Design Services - Seattle Contractor BUILT-RIGHT®
Successfully Completed Over 500 Fast-Track Tenant Improvement Projects and Counting

Tenant Improvement Design Services
Options and Points to Consider


An experienced tenant improvement contractor can positively impact the time and money spent in developing your design.


There is no substitute for experience. Hiring an architect or designer without related experience can result in delays in approval time and unanticipated increases in cost.


Tenant Improvement Plans and Permits:


Contractor’s Architect or Designer


  The tenant improvement contractor will work with you to value engineer the tenant improvement process and to help you meet your budget.



With your preliminary design and business requirements in hand a tenant improvement contractor will hire an architect on a fixed price quote to provide permit drawings and to obtain building permits. This is possible due to the tenant improvement contractor’s continued business offered to the architect.


  If the tenant improvement contractor has a standard digital tenant improvement drawing template in hand for the architect to use while developing the drawings there can be a significant cost savings over starting from scratch.



The prequalified tenant improvement Architect or planner is familiar with tenant improvement building codes and can quickly identify problem areas and offer solutions. The architect is also familiar with the building department plan reviewers and knows what they want to see on the plans to issue a permit.


  Using non architect or non-designer specified materials and finishes can also be a good value.


Tenant Retains Architect or Designer



Will the architect provide a fixed price quote to provide plans and permits to the tenant? It is not likely without as-built drawings, detailed specifications and a preliminary design in hand.



The tenant hires an architect or designer on a percentage of project cost. The tenant has just given control of the tenant improvement budget to someone who is paid more when the cost goes up.



It is critical for the tenant to maintain control of the plan and finish selections to keep the project on budget.



Use the tenant improvement contractor qualification checklist to validate your tenant improvement contractor selection.



If the tenant hires the architect on an hourly bases without a time limit there is no reason for the architect to complete the project in a timely manner. This can add weeks or more to the permit process.



In some cases the architect or designer provides proprietary specifications for finish selections which will add cost to your project.


Some Points To Consider


  Is the architect experienced with tenant improvement projects?



Does the tenant have a referral for the architect?



Does the architect have experience with planning and requirements for your type of business?


  Does the architect have a drafter on staff that could work on a lower hourly rate?


  Who owns the Auto CAD plans? Usually the architect will retain the rights.



Who selects the contractor?


  Who verifies the contractor’s experience and credentials?




This document is provided to as a helpful resource. It is a starting point but it is not intended to cover every conceivable situation. Using experienced advisors should always be considered before you sign any lease or commit to any outlay for tenant improvements.

Check list provided by BUILT-RIGHT®.  - © 2012

Click here to download a PDF version of this guide.

Serving the Seattle Metro Area including:
Seattle, Bellevue, Renton, Issaquah, Kirkland,
Everett, Redmond, Woodinville, Bothell,
Shoreline, Edmonds and Lynnwood.