October 22, 2015

Understanding the Design Process

1667_2_WorkstationsBecoming part of a brand-new lease on an office tenant space can be both amazing and daunting for a small company owner, whether it’s your first time or you have actually done it before.

Understanding the design process to fulfill your particular space requirements can be even more so.

And while you should begin the search for space one year before you plan to move in, you first need to have a clear understanding of your space requirements, so that your search for a building or tenant space can be as productive and efficient as necessary.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

Let’s take a look at the design process below with the goal of helping you understand the many steps necessary for a successful architectural design experience.

And remember, retaining an experienced interior designer or architect, like StudioW2 (shameless plug here), that will help lead the team through the design process will be in the best interest of all involved. Once you have them on board, let the fun begin…


First, and most important, take the time to develop a detailed program. This will determine if the interior space you are considering committing to for the next five years (or more) will require modifications, and exactly at what level, which determines the amount of dollars you will be investing to get the work done. This step is SO important that we have dedicated a separate article and page to emphasis the importance of programming for your new space. Check it out here.


With the help of a general contractor, StudioW2 will have the ability to estimate design and construction costs at the beginning of the design process and prior to you committing to a lease. Another reason it is crucial for W2 to be on board before the lease is finalized.

These drawings are generally referred to as pricing plans or preliminary construction documents.

Once the space plans and design development phases are partially complete, we will ask a general contractor to provide a cost estimate for your project, which most will do at no charge with the understanding that they will have an opportunity to provide a construction bid for your project.

In the current economy, lots of building owners are providing “turnkey” deals, indicating that they’ll spend for the entire upfront expense of your remodel.


It is very important to determine spaces requirements early, identify exactly what improvements are wanted, and team up with qualified professionals to help guide the way.