COVID Shutdown Provides Time for an Office Remodel

At C Brannon Construction, we aren’t strictly a home renovator. While we primarily specialize in doing home remodelling and renovation work throughout Calgary, we also get the opportunity to do light commercial work, both in the retail sector, and in office buildings.

During the COVID shutdown, the construction industry encouraged anyone who was considering an office remodel to use that time to finally make it happen, and luckily our client took that advice and opted to maximize the shutdown to allow our team to be able to work for the most part un-interrupted, and in turn, avoid interrupting their workflow as well.

The project was a cosmetic interior remodel, which was going to involve drywall touch ups, fresh paint, and new ceiling tiles. The customer had purchased the building at the beginning of the year to serve as a new office and warehouse. The plan was to freshen it up as it was overdue and some of the existing level of finishes and the space was really cosmetically in need of some TLC. The work called for a skilled team of trades, including a floor demo and prep team, a drywall mudder, carpenter, painters, tile setter, and a carpet installer.

Doing it right, the first time

Just like in the home renovation business, we also run into sub-standard work in commercial spaces as well if not worse. This is why it always pays to hire a professional the first time and get it done right. We ran into a challenge with the way many of the interior walls were finished. The drywall taping and mudding process was never done up to even the standard level, and then over time the previous tenant added interior walls and left J mouldings in corners instead of taping and mudding them in. So as a result, we had our drywall team go through the place with a light and check it tape, mud and sand over a few during different trips.

During the re-painting process, it’s quite common to run into texture differences on the walls, but in this case, the walls had been painted multiple times over the years. This meant that any areas of the wall that were merely being re-painted versus having paint going onto new drywall patches were going to have a very different texture, particularly in areas in high natural light situations (as was the case in this office).

To do the job right meant that we had to go above and beyond to skim significant areas with drywall mud and wound up painting some of the walls with three coats.

We colour caulked walls into the aluminum window frames to hide any rough edges or gaps in the existing mud finishes and sub-par paint work by the previous tenants. We wound up pouring self leveler on all of the tiled areas to ensure we were working with a flat surface for the larger format tiles to come and preparing the other areas with wood subfloor with Ditra Matt so we could guarantee the tile install.

COVID related supply issues also created unanticipated lagging in production times and shipping delays, which resulted in us waiting longer than normal for our carpet.

Lastly, most of the old doors needed to be adjusted so they would even close and function properly so we worked with one of our carpenters to check all doors and the hardware to insure it functions normally. We also had them walk through the job at the end to ensure all aspects were completed bringing the project to a higher finish level and meet our clients’ and our expectations.

Sometimes it’s not about doing what’s on the contract, it comes down to doing what the space needs. Even on a thorough walk-through, we can miss little things that aren’t noticed until we are full swing on a job site especially when the space is often fully furnished.

Tying it together

One of the touches we brought to the project was that the colour scheme was set to match the client’s branding. Some of the feature walls were matched to a lime green, and the doors and frames were painted in a chocolate brown. In addition, the Kentwood 6″ X 36″ porcelain tiles complimented everything as well, and we found a “Gather Style” carpet that had slight accents of lime green. The finished space really does jive, especially when it was furnished.

You can view the finished project on our portfolio page, and if we also invite you to check out one of our other commercial projects at Work Nicer: Red Mile. If you’re thinking about breathing new life into your office space, we’d love to chat. Give us a shout to book your free consultation.

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