When you lease a space, it is common to have to make improvements to customize the space for your business, so you will want to negotiate tenant improvements with the property owner. In this article, we answer the question of what is tenant improvement and discuss how to maximize your tenant improvement allowance.

What Is Tenant Improvement?

Tenant improvements (TIs) are the custom alterations a building owner agrees to make to the property as part of the lease agreement. Typically, these are done to modernize and configure the space for the particular needs of a tenant.

Building owners may directly contract with a tenant improvement contractor to build out to their requirements or provide a tenant improvement allowance towards construction costs. Either way, you want to get the most bang for your buck and create the best possible space.

Maximizing Your Tenant Improvement Allowance

Maximizing your tenant improvement allowance starts with finding the best TI contractor. Look for a contractor with decades of construction experience who regularly manages tenant improvement projects. Experience contractors will know how to get the best results within your tenant improvement allowance and deliver high-quality work that fits your budget and timeline.

Coordinating with suppliers, phasing subcontractors, ensuring regulatory compliance, and managing construction projects take time. Hiring the right contractor allows you to focus on your business rather than have to manage every aspect of a construction project.

Here are other ways you can maximize your TI allowance.

A Comprehensive Plan

Before construction begins, you will want to collaborate with your contractor to develop a clear plan for the improvements you need. The plan should include your unique business needs and requirements and any aesthetic improvements that are important to you.

The plan should outline the scope of the work, the materials and finishes that will be used, and your budget and timeline for completion.

Prioritize Improvements

While you will need to consult with the property owners, you often have a great deal of flexibility in how your tenant improvement allowance is spent. You want to prioritize the items that will provide the greatest benefit and maximize your space allocation.

Priorities can vary greatly depending on your industry and needs. Do customers come into your workspace? If so, you may need to focus a bit more on aesthetics to create an inviting space. If you do not have regular visitors, you may want to focus more on functionality and workflow.


You also want to prioritize quality. Think about how materials will hold up over time. Durable materials will last longer (and look better longer). Whenever possible, opt for low-maintenance finishes that will reduce the amount of cleaning, repairs, and replacements that will be necessary.


When planning improvements, you may also want to consider sustainability. Not only is it better for the environment to use sustainable materials, but improvements in HVAC systems or energy-efficient lighting can reduce your monthly costs.

Brand Values

You will also take into account what your company stands for. For example, if you market yourself as a sustainable business, your workspace needs to reflect that. If you tell job prospects about how you provide a modern, luxurious work environment, then your space needs to deliver.

Maximize Cost-effectiveness

You want to build out the space to meet your needs and do it in the most cost-efficient manner to stretch your TI allowance dollars further. Working with an experienced contractor like Charter Construction Group can help. After completing 40,000 renovation and tenant improvement projects, the Charter Construction Group team knows how to make your TI allowance go further.

Be Realistic About Budgets and Timelines

You will want to work with a tenant improvement contractor that understands the importance of staying within your budget. At the same time, you will need to be realistic about the cost of the improvements and ensure plans fit within the allowance provided.

You also want to balance the time it takes to complete tenant improvement construction with your timeline for moving into a space.

Stay in Constant Communication

It is important to stay in constant communication with your contractor so you know where things stand and when projects will be completed. This helps you plan your move-in. Look for a tenant improvement contractor with a cloud-based platform that requires workers at the job site to provide real-time updates to inform you about progress.

Choose Charter Construction Group

Charter Construction Group has decades of experience in commercial renovation, property turns, and tenant improvement construction. We can help you maximize your tenant improvement allowance and create the perfect space for you.

Call Charter Construction Group at 866-268-1632 or request a consultation to discuss your tenant improvement construction project.