Wolgast Blog

What to Know about Lease Hold Improvements for Your Business

Posted by Cory Sursely on Thu, Oct 12, 2017 @ 09:56 AM

Office Remodel (Part II)

LeaseHold.jpgAs a business owner or manager, you want to make your working space comfortable, attractive and efficient for your work force.  Currently popular in office settings is open daylighting, LED lamps, replaceable carpet squares and work stations with standing options.   If you don’t own your building, you may feel restricted to make these changes until your ownership status changes, but it’s more likely that your landlord will be willing to work with you to make updates and keep you as a tenant.

Lease Hold Improvements

Lease language can be long, tedious, and yet full of important details.  Depending on how long you’ve been in your building, it’s a good idea to refresh yourself on your remodeling stipulations.  There are commonly tenant improvement allowances available, or alternatively, savings on rent for completing updates to your office or shop.  If there aren’t already those permissions included, then leasehold improvements can be negotiated when you renew your lease. 

Typically, the tenant creates a list of the changes they’d like to make and turns that list over to the landlord for review.  The items that are approved and agreed upon are then put into a work plan for contractors to establish a cost.  Landlords prefer to work with their approved subcontractors in order to match the aesthetic already existing in the building.  From there, the landlord and tenant enter into a construction agreement with the allowance and cost pre-determined.  Additionally, there is a clause presented for fixtures that become part of the property.  These include items that would cause damage to the building if removed, so the tenant is notified which fixtures would stay if the tenant ever moved.

It is common for a landlord to amortize the renovation costs over the term of the lease, with the exception of a penalty and expenses if the lease is broken early.

There are other ways to negotiate a lease hold improvement.  For instance, you can negotiate a longer lease at the same rental rate, or if you can convince the landlord that you would like to pay for the remodel, there can be arrangements for a lowered rental rate (less popular).

Maintenance Coverage

One other important item in your lease contract is who is responsible for maintenance of the interior and exterior of the building you’re occupying.  We often see conditions of buildings in disrepair because the tenant thinks the landlord is responsible (or vice versa), however, the opposite is true, so certain maintenance items are neglected for the duration that the tenant is in the building.  The responsibility doesn’t always come to light until there is a more serious (and now more costly) problem.

Wolgast takes on remodels of all sizes and can provide tips for time and money savings, please contact us when you’re ready to design and construct your upgrades.  Whether it is a restaurant, business office, medical office, retail, manufacturer operation or school, we are experts at remodeling most every type of commercial building.  We are currently planning for winter and interior remodels (which is the best time to complete indoor work, if you ask us!).

Tags: Financing Construction, Remodel

How Economies of Scale Works in Construction

Posted by Cory Sursely on Wed, Oct 05, 2016 @ 10:26 AM

EconOfScale.jpgRay is the owner of a large corporation with his operation spanning over two locations.  When he outgrew his initial office, he got a great deal on a warehouse that was easily adaptable to expand his business.  Now, after years of hard work and smart decisions, he’s outgrowing both locations and has decided that it will be more efficient for his operation to all be under one roof.  But speculating on the costs involved, Ray is wondering if this is the best decision for his company right now?  What Ray may not be considering is economies of scale.  With his building being bigger and the duration of the project longer, and the fixed fees the same, he can benefit from the efficiencies that his design/builder will experience, which will lower the square footage cost.

In the construction industry, same as manufacturing, retail, and many other industries, there are ways to maximize work for optimal efficiency and also there are fixed costs that remain the same on any size project, which result in economies of scale.  For your meat market, it’s giving a discount for 3 lbs. of burger purchased so that they can sell out of the fresh stuff before grinding more and wasting what they have already ground.  For construction, it is a mix of labor and fixed costs that can result in a cost reduction for a building owner.

Large construction projects typically benefit from economies of scale for several reasons.  One, a contractor can hire an electrical crew to be assigned on site all-day for an extended period of time.  The electrician owner can anticipate consistently paying their staff a full day’s pay.  On smaller projects, the same crew could possibly work six hours, but still get paid for eight.  It’s unlikely that the crew can be assigned to a different project for those remaining two hours and still be productive.  This is less efficient use of their time versus a full shift and result in increased cost per square foot.

Two, there are fixed fees within general conditions (i.e. costs associated with making construction possible, beyond materials, supplies, and labor used on the building) that can remain the same regardless of the square footage.  For example, dumpsters, storage trailers, building permits, temporary electricity, barricades and insurance are a few types of things included in this category.  A project that is a longer duration will result in these fixed fees being a smaller percentage of their project cost than a project with a lesser duration because you only need to secure a permit one time, project signage and a fence are the same price once they’ve been installed throughout the duration, and once the equipment is mobilized to the site, the fee is the same while on site.    When you consider that a franchisee may elect to build three stores on three street corners in the same city, but each being a different size, the economies of scale will vary for each.  The largest store will have a lesser percentage of fixed fees per square foot, whereas the medium and smallest stores will have a larger percentage.  Bringing in a water line is the same cost for each, the bathrooms will likely be the same floorplan, but the percentage of the cost will be more in the smaller store than the largest store.

Third, going back to Ray and his building, he elected to use a pre-engineered metal building which was suitable for his operation.  He had to decide on using a 16 foot tall warehouse or a 20 foot tall warehouse.  He quickly realized that the fixed costs don’t change, so it would be mostly the material costs that would add to the final price of the building.  He chose the 20 foot tall warehouse to provide more storage and ultimately more room for his company to grow.

There are many factors that are in effect when estimating the cost of a building.  Regardless of the size, we have your best interest at heart and work to achieve the best value we can provide.  Please contact us when you’re ready to take the next step in expanding your business.  We can professionally design, accurately estimate, and expertly build your building quickly!  The Wolgast Way!

Inquire Here

Tags: Good for Business, Professional General Contractor, Financing Construction

Is there cash hidden in your building? A cost segregation study can help you find it

Posted by Andrew Rose, CPA, Principal, Rehmann on Mon, Feb 29, 2016 @ 01:33 PM
(At Wolgast's request, CPA, Andrew Rose of Rehmann's Commercial Industry Group, generously shared the following expert insight into Cost Segregation to help guide our clients to find tax savings in their building.)

steelcase.jpgAs the economy rebounds, businesses are becoming more profitable. At the same time, higher individual taxes are placing a financial burden on business owners. If you’re looking for ways to reduce taxes and boost cash flow, consider a cost segregation study.

You may benefit from such a study if you plan to acquire, construct, or substantially improve a building, or if you’ve done so in recent years. These studies apply tax accounting and engineering principles to identify building components that qualify for accelerated depreciation. Armed with a cost segregation study, you may be able to cut taxes by claiming additional depreciation expense or capturing missed depreciation deductions from previous years.

An overview

Here’s how it works: commercial real property (excluding land) is depreciated over 39 years (27.5 years for residential rental real estate). Real property includes buildings as well as structural components, such as walls, windows, floors, ceilings, elevators, wiring, plumbing, and HVAC systems. Personal property – such as furniture, fixtures, computers, equipment, and machinery — is usually depreciable over five or seven years. Land improvements – such as parking lots, fences, sidewalks, landscaping, and outdoor lighting – are depreciable over 15 years.

It’s not unusual for owners to allocate costs to real property that could properly have been allocated to shorter-lived personal property or land improvements and depreciated more quickly. A cost segregation study reveals opportunities to reallocate these costs, accelerating depreciation deductions and reducing taxes.

Virtually any business can benefit, but cost segregation studies are particularly valuable for manufacturers, hospitals, hotels, restaurants and other businesses with specialized buildings. Often, property that would otherwise be considered a structural component depreciable over 39 years may be classified as personal property if it’s more closely related to a process or a particular piece of equipment than to the building itself.

A manufacturing facility, for example, might require reinforced flooring to support heavy equipment. Or a hospital may need special wiring or electrical systems to operate medical equipment safely. In many cases, the costs of these items are depreciable over five or seven years.

What are the benefits?

The actual benefits depend on the particular facts and circumstances, but for acquired, constructed or renovated buildings, a rough rule of thumb says you can enjoy net-present-value tax savings as high as 23 cents for each dollar that’s reclassified as personal property. If reclassified property qualifies for 50-percent “bonus depreciation,” the savings can be even greater.

You can also use a cost segregation study to reallocate the costs of real estate investments in previous years. Generally, this requires you to file Form 3115 – Application for Change in Accounting Method – with the IRS. This allows you to take a “catch-up deduction” in the current year for assets that were underdepreciated in prior years.

Evaluate your options

Cost segregation studies can yield significant rewards, but they’re not for everyone. The tax savings may be limited, for example, if your income is insufficient, you’re subject to passive loss limitations, or a property’s purchase agreement contains a purchase price allocation. If you think a cost segregation study would help your business, have your advisors perform an initial evaluation to get an idea of the potential benefits.

Bonus Content: Cost segregation example

Cost segregation studies offer significant tax savings, especially for businesses, such as manufacturers, with specialized facilities. Consider this example:

Wolverine Widgets, a heavy manufacturing company, acquires an existing plant for $10 million on July 1, 2013. If the company were to allocate the entire purchase price to the building, its depreciation deductions would be roughly $256,000 per year ($177,000 in year 1, under IRS tables). Wolverine obtains a cost segregation study, which concludes that 35 percent of the purchase price is properly allocable to 39-year property, 15 percent to 15-year property, 45 percent to seven-year property, and five percent to five-year property.

Based on IRS tables, and using the Wolverine’s first-year depreciation deductions are as follows:


Asset class


1st-year depreciation

39 years



15 years



7 years



5 years






 In this example, a cost segregation study generated an additional $703,000 in depreciation deductions in the first year alone.

If you would like to get in direct contact with the author, Andrew Rose, CPA and Principal at Rehmann, he can be reached at Andrew.Rose@rehmann.com, or (517) 316-2414.

Tags: Professional General Contractor, Financing Construction, Good for Business

How to Make Owning Your Medical Office More Lucrative

Posted by Cory Sursely on Tue, Jan 19, 2016 @ 10:34 AM

MedOwner.jpgFor most business owners, the short-term benefits of leasing their building are attractive, but we’re guessing that most owners would favor owning their building and having control of their business use at a fixed cost. For doctors who own their own practice and will likely stay in their location for 7 or more years1, owning their building can be a great investment for their future while allowing them to have a fixed expense until the building is paid off. As a contractor who specializes in both construction and leaseback services, we can educate doctors on how to leverage programs, accounting processes, and legal structures to make it more lucrative to own your medical office.

Note: we are passing along the knowledge that there are building ownership options and programs available, however, we recommend and advise that you contact your CPA and/or attorney before taking the steps featured here.


Help with purchasing the building

Most medical practices would qualify for the SBA 504 loan, which requires a lesser down payment (as low as 10%) then funds 50% of the cost through the Certified Development Company (CDC) at a lesser, fixed interest rate for 10 – 20 years. This program works well for small businesses who are growing, but don’t have a lot of working capital to expend on real estate, improvements or equipment. Being able to finance 80-90% of the cost couldn’t be a better deal for these businesses. For more qualifying information visit the SBA website or read our blog on the topic.


Lease the Building from Yourself for a Tax Reduction

By forming an LLC to purchase your medical office, your medical practice will be able to lease the building from your LLC, deduct the payment on the practice’s taxes, and your LLC members would be taxed on their individual taxes as a pass-through. This would eliminate the tax for your practice and LLC members would be taxed at a lesser rate for the building2.


Cost Segregation for Tax Savings

For business owners who purchase or build a building, a CPA can complete a cost segregation study to determine elements of a building that can be depreciated on a different schedule than the rest of the building. For instance, parts of your building that aren’t used for business can be segregated (i.e. desks, chairs, light fixtures, accent lighting, sidewalks, and landscaping). The cost of these portions of your building can be taxed on different tax schedules, 5, 7, or 15 years rather than the 39 year schedule your building will span. (Wikipedia) This will allow you to defer taxes and help you improve current cash flow3.  An even more indepth and professional explanation from a qualified CPA is included through the button below. Is there cash hidden in your building?

Accelerated Depreciation for More Tax Savings

Your building has a set period of time for useful life, by which the building depreciates each year. Accelerated Depreciation is an accounting process that allows you to depreciate the building more in the beginning of its useful life. Paying the larger amount in the beginning lowers your net income, which you are taxed upon. So having a lower net income in turn would lower your taxes. Good resources to better understand this process are http://crfb.org/blogs/tax-break-down-accelerated-depreciation and http://content.moneyinstructor.com/1509/calculatingdeprectiation.html .


Return on Your Investment

Probably the most enticing part of owning your own building is the opportunity to make a profit on the sale of it when you no longer need it. Another option would be to lease it to a new tenant when you retire and bring in ongoing income when you’re retired from the practice.

Buying a building doesn’t work for every doctor who owns his or her practice, but we wanted to make sure that you had considered all the facts. Whether it’s construction, remodel, or leaseback, we are able to accommodate your needs. Call Michael Shepard, Dr. PH, to discuss your building options. His background in the medical and construction industries will help guide you as you contemplate the future of your practice.

1 Fitsmallbusiness.com http://fitsmallbusiness.com/buying-vs-leasing-commercial-real-estate/

2 Beckner & Associates http://www.becknerassociates.com/Should%20I%20Own.htm

3 Ernst & Morris (www.costseg.com/cost-seg.html).


Tags: Medical Office Construction, Financing Construction, Dental Office Construction

School Bond Loan Fund Reform

Posted by Cory Sursely on Thu, Apr 02, 2015 @ 04:21 PM

forest-hills-interiorDue to School Bond Loan Fund Reform, a lock-out has been set that will prevent School Districts from borrowing a new bond issue from the School Bond Loan Fund, which is the typical way they get the funds to pay for updates and remodeling of their buildings. This lock-out isn’t set to expire until June 30, 2016 at the earliest. Another set-back to the program is that there’s a minimum (7 mill) total debt that must be levied in order to participate. This is a requirement for the School Loan Revolving Fund (SLRF).

In the meantime, what are School Districts who need improvements or updates at their facilities to do? If you’re one of the Districts who needs their HVAC updated to save money with a more energy efficient system, have safety concerns, or continue to lose students to Districts who have made improvements for a 21st Century Learning curriculum, you should know that you have funding alternatives to make improvements a reality.

Non-Qualified Bond Programs

The non-qualified loan program allows Districts to seek funding without having to go through the application process of the Michigan State Treasury Department.

o   The loan is subject to approval by the community; same as with a Qualified Bond.

o   Must meet the State Credit Rating (AA2/AA-) with their own District rating; would not be able to utilize the State’s Credit Rating.

o   A non-qualified loan does not count toward the 7 mill minimum for the SLRF.

o   The total non-qualified debt cannot exceed 15% of the District SEV.

o   Project would still need to be put out for competitive bidding

o   Project does NOT have prevailing wage requirements

o   Districts have the option to pursue funding and not wait for the School Bond Loan Fund Cap to be lifted


Wolgast has been helping Districts with funding with non-qualified loan programs for over 5 years. We will work closely with you to guide you through the process of securing a non-qualified loan.

Contact us at Wolgast to find out the benefits of looking into a non-qualified loan for improving your schools.


Tags: Schools, Construction Management, Financing Construction

Why Winter Is the Best Time to Plan Your Construction Project

Posted by Cory Sursely on Tue, Jan 27, 2015 @ 02:20 PM

BidOther than taking time to prepare a plan when the weather is poor for construction (so you can be ready when the weather is conducive for construction) there are additional benefits to contact your design/builder or general contractor in the winter.  Let me clarify that the following explanation works best when applied in Michigan and other cold winter states.  

Better Bids

It’s now January and we have at least 3 – 4 months before the weather is ideal for new construction.  So, suffice it to say, there’s typically less construction happening in the winter resulting in more supply and less demand.  Therefore, if you can get your design completed and solicit sub-contractor bids at this time, there will likely be more flexibility to get a competitive price from a larger selection of sub-contracting companies.  Right now, the pool of sub-contractors is larger because they’re only starting to fill their schedules for spring and summer.  More bidders means more competition and competitive pricing.  As we get closer to spring, schedules fill up and the result is either fewer bidders or bidders who aren’t as motivated because they already have a decent work load or they are busy and don’t have time to offer their best price.  The same holds true, typically, with materials and suppliers.

As we discussed in our blog “Ample Time Gets Better Bids”, when a sub-contractor has sufficient time to run their numbers, they provide an accurate and uninflated budget.  Otherwise, if they don’t have adequate time, then they’re more likely to round up, or inflate their price.  This isn’t to penalize the customer, but to make sure that they cover their costs to perform the service, and with inadequate time it sometimes is an educated guess. Therefore, allowing more time will likely result in a more accurate price that will affect your bottom line.

We would advise that getting bids when the pool is large will result in getting the best value for your budget because the cream of the crop will fill their schedules quickly and may not be available or motivated to bid competitively during the heat of construction season.

Design Time

Depending on the size of your building, design can take four months or more to be finalized.  The complexity or jurisdiction that it’s in can make it longer to get through approvals, not to mention if there are revisions made to the plans.  We know it’s daunting to sign off on something that a business owner has to live with for the next 25 to 50 years.  Owners should keep the design duration in mind while also allowing for sufficient time for bidding as we mentioned above.

If you must start your planning in the spring or summer, we will still seek out the best value, just as we do in the winter.  However, we have now shared with you that your budget will likely be lower if you do your planning in the winter when the pool is bigger and there is more time for estimating.  Now is the time to take advantage of cost saving measures and we will have you ready to break ground when the weather turns.

Inquire Here

Tags: Design/Build, the Wolgast Way, Scheduling, Financing Construction, Design, Good for Business

The Benefit of Design/Build Phase I Drawings

Posted by Cory Sursely on Mon, Oct 06, 2014 @ 09:29 AM

plans and rolled plansPreliminary plans, such as those provided in a Phase I of the Design/Build process, are the most efficient and economical means to determine the budget for your construction project.

While there has been a shift in the numbers1, there are still many business owners out there who are skeptical of the Design/Build method of construction.  They are more familiar with the traditional Design/Bid/Build method where they hire an architect, then have general contractors competitively bid the project, and the contractor with the best price/value builds the project. 

Early on, when we’re discussing the benefits of Design/Build with those who are skeptical, they have a difficult time accepting that they need to pay the nominal fee for the preliminary drawings (Phase I Design) so we can estimate the construction budget.  Those who are accepting of it realize that they would be paying that and more at an independent architecture firm. 

In the Design/Build process, the Phase I fee is nominal to cover the team’s time to complete a needs analysis, make necessary regulatory investigations, create a preliminary design and seek bidding resources for a preliminary budget.  Having a pretty accurate, yet ball park, estimate early in the process helps an owner obtain funding earlier.  The information gained during the Phase I is accurate and sufficient to take to a bank to secure financing.  Clients never get a separate bill for the Phase I cost unless the project doesn’t come to fruition, then the fees are billed to cover the team’s time at a fraction of the cost of a full set of plans.  Furthermore, if obstacles arise while a customer is planning to build a building that cause them to change their mind, it’s less risky to commit to a portion of the cost of the design while working through the initial process.

Additionally, having the flexibility to “tweak” the preliminary design so it fits within your budget is much more economical because you don’t have the engineering elements involved, yet.  Those get explicitly defined in the Phase II drawings.

When you add a Design/Builder to your team before you purchase property, they can assess the property and available utilities to provide the best use of space.  Also, prior to purchase, a Design/Build team can help coach an owner on contingencies in the purchase agreement as a buffer or a “get out of jail free card” if there are undesirable obstacles to using the property the way intended.

Those are the main benefits to committing to Phase I Drawings, but the Design/Build process has other benefits like completing construction faster, fewer change orders, open communication, and one entity having all the low bids.  Read more about the benefits of this method at in our White Paper, "Why Some Business Owners Don't Do Design/Build, but Should".


Why Some Business Owners Don't Do Design/Build, but Should


1 According to “Design-Build Project Delivery Market Share and Market Size Report” by Reed Construction Data and RS Means Intelligence, Design/Build construction delivery method has taken an additional 9% of the construction market since 2005 and General Construction has lost 10% of the market share in that same time.

Tags: Medical Office Construction, Design/Build, the Wolgast Way, Scheduling, Financing Construction, Design, Dental Office Construction, Good for Business

SBA 504: Funding Business Growth with Less Capital

Posted by Cory Sursely on Fri, Jun 27, 2014 @ 11:46 AM

Funding Construction with SBA 504

Business GrowthThis blog is intended for small business owners who are looking to grow their business.  Do you have a net worth less than $15M and an average net income less than $5M over the past 2 years?  Do you own your building or want to own your building?  Are you still with me?  If so, there’s a lower risk way to fund your business growth, and the best part is that it’s meant to keep capital in your business so that you can support economic growth in your community.

In one of our earlier blogs, we shared with you details of the Small Business Association’s 504 loan in “Easy Financing for Small Business Growth in Michigan”.  This program works well for small businesses who are growing, but don’t have a lot of working capital to expend on real estate, improvements or equipment.  Being able to finance 80-90% of the cost couldn’t be a better deal for these companies.

For those business owners that qualify, they can obtain a loan for up to $5M for tangible purchases such as real estate, equipment or property improvements that lead to job creation.  The program’s benchmark is for every $65,000 loaned it will create or retain one job (www.sba.gov).

The loan requirements include 10% down by the business owner, 40% low interest loan by the SBA’s Certified Development Company (CDC), and then 50% from an approved financial institution.  The CDC loan maturity terms are for 10 or 20 years for a fixed fee payment including current market rates for U.S. Treasury issues plus approximately 3% in fees.  It is still a nominal rate spanning a longer term than the traditional bank loan.

In dealing with our commercial construction clients who have considered the program, we have learned more about the SBA 504 and why some choose to use it or not.  First of all, the SBA has other loan options that it offers, but the 504 was implemented to be a faster loan process taking only two weeks or less for approval.  The paperwork and approval time is typically longer for their other loans, such as General Small Business Loans, Microloans, and Disaster Loans.

Also, the SBA 504 is set up to offer a low interest rate and a fixed monthly fee for the duration of the loan, either 10 or 20 years.  Whereas a traditional bank loan “resets” every 5 years and the interest rate always increases at that time, so you’ll likely pay more every five years. 

Finally, some banks are less willing to engage a 504 loan because there is significantly more paperwork involved than traditional commercial loans.  So it‘s a good idea to check with your financial institution to determine whether they offer the 504 loan option.  Some banks that are otherwise not willing to engage the 504 will do so for well established clients that they have a relationship with.

Either way, for those who qualify and need to keep capital in their business while growing, it’s in their best interest to check out the SBA 504.  To get more information on the programs specific to Michigan business owners, go to www.michigancdc.org.  

If Wolgast Corporation, progressive commercial contractor and design/builder, can be any assistance to you during this process, please feel free to contact us at 800-WOLGAST.

Tags: Financing Construction, Good for Business

Get Ready to Talk to Your Lender about a Construction Loan

Posted by Cory Sursely on Mon, Feb 24, 2014 @ 11:42 AM

Commercial Property Financing

commercial property loanAs I found out recently by talking to Steve Canole, Vice President and Business Loan Officer  at 1st State Bank, there aren’t as explicit criteria for securing a commercial construction loan as there are  for residential mortgage financing.  According to Steve, there are many more variables that lenders need to consider when reviewing a commercial property mortgage compared to a residential loan which is more stream lined.  Primarily, these variables include whether it’s an investment property versus owner-occupied, the size of the project, the varied ways commercial real estate can be purchased and held, the various types of operating entities and how the owner chooses to operate and file taxes, and finally the loan/cost ratio of the project.


Necessary Documentation

The amount and type of information required when seeking bank financing varies depending on the bank and the proposed project, however Steve shared with me that you may be able to help the commercial loan process move more quickly if you have the following documents available at the onset of your application:

1.  Three years of financials for the business entity.   If in operation less than three, provide for the past two years.    If financials are not CPA reviewed or audited, also provide a copy of your federal tax return for the years submitted.2.  Interim financial statements for the most recent period prior to the application.  Include with this, a corresponding interim financial statement from the previous year for comparison purposes.

3.  Project budget with sources & uses of funds.  Use of funds detail in some respect to the total cost of project (land, construction costs, etc).  Source of funds will detail how you expect to finance total costs; loan and equity totals.

4.  If income producing property is being purchased or built, you’ll need to provide a property cash flow summary.5.  Short project summary - why is the project being undertaken; (e.g. business has outgrown current facility, leasing previously, long-term investment, etc).6.  For closely-held businesses, three years of federal 1040’s and a personal financial statement of each owner will normally be required.7.  If this is a new business venture or operation that’s only been in existence a short time, a business plan and financial projection will usually be required. 

How Wolgast’s Design/Build System Can Help

Wolgast’s phased Design/Build construction service can help you with items 3 and 5 listed above.  The documentation and estimated budget that we create during the first phase of our three phased system, provides substantial information to suffice any lender.  In Phase I, our customers receive a complete needs analysis, schematic site plan, schematic floor plan, schematic building elevation, conceptual cost range, building code/zoning review, and building systems analysis (i.e. mechanical, electrical, structural).

Early budgeting is only one of the benefits of our Design/Build System, recipients also experience a quicker construction period, a.k.a fast-track, and they get one stop shopping for all their construction needs.  It is truly a full-service method to deliver construction and we are proud of the customer service we offer to each of our clients.


You may also be interested in the following blogs about Design/Build Services:

You Have Construction Service Options

What Every Business Owner Should Know about Design/Build Construction

Ample Estimating Time Can Lower the Price of Construction

Inquire Here

Tags: Design/Build, the Wolgast Way, Financing Construction

An Answer to the Price per Square Foot Question

Posted by Cory Anderson on Fri, Aug 09, 2013 @ 10:47 AM

By Cory Sursely

Price Per Square FootIt never fails. Each and every trade show where I “man” the booth, the same question is asked that makes me cringe.  This question is impossible to answer on the spot, as there are so many variables involved and it’s a slippery slope to give anyone an incorrect answer.  Some of you may have guessed already, but the question I’m talking about is “What would the estimated square foot price be for a new [insert building type here] building?”  Whether it’s a restaurant, manufacturing, medical or dental show, the answer is always the same—“it depends on the site, size and cost of the finishes you select,” which is usually followed by an eye roll of the inquirer.  It's not a good feeling to let down a prospective customer, but, like I said, it’s never good to guess and tell someone too low and unknowingly get them excited about how inexpensive it could be, on the flip side, if you tell them too high, they walk away without any further discussion.

I can understand why someone would anticipate that we would be able to rattle off a number based on our 65 years of experience and take an average of what it has cost others, but when you consider the amount of possibilities there are for materials used on the exterior and the even more options for the interior mixed with the vast preferences of individual owners, you may see better how difficult it is to narrow down a price.  Then, based on the site, there could be obstacles we hadn’t considered that would add to the cost.  And finally, if you’re considering a huge building, economies of scale could help to lower the price per square foot.

Of course our estimators would likely have a better educated guess and may be able to give you a range that would be pretty close to accurate after asking a few questions, however, if you were to hold my feet to the fire and make me give you a definite range, I’d likely have to play it safe and say…anywhere from $10 - $500/s.f. and then worry that it might be less than $10 or more than $500.

So when you are planning a construction project and you see me out and about and feel compelled to ask the question, prepare to see me cringe and I’ll prepare to see you roll your eyes.  Then let’s set up a meeting with our Business Development team, so you can get an exact answer to make a better business decision.

The Wolgast Way!

Tags: Professional General Contractor, Financing Construction