Whenever you have the opportunity to better shape your office to your business’s needs, it’s always worth taking it. With a dental office remodel, you’ll be able to modify your workplace to better meet the highly specialized needs of the profession. But unless you moonlight in construction, interior renovations or construction may be beyond your comfort zone. If you’re thinking about remodeling your dental office interior, here are a few questions to ask yourself to make sure you’re covering your bases.
1. What Are You Working With?
An unfinished interior is a blank canvas, giving you the freedom to create a space perfectly suited for your business. But before your dental office interior construction actually begins, consider what spaces you will need to create within it. How many operatories do you want or need? How much space would you like for your waiting room? Will you need specialized rooms for consultations or equipment? Are there any staff-only spaces you’ll need to include, such as a breakroom?
Once you have a good idea of what you’ll need to include, start picturing where each space might fit. Get familiar with the square footage and layout of your building, as they’ll be the biggest limiting factors in what you can do. That being said, restrictions can encourage creativity, so try to take inspiration from the bones of your office when planning its future.
2. How Efficiently Are You Using the Space?
Space is a resource that needs to be used wisely. Unless you decide to seriously expand your dental office interior construction, you’re only going to have so much square footage. That’s why you need to be conscious of anything that may be unnecessarily taking up room on your floor plan. There’s no set rule for what to consider, as what is and isn’t important to include in your office is going to vary from practice to practice.
For example, what’s the main demographic you’re providing dental care to? If it’s mostly families and their children, then including a place for kids to keep themselves occupied in the reception area may be a good use of the space. If you see mostly adults or older children, then a play corner may end up just soaking up valuable space for more seating area or tablespace. If you have a larger staff, it may be a good idea to dedicate a sizable portion of the space to the breakroom or other employees-only spaces. If not, you may find you’d prefer using that space for an additional operatory instead.
At Robert Hakes Construction, we have over 27 years of experience in both residential and commercial construction, so trust us when we say that’s the kind of mistake you want to catch in the planning phase, not months later when you’re going about your workday. You have the rare opportunity to design your space to fit your specific needs, so be sure to make the most of it.
3. What Is the Flow of Your Office Like?
Planning a theoretical layout is all well and good, but don’t forget that it’s a space that real human beings will occupy. In the stages before your dental office interior construction actually begins, it’s easy to forget to account for foot traffic and use. You may find a way to maximize the space usage, but if your staff and patients are constantly getting stuck in traffic jams or having to double back on themselves, it may be all for naught.
When you’re mapping out how you use the space, think about what a workday in it may be like. How easy will it be to get patients from room to room? Do you have enough room in your reception area to accommodate people while they fill out paperwork and wait for their appointments? How many employees do you have working at a time? All of these can be a factor in how your office flows during work hours. Here, foresight can be your best friend.
Try to imagine not just what you might need in the year to come but also a few years further down the road. Any good business should have a plan to grow, and this is your chance to do just that. Look over your preliminary floor plan and try to spot any potential bottlenecks or flow issues before they become a problem in the future.
4. How Do You Want It to Feel?
While it’s important to think logistically about how you use your office space, not every decision during your dental office interior construction needs to be strictly utilitarian. Interior design can make a huge difference in your patients’ experience, so keep that in mind when you’re fleshing out your plan. This is another good opportunity to think about your patient base, using what you know about them to better cater to their tastes.
That being said, there are a few general design principles that anyone can utilize to make their office a more comfortable and inviting space. First among them is lighting, which unfortunately often gets overlooked. Dental office interior construction can get pricey quickly, and it may be tempting to keep the budget down by installing cheaper lights. But this could mean you may be sacrificing the atmosphere without realizing it. Proper, warm lighting can make a space feel bright and airy, enhancing the comfort of your patients and staff alike.
Of course, there’s a lot more to get into in lighting and beyond, but you don’t need to be an expert. If the thought of having to be a skilled interior designer as well as running a dental office seems overwhelming, take a deep breath and relax. We’re here to help you with any construction or design questions you may have.
5. Do You Have the Help You Need?
Managing a dental office can be difficult, even if you’re not in the process of major construction on it. That’s why it’s crucial that before you start knocking down walls, you partner with a construction consulting company that can stand by you through the process. With our experience, knowledge, and dedication to our customers, we are ready to help you take your ideal office from dream to reality.