Jack Tu, the RWS architect discusses the best ways to ensure your conversion is successful and worthwhile for you and your patients.
When considering setting up your practice, a great strategy is to convert an existing residential property into medical rooms. The more intimate environment and familiar setting can play a big role in retaining patients.
Some key things to consider:
Permits and Parking:
There will typically be a planning permit requirement for a ‘change of use’ from a residential property to a medical practice. An important factor that council looks for is how much on-site car parking is available. In most cases a reduction in car parking can be applied for. We regularly work with our planning consultant and traffic consultant to assist in these type of planning applications.
Accessibility and Dispensations:
A residential house will usually need to have adjustments made to allow for the more onerous disabled access requirements of a medical practice. Prior to purchase of the property, we can make a site visit to do a preliminary review. Typically, we also arrange for our builder to attend to provide comments on building condition and to identify potential construction issues. In cases where we feel that dispensations may be required, we will also work with our building surveyor to review.
Latent Conditions and Layout:
Particularly with older properties there can be unforeseen discoveries during renovation which can limit potential layout options. As soon as possible after the property purchase and settlement, we recommend having our builder arrange for more thorough investigations as required. In concert with our structural engineer, our builder will make strategic penetrations to the walls, floors and ceilings to reveal the structure and building cavities. This will help identify potential limitations early in the design process and help keep the costs of changes during renovation to a minimum.
So keep these points in mind and don’t hesitate to call the RWS team for further information. Avoid costly mistakes from the start.