How long does construction take in a new store?

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How long does construction take in a new store?

Assuming everything goes well, once construction begins, it usually takes 6-8 weeks before it is complete. That said, many issues may arise in the process that can delay completion.

Construction Process:

Plans – Our architects and engineers create plans to submit to the city for permits. Cities will often take 30-90 days to review plans before issuing a construction permit. While this occurs, we send the plans to General Contractors (GC) for bidding. Usually by the time we have a permit, a GC has been selected and is ready to get started.

Demolition – The first step to construction is demolition. Often there are walls that need to be removed, floors that need to be pulled up, and ceiling tiles that need to come down. This process can take 1-4 weeks depending on the amount of work needed.

Framing – The next step is framing the walls. We’ll use 2×4 wooden or metal studs based on city code and material cost and availability. This process usually takes 1-3 weeks and must be inspected before we can begin to cover the walls.

Rough Electric – Before the walls can be covered, the electricians must place conduit and outlet boxes inside the framing for the electrical outlets. This too needs to be inspected before wall coverings can be attached to the framing.

Inspections – The first round of inspections usually occur at this point and can take days for one or multiple inspections to be scheduled. If anything is found that needs improvement, the work must be complete before another inspection can be scheduled. The inspection process can take anywhere from 1 day to multiple weeks depending on how backed up the city inspectors are.

Wall Coverings – Once the first round of inspections are complete, the drywall, OSB, or Plywood wall coverings will attach to the framing. Again, the materials used will be based on city code, price, and availability. If the finish is drywall, the contractors will float (or mud) all joints where the panels meet and sand down any excess mud. If OSB or Drywall, they will caulk the joints. This usually takes 2-3 weeks to complete.

Trim – 1” x 6” Trim will be added as a baseboard and will also trim out the top of the space extending 2”- 3” above the top of the wall. Trim can take 1-2 weeks.

Paint – Painting the walls and trim usually takes 1-2 weeks depending on how many painters are available to work on the project. Floors will be stained and sealed which usually takes 2-3 days.

HVAC and Plumbing – Throughout the process, we have air conditioning and plumbing contractors making the necessary changes and updates to the space. Both of these trades require inspections.

Fire – Fire and Life Safety systems include multiple contractors who specialize in the fire alarm system, the fire sprinkler system, the exit signs, emergency lights, and fire extinguishers. Once all of these separate contractors have completed their work, a fire inspection will be scheduled with the local Fire Marshall. Fire systems are usually the last major component left to complete construction but delays often occur as scheduling issues can easily arise as so many different subcontractors are all working together on these items and we can wait days for the inspections to occur. Again, if any one item needs improvement, we have to complete the task and try to get on the inspectors schedule again before we can move on. This process can take 1-3 weeks.

Final Inspections – Once all of the individual inspections have been completed, the final building inspector will come for one last inspection before signing off on the permit and giving us a Certificate of Occupancy allowing us to begin moving in to the building!

As you can imagine, we are as excited as you are to get moved in and open, but with so many contractors and inspections happening, it can be difficult to predict the exact date of move in. We usually have a decent estimate but can’t be sure until the day we receive the Certificate of Occupancy. If you have secured a space in a new store, we will try to update you once every few weeks via email on where we are in the construction process. As we get close to opening, we will usually send out a weekly email and then increase the updates to every few days as those last few final inspections take place.