of opening a small store or other commercial facility, one of the cheapest options is to remodel an old home, turning it into commercial space. But while this process does not have to be expensive, it can be time-consuming. There are quite a few changes you'll need to make to the average home in order to convert it to usable commercial space.
1. Knock out some walls.
Chances are, you don't want your customers having to roam through room after room. Having a couple of rooms may work well, but you don't want full doorways interrupting the flow through your store or coffee shop. Arrange to have a couple of the doorways removed from the home to make the space more open. Your contractor can assess the walls and tell you which ones are load-bearing. Use this to guide your decision as to which walls to remove. Load-bearing walls are a lot harder to remove than non-load-bearing ones.
2. Choose durable flooring.
The flooring options used in residential homes, like hardwood and carpet, are not typically durable enough to withstand the heavy foot traffic experienced in a commercial space. Even if the home's floors are currently in good shape, have your contractor replace the floors with heavy-duty tile or linoleum. These floors will last longer, and they are also easier to clean, which will come in handy during the winter when people track in snow and ice on their boots.
3. Add a wheelchair ramp.
Check the regulations in your area. In most municipalities, commercial buildings that accommodate more than a certain number of individuals are required to allow wheelchair access. So, you may need to add a wheelchair ramp if the building's entrance is not even with the ground. You can add the ramp around back if there is no convenient space for it at the front entryway.
4. Choose sturdy windows.
Most residential windows are not ideal for use in commercial spaces. They are probably not reinforced, which means they'll be vulnerable to break-ins. They may not be very efficient, either. Have your contractor replace the building's windows with security glass, surrounded in vinyl sashes. This will protect against theft and ensure that if the glass is broken, it does not make a huge mess in your commercial building.
Converting a home to commercial space will take time, but with the tips above, it is surely possible. For more help, contact a company like S & S Builders LLC today.