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Commercial Build-Outs

Commercial Build-Outs

A commercial build-out is the set of improvements a property owner makes to the leasable space in his or her building. Build-outs are what transform commercial spaces from blank, industrial interiors to warm, ready-for-business stores and offices.

Sometimes, a commercial build-out is a renovation of a space previously outfitted for a different tenants’ business. In other cases, it is the customization of a newly constructed building to fit the tenant’s needs. In any case, a build-out is the retrofitting of an existing structure to fit its current or anticipated use, rather than the construction of a new structure for the client.

What Does a Commercial Build-Out Involve?

A commercial build-out can involve one or more of the following:

  • New interior walls;
  • Lighting fixtures;
  • Flooring;
  • ADA-compliant alterations;
  • Electrical upgrades;
  • Plumbing upgrades;
  • Paint;
  • HVAC improvements or additions; and
  • New ceilings.

A commercial build-out can also include the demolition of old walls and structures in the space. A build-out does not typically include office furniture or the addition of storage for the tenant. Rather, it involves changes to the buildings’ structure itself.

The cost of a build-out can vary widely depending on the age of the building, the space being built out, and the scope of the work necessary to make the space tenant-ready.

Types of Commercial Build-Out

You can provide a white box build-out, which is a space ready to lease that has all the basics: electricity, plumbing, HVAC, restrooms, lighting, and a ceiling. This is a minimally finished, but functional, space for the tenant. In contrast, a gray box is an unfinished commercial space for lease. This type of space does not contain lighting, plumbing, or even interior walls and ceilings. Gray box leases are ideal for tenants who have specific interior improvement needs and can work these needs into their leases.

As the owner of a commercial building, you can negotiate build-outs into your tenants’ leases. By providing a tenant improvement allowance in your tenant leases, you can attract tenants who need to have their spaces altered to fit their needs while maintaining control over the work itself, which grants you control over the budget and the scope of the build-out. You can structure the allowance as a turnkey build-out, which means you cover the cost of a build-out according to a specific build-out plan as part of the tenant’s lease, and a stated dollar agreement, which provides the tenant with a specific dollar amount to spend on their own design plans and choice of contractors for the build-out.

Work with an Experienced Crown Point Construction Company

If you need to build out one or more of the spaces available for rent in your commercial building, contact our team of construction professionals at Doppler Construction, Inc. to set up your free consultation with us. We can examine your building’s existing structures alongside your tenants’ needs to create a plan for an affordable, appropriate build-out for the space.


If you have questions or would like a free estimate we’d love to hear from you. Call us today at 219-661-1011 to see what Doppler Construction can do for you and your family.

(219) 661-1011
1027 E. Summit St.
Crown Point, IN 46307