How to Build an Office inside a Warehouse


Determining how to build an office inside a warehouse will help you wring maximum value from flex space. Flex space is a fast-growing segment of the warehouse real estate market. Leasing plain space that can function as your office, manufacturing, and warehouse simplifies your real estate and gives you flexibility to expand or change space devoted to each function. The key is efficiently building an office in your warehouse space that works for your business and your budget.

1. Consider Your Needs

Before you start planning, figure out what functions you need to accommodate in your office. Do you need meeting space, space for IT, offices for staff, and storage for paperwork? How many people will work in your building? What is your work style? Do you need open collaborative space or private quiet meeting areas? Here are the key steps in bringing your vision into being.

2. Sketch out a physical plan

Sketch out the entire space leases. Graph paper where one square is a foot can help. Locate doors and windows, plumbing, existing electrical equipment. Then start sketching in the facilities you need. Moving plumbing and electricity is expensive, so keep that in mind with your layout. Window can provide needed light and ventilation. You will also need to consider fire codes, local ordinances, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements. You will need expert help, but sketching your ideas down first can help you think through the basics and the options, saving you money when you do bring in a professional.

3. Hire an architect

A complete do-it-yourself isn’t easy because of the regulatory and technical details of office space build-outs. Hiring an architect will ultimately save you money because you will have a working blueprint that ensures things get done right the first time. When you have done your best graph paper sketch, share it with a pro. Your architect will help you get a construction permit through your local building department and will provide you with the detailed plans needed for electric, plumbing, ventilation, and structural build outs. Permitting can be time consuming, with some areas requiring a public hearing. Your architect can expedite any required changes necessary to get a permit.

4. Hire licensed contractors

Most plans require some electrical or plumbing work. Framing out the walls can be challenging in some cases. Experts can get the work done well to quickly pass inspection and expedite the process of building your office in a warehouse.

5. Purchase building materials

You can often get a better price buying the needed materials all at once. Having building materials on hand can speed things up so that you are not left waiting for deliveries. Your contractors can suggest materials and quantities they need and may even have relationships with suppliers to save you even more.

6. Decorate and furnish

Paint, carpeting and furnishing turn the space into a comfortable and productive office environment. You can buy inexpensive pieces used, try Ikea, or even build your own. A door placed on sawhorses can make a great meeting table. Bits of old machinery, example products, and raw inputs can turn into works of art on the walls. Be creative for a sense of place and purpose to build an office inside a warehouse that is unique and functional.

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