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Top 3 builders’ tips on renovating a hospitality space

The hospitality industry is still feeling the repurcussions from the pandemic (2020-2021). Personally, I found that many hospitality entrepeneurs snapped up hospitality businesses that didn’t survive the pandemic with the aim to renovate and rebrand the space. So I spoke to Michael Del Tondo from MDT Building Group to get a builders’ tips on renovating a hospitality space.

Common mistakes when renovating a hospitality space

GID: In your experience as a commercial builder what are the top mistakes clients make when they want to refurbish an existing space.

MDT: Not getting the fundamentals right is a common mistake. While it’s very exciting for all stakeholders when doing any type of refurbishments. There are many ideas and solutions on improving existing spaces. But the most important would be to get the fundamentals right so they don’t need to be revisited or redone in the near future. 

All refurbishment projects are unique in terms of budgets, existing conditions, layouts, finishes, natural lighting, location of existing services, rooms and general layouts.

Depending on the specific site, it’s most likely either going to be an open space where the refurbishment can be wherever your imagination and budget leads you. Or to a space that already has the elements that can be cosmetically upgraded and freshened up to create a new identity of the space. 

How to get the biggest impact when renovating a hospitality space

GID: When refurbishing a space with a limited budget what’s your advise for how to make the biggest impact.

MDT: If the ideal refurbishment cannot be achieved within the budget, then splitting the works in stages should be the way to go.

With doing it this way, it focuses on addressing the important items that need to be prioritised.

By doing refurbishments in stages, it also enables the operator to trade whilst getting a good feel of the space and having the chance to decide on what improvements they would like and need to make within their space.

How to refresh an existing hospitality space

GID: For people who buy an existing space that has some solid foundations but the clients wants to rebrand, what’s your advice?

MDT: Keeping it simple and freshening up these elements to enhance them.

This can be done by introducing colours, new materials, modifications to the existing lighting so a new feel and atmosphere can be experienced.

This can be achieved by wall and ceiling treatment such as cladding. Use of paint on walls and ceilings with a combination of feature colours or textures to complement the space and brand.

Replacing or rejuvenating the floor, introducing different finishes with strong features such as timber and marble, introducing cabinetry and adding clever touches such as loose furniture, graphics and signage.

How do hospitality entrepreneurs keep their budget in check when renovating?

GID: At what point does a refurb get out of hand in terms of budget?

MDT: Detailed planning is the key to any successful project. The key items that need to be determined is the idea and reason of the refurbishment whilst quantifying the overall project budget.

This enables the designer to create a design brief which outlines the key elements required to achieve the desired outcome in line with the budget.

Budgets can get out of hand if there is no clear direction on what the desired outcome is.

An example of this is by changing the brief and scope of works during construction.

Depending on the extent of the changes, these changes will be adding costs to the project which will affect the overall budget making it difficult to manage and will also have an impact on the overall timeframe.

Download the common mistakes in hospitality design today.