Beyond the Build

Tips from the Field

Best Practices for a Live Remodel

The experience one has when walking into an Apple store is unique. Clean and filled with intuitive wayfinding, I’d say. While it may seem like a lofty goal for a “live remodel,” the experience should be as similar as possible given the constraints of ongoing construction.

We are currently updating the interior of a decades-old mall, and in the midst of our work, people are still visiting to shop. They seem to enjoy the views and the experience as things change by the week.

A few suggestions for a live remodel:

  1. Cleanliness next to godliness, right out of the gate. The perception & action should be over the top on keeping dust and debris controlled.
  2. Wayfinding is more important than ever. Assume patrons know nothing, and make it easy for them to navigate around your work.
  3. Make communication a priority. Review schedules almost daily with all the shareholders.
  4. Safety. It almost goes without saying, but safety around an active construction site is paramount. Double and triple check that protocol is being respected.

A really successful live remodel requires the gold standard with every step. What the night shift accomplishes, the public will experience the next day.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.