Wolgast Blog

The Best Method to Build Light Commercial & Light Industrial Buildings

Posted by Cory Sursely on 8/4/2021

MetroInfusion3Light Commercial Buildings include (but aren’t limited to) medical practices, dental practices, office buildings, restaurants, banks, auto dealerships, and generally any building that is 25,000 s.f. or less and used for commercial business.

Light Industrial Buildings include, but not limited to (as defined by National Institute of Building Sciences -11/5/19), “space types used for assembly, disassembly, fabricating, finishing, manufacturing, packaging, and repairing or processing of various types of materials…spaces for printing, commercial laundry, film processing, vehicle repair, building maintenance shops, metal work , millwork, cabinetry work” and warehousing. Also the light industrial buildings are typically not over 2 stories tall.

Construction for these types of light buildings are best suited to use Wolgast’s Three Phased Design/Build Services among our construction delivery method options. Projects that are bigger in square feet or that would take a long duration to construct, (typically more than a year) are better suited to use our Construction Management delivery method.

We work with partner Architects that are licensed and highly skilled to create visually attractive and efficiently adept spaces to house either light commercial or light industrial operations. They will meet with the building owner for a needs analysis to determine specific usage and their style to create an elevation and prepare other Preliminary Phase I Documents. We use these documents to determine early cost budgets to present to an owner, so they can make an early and educated decision about their investment.

There is a nominal fee for this early pricing, but during Phase I, much preliminary work is done to advance the speed of the project should the owner decide to move forward to Phase II - Design. The benefit is that the owner doesn’t have to pay for a complete design that ends up being over budget and they will be further ahead in their schedule when it comes to the final design phase. Owners will have solid budget information earlier to determine if the project is feasible than if they used the traditional design/bid/build method.

If the project moves forward, our Design Team completes the full design documents in Phase II – Design along with our Estimators completing final estimating, securing a minimum of two to three bidders for each trade. From here, the owner gets a guaranteed price and completion date. Building owners will know exactly what to expect during construction. This is the biggest benefit of the Design/Build process for light building owners.

This leads to Phase III – Construction. The prior two phases allow us to be ready to start construction with our team, materials and permits already ordered ahead of time. Plus with the Design and Construction Teams working together during the Phase II - Design, plans have already been reviewed and checked for issues translating them into applied Construction. We are solely responsible for getting your light commercial or industrial building completed as expected.

Design/Build is an alternative delivery method to General Construction, which typically takes longer to get through all of design, estimating, permitting, material ordering, and then to construction. With Design/Build an owner of a light commercial or light industrial building gets earlier pricing information, a guaranteed price, and an advocate to complete their building with the most value.

Additionally, companies that typically reside in a light commercial or light industrial building are the same candidates for SBA 504 Loans, which are a great opportunity to fund construction projects. Under this program, the loan requirements include 10% down by the business owner, 40% low interest, fixed loan for 20 year duration by the SBA’s Certified Development Company (CDC), and then 50% from an approved financial institution. Qualifying companies must have been in business for 2 years, have a net worth less than $15M, and an average net income less than $5M. The SBA 504 funding source is designed to assist established, healthy, expanding businesses purchase land, building, machinery or equipment, make land improvements, complete construction activities, or make leasehold improvements.

Michigan Business Owners, call 800-WOLGAST to schedule your free assessment to get your project started or use the link below.


Tags: Medical Office Construction, Design/Build, Auto Dealers, Financing Construction, Dental Office Construction, Manufacturing Construction

Quick Turn over for Auto Dealership Reimage

Posted by Cory Sursely on 11/2/2015

Expert Auto Dealership ConstructionThe Ford Motor Company reimage program is in full effect.  Dealers had to be committed earlier this year and now have until the end of 2016 to complete their design.  We are experience with designing and constructing many flagship dealers and can do the same for you.

Rick Keith, Wolgast Corporation's Architect, is ready to assist dealerships however he can.  Rick has been through corporate design programs with other dealerships, hotel chains, and restaurants, so he knows the protocol involved.

Additionally, Wolgast's construction team has built or remodeled several dealerships in the past five years.  We apply a systemized, professional and speedy approach to completing construction.

Meeting corporate requirements while serving the dealer's needs can take some time and in certain circumstances, some negotiation.  We will work with both of you to navigate through the program and make sure that you get your money's worth for an outstanding showpiece with a quick turn around.  After all, it's all about selling more cars and a beautiful building will draw the traffic. Therefore, being at full capacity sooner, will gain you earlier sales.

Contact Rick Suitor or Michael Shepard, Wolgast's Business Development Team, to get start on your design. They will guide you through the design phase and into construction completion.

Read more tips about Automotive Construction here.

Tags: Design/Build, Auto Dealers, Good for Business

Construction Tips for Auto Dealerships

Posted by Cory Sursely on 2/19/2014

Auto Service CenterCurrently, many Michigan auto dealers are feeling varying degrees of pressure from auto manufacturers to modernize their stores, some of which have never been renovated since they were originally built 50 years ago.  While remodeling can be an expensive investment in your business, there are several benefits that go along with the improvements.

We want to share with dealers what they can expect and tips about their reimage:

  1. You can stay open during most or all of construction activity.  We understand that service is the key to your success whether that is your sales team meeting with customers or your service team working on cars.  Through phases of construction and flexibility, you’ll be able to maintain business (almost) as usual.  We discuss this further in our blog, ”Staying Open During Construction”. 
  2. You’ll have to work closely with corporate and their architect to create a design that matches their requirements.  Our architect, Rick Keith, is highly experienced in deciphering the brand requirements and creating a design to keep costs low for the owner.
  3. You can look forward to your service area being spruced up with nicer service drive lanes and service write up areas in a separate, quieter environment.  This change will provide a more relaxed atmosphere for customers.
  4. Many reimage programs can be costly, but the good news is that the construction costs can be depreciated for federal income tax purposes.  You may want to consult with your tax advisor on ways to maximize the depreciation including a cost segregation study.
  5. Being under construction draws attention to your business and you’ll likely attract customers into your dealership just to see the changes once construction is complete

As more information becomes available about manufacturer’s programs, Wolgast will be right there with you (as we have done for all our automotive dealer clients) to determine what's needed to get the job done right, economically and swiftly.  Please call us if you have questions or when you’re ready to start your reimage, 800-965-4278 (800-WOLGAST).

Tags: Design/Build, Scheduling, Auto Dealers

To Use or Not to Use a Pre-Engineered Metal Building

Posted by Cory Sursely on 6/17/2013

Pre-engineered metal buildingWe have had all kinds of business owners from varying professions ask us about using a pre-engineered metal building when they’re fact finding about new construction for their business.  We tell them a general rule of thumb to consider is that metal buildings are best for businesses that want an industrial look, or have a big enough budget to dress up a pre-engineered building with brick or EIFS (for example) to mask the industrial façade.

It’s certainly a viable and economical option when a business owner is looking for new construction.  However, the expense of masking the industrial look can be cost prohibitive and could actually make it more economical to choose building a stick-built building instead.  To see examples of how a pre-engineered metal building can be “dressed up” visit Kirby Building Systems website. Additionally, the larger the building, the better the economies of scale become for metal buildings.  The price per square foot gets more attractive the bigger the building vs. stick-built construction.  On the same note, the smaller the building, the bigger the square foot price will be, which can make stick-built construction the more economical option.PreEngQuote

The time you have to complete construction can also play a factor on your choice between metal and stick-built construction.  Both methods start with an architect designing the building and getting through approvals.  Once the contractor has a signed contract with the owner, stick-building construction can start, however, when using a pre-engineered metal building this is the point where it gets ordered from the manufacturer.  From there, it takes time for the manufacturer to complete their engineering and planning for the support of the structure per your design.  Then they put it into production.  Your contractor can begin site work and foundations prior to the arrival of the metal panels, but that could take 8-12 weeks for most jobs (simple jobs can take less time).

A final consideration is future expansion.  If your site allows it and you have plans for expanding your building in a few years when you’ve doubled your business or another reason, then starting with a smaller metal building can provide cost savings during an expansion.  If you design it with the intention of adding space later, it should be easier and more economical to do so with a metal building compared to a stick-built building.

In summary, if you’re looking to build a large building and don’t mind that it looks like an industrial building (such as operations for warehousing, manufacturing and some retail), a pre-engineered metal building will be your most economical choice.  For those who need a smaller building, less than 10,000 s.f. or so (doctors, dentists, restaurant owners, service providers), who'd rather not have an industrial look, or don’t have the budget to mask an industrial look, then a pre-engineered metal building most likely isn’t your best economical choice.

Either way, Wolgast is skilled in designing and erecting pre-engineered metal buildings as much as we are in designing and constructing stick-built buildings, so please contact us with your questions about what type of construction will work best for you.  800-965-4278.

Tags: Medical Office Construction, Professional General Contractor, the Wolgast Way, Auto Dealers, Design, Dental Office Construction, Good for Business, Manufacturing Construction