If you have gotten clearance to make a commercial space out of what used to be a residentially zoned space, congratulations! You're probably on your way to creating a unique space for your business, with the charm and amenities of a home, but with the functionality of a commercial building. The switch between the two will require some work, so use these steps as a guide to planning out your renovation:
Get an Inspection for Safety and Compliance
Your new commercial space will need to comply with all of the safety codes that are expected of any building where the public is invited. If the home was previously used as a dwelling unit, it probably is not up to snuff in many ways. A compliance and safety inspector will point out issues with the infrastructure that will need to be fixed right off the bat.
Check the Plumbing and Electrical Needs
Two of your biggest costs in renovating a space for commercial use will likely be with the plumbing and electricity. Plumbing is going to have much higher demands if you have many people coming in and out of your business throughout the day. Compare the needs of a small family with the needs of 100 customers. A plumbing contractor may advise you to install additional toilet fixtures and sinks, replace old fixtures with more sustainable versions, and correct any infrastructure issues that could lead to leaks or inefficiencies.
Likewise, electrical needs for a business are often much higher than those of a family. Consider any office equipment, restaurant and cooking equipment, lighting, or other electrical items you will be bringing onto the property. Consult an electrician to see what you need to add in order to safely provide power for all of your electrical needs. That might include redoing faulty wiring, adding new circuit breakers, or adding additional outlets to meet your energy demands.
Think About Accessibility
Another big category that's bound to need some attention is accessibility. You might find that you need to leave room in your budget for widening hallways and entryways, for one. The accessibility to the building could need some work, so consider the costs of adding railings or ramps to the property. Consult an ADA specialist for help; you will definitely want your property to be compliant with the needs of disabled visitors. In short, it just takes a little bit of a paradigm shift to get a residential property ready for commercial use.
Consult a Locksmith
Along the same lines, locks for residential use won't be strong enough for commercial use. Ask a commercial locksmith about high-security locks or electronic locks for business.
Contact a company like Venus & Mars Locksmith for more information and assistance.