Be a budget-savvy builder-to-be

Be a budget-savvy builder-to-be

Don't break the bank before the Big (opening) Day. Cut and keep the right stuff so you can build on budget.
Jun 01, 2008

It's time to face facts. You've spent years dreaming of the perfect veterinary facility, but your pockets are only so deep. You can squeeze only so much out of your banker and plan on only so many paying clients to come through the door of your new facility. Are you realizing it's time to cut back on your hospital design budget? Don't worry. Wayne Usiak, AIA, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member, and Paul Gladysz, AIA, both of BDA Architecture in Albuquerque, N.M., help veterinarians affordably realize their dreams. Their advice: Cut where it doesn't count so your blushing bride of a new hospital looks good and works well, but doesn't come with a bankruptcy price tag. Here's where to budget and where to blow it.

Keep high-end flooring in front ...

Photo by Gary Easter
For client areas, pick an attractive, durable, and stain- and odor-resistant flooring, like that in South Suburban Animal Hospital in Perrysburg, Ohio. It's a porcelain tile with a textured finish and epoxy grout. You want these areas to look nice and be easy to clean. "Pets have accidents, and you don't want a client to feel embarrassed about a mess that's difficult to clean up," Gladysz says.

...Cut it in back

Photo courtesy of BDA Architecture.
Hate the idea of concrete flooring in the back area for you and your staff? Use it anyway. A few years down the line, you can upgrade the floor without inconveniencing clients. "The upgrading process in the back doesn't affect outpatient services at all, and it doesn't impact your practice's image," Usiak says. The sealed concrete floor, above, works well in the runs at Hopi Animal Hospital in Scottsdale, Ariz.