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As I mentioned before when I found a location I liked, I asked an architect to come to see if the space was feasible. I will not go into great detail about location searching as I wrote an entire article for the Metropolitan about renting business space in Barcelona. Please visit:
If you have ever gone through a renovation you will know that there are so many ups and downs that you feel like you are on a roller coaster that will never stop. Before starting any renovation of a space look at your budget. If you only have €50,000 then tell your architect or contractors that they have to stay in that budget. It will most likely go over so make sure you tell them about €5,000 to €10,000 less then you have actually budgeted for; it will help you down the road. Make sure you don’t forget to add in the architect fees, engineers, the licensing fees and absolutely everything you can think of so you don’t go over budget.
I decided to take the advice of my architects and use contractors they have worked with before instead of finding each individual person myself. It is cheaper to find the painter, the electrician, the demolition company yourself but they need to work together to get the job done on time so it is more efficient and effective to use a group who know each other then pick and use the best offer.
I signed the lease of my space in May 2012 and we didn’t start the construction of the space until about June or July 2012. I wanted to stay on budget so I made the architects and project manager we hired search for more cost effective alternatives until they were able to make it work for me. As the numbers were still over budget, we ended up firing the project manager as he promised me he could stay on budget and he didn’t, plus my architect ended up doing all the work anyway. Don’t be afraid to fire people when they don’t do a good job.
We had a bit of a headache trying to find the electricity box to start the renovations; the owner, the previous renters, the real estate agency and the community of the mall we were in had no idea where it was located. It took literally two weeks to find it. Crazy but true. That kind of thing happens all the time so when you budget four months to do renovations it will take longer due to seemingly little things that are beyond your control.
You know how in Spain everything stops in August? Well that includes construction too! Take that into account when budgeting your time. The contractors will not stop necessarily but all the suppliers do not work in August so finding products could be an issue. We stopped for two weeks.
The final major headache was connecting the gas. I blame this on the organisation of my architect and contractors a little but also on the gas company. We were all done for the opening celebration September 28th but the gas wasn’t connected. Gas Natural said it would take six weeks to get connected. Imagine opening a hot yoga studio without heat? So we had to wait and pressure them and still wait. In the end my husband remembered that one of his clients worked pretty high up in Gas Natural and sent him an email. Everything changed after that. My husband was hard on them and they came on Saturday to connect the gas. Classes were starting Monday 15th October so it needed to be ready for Saturday or I was in trouble with my soon to be clients. Did you know Gas Natural works on a Saturday? Use your contacts in order to make things move faster!
If you are going through or have gone through a renovation please share your recommendations with us.
Click here for information about Heather's hot yoga studio in Barcelona called Yogalinda.