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If you’re looking to build a new office space for your company, the process can be daunting to a newcomer. There is a lot to consider when you start any large commercial construction project. You might wonder when the best time to hire an architect is or whether you need a project manager. While every situation is different, here’s how the office space build-out process typically goes. Luckily for you, when you choose Kaufman Construction and Development, we can handle every aspect of your office build-out process from design to construction.

The Office Build-Out Process

The office build-out process typically includes three main stages: design, bidding and permitting, and construction.


The design process is the first step to an office build-out for your company. Likely, this process will start before you sign a lease.

Design Discovery

The discovery part of the design process is where you define the scope of your project. This phase of design may include contacting architects, engineers, and a project manager. However, at Kaufman Construction and Development, we make it easy for you and we handle every aspect of this process. This part of the design process typically takes place while you’re also looking at site selection.

Conceptual Design

The conceptual design part of the design process includes test fits, project budgeting, and scheduling.

Test Fits

Once you have an architect and a project manager, you can start test fits. A test fit typically involves a floor plan to ensure that the space will accommodate your company’s needs for an office space. The test fit helps you visualize how you will occupy the space and will give the architect and project manager an idea of the type of and scope of construction required to make the space ready.

Project Budgeting

The project managers at Kaufman Construction and Development can create preliminary budgets based on the test fits. The preliminary budgets can help you and your project team compare build-out costs across multiple potential spaces. Additionally, these preliminary budgets allow for you to negotiate for enough tenant improvement allowance (TI Allowance) to cover build-out costs.

Project Scheduling
steps to office build out process olympia wa

Unsure of the steps involved with an office build-out? Call Kaufman Construction and Development in Olympia, Washington for the answers to all of your questions!

Preliminary scheduling can also help you decide between different build out options you are considering. This process will help you envision the amount of time it will take to design, permit, and build out each of the test fits. Ensuring that these steps are taken can help you in the lease negotiation process as well.

Schematic Design

The next part of the design process involves the project team designing the layout of the space including its style, the finishes, and more. This stage of the design process is when you pick out and approve office equipment, countertops, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, etc.

Design Development

Once you have agreed to the proposed design, and before any construction can start, the project team has to develop and produce specification documents and other final construction documents that will be used to bid out the project to vendors, submit to the city for permits, and as a reference during construction. The best part about choosing Kaufman Construction and Development is that we handle every aspect of this process, so we can streamline the amount of time it takes from design to construction.

Bidding and Permitting

The next phase of the office build-out process is the bidding and permitting stage. The project team sends the construction drawings to the city for approval and the construction team takes shape.

Permits in Olympia, Washington

In the city of Olympia, Washington, permits from the city are required any time a project includes building construction, building alterations or repairs, and building demolition.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Permit in Olympia, Washington?

Depending on the type of permit, it takes various amounts of time for approval. For example, for a single-family home, you can get approved for a permit in two weeks. For commercial improvement projects, such as many office build-out projects, it takes three to four weeks for permit approval from the city of Olympia. For new commercial builds, the permit process can take anywhere from 60 to 90 days.

Vendor Bidding and Selection

If you need to hire outside vendors to complete different aspects of the construction, this is when you’d do it. However, when you hire Kaufman Construction and Development for your office build-out, you don’t have to worry about this nearly as much. We do all of this for you!


The last phase of the office build-out process is construction. Depending on the scope of your project, construction could include the demolition of walls, the erection of new structures, plumbing replacements, wall finishes, and more.

Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment

After construction is complete, contractors install all of the furniture, fixtures, and equipment (known as FF&E).

Punch List

After construction is complete and all of the furniture, fixtures, and equipment are in their proper places, you’ll go on a final walkthrough with the project team. During this walkthrough, the project team will identify anything that doesn’t meet standards and collect those items in a punch list. Then those items are repaired or finished to standards.

Move-In Day

After the punch list is complete, the space is ready for occupation! You can move in your employees and move forward with your company!

How Can Kaufman Construction and Development Help You?

If you’re looking to build out an office space for your company in Olympia, Washington, call Kaufman Construction and Development. We can handle every aspect of the commercial building process including design, permitting, and construction. Not only that, but every project gets an experienced project manager so that you will be in the know every step of the way. Call today to get started!

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