Falling in Love with Your Facility Again

    Renovation can be an economical option for businesses

    Once a facility starts aging, it can be tempting for business owners to consider moving to another location or start looking into new construction.

    Top view of multiracial young creative people in modern office. Group of young business people are working together with laptop, tablet, smart phone, notebook. Successful hipster team in coworking. Freelancers.

    Another option to consider is renovating your current business facility to incorporate best design practices and improve its usability. At Leon Williams Contractors, our team has decades of experience helping business owners manage office renovations, which can be cheaper than new construction and can be accomplished in less time.

    Office Renovation Trends

    Renovation can be a cost-effective way to restore your business facility to full functionality while upgrading it according to the latest design trends. Some of the trends we’re seeing in modern offices include:

    • Branded identity. Businesses spend a lot of time and effort establishing their brand. Your facility can be renovated to reflect the company identity through the use of logos and official color schemes.
    • Adaptable space. The days of cubicle farms are coming to an end. Offices are being designed with adaptability in mind, allowing easier rearrangement of partitions and layout.
    • Audio privacy. One concern with more open office designs is the noise level. Another concern is privacy. Your office can be designed with noise reduction in mind, utilizing sound-dampening materials and adding private call rooms.

    Site Assessment

    Before you start a renovation, the experts at Leon Williams Contractors can assess the site condition to make sure there are no costly surprises. You might need to bring your current facility up to code or perform remediation if hazardous materials like asbestos had been used in the original construction.

    Design-Build Construction Experts

    When you’re ready to renovate your facility, Leon Williams Contractors can help you from start to finish.  Contact the design-build construction experts today about our Knoxville-area renovation services.

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    5 Trends for 2019 Healthcare Construction

    The methods for healthcare delivery in America are changing, almost on a daily basis. Factors like an aging population, changes in cost and funding, and evolving best practices affect every aspect of the healthcare industry, including facility design and construction. Leon Williams Contractors stays on top of these trends to make sure your Knoxville or East Tennessee medical facility reflects the modern standards for excellent patient care.Leon-Williams-Healthcare-Facility-Construction

    Here are five trends that will affect healthcare construction in 2019.

    1. Patient-focused spaces. Healthcare facilities will continue to become more patient-focused in 2019. Stark, institutional spaces are a thing of the past, with calming colors, customizable hospital rooms, and plenty of space for family coming to the forefront.
    2. Smartphone-friendly waiting rooms. What are your patients doing while they wait? They’re answering emails, checking Facebook, or posting on Twitter. Waiting rooms are starting to accommodate the smartphone revolution with built-in charging stations and even high-backed, private seating cubicles.
    3. Versatile design. Healthcare technology is advancing at a startling rate, and no one knows what the future might hold. Diagnostic spaces are being created with flexible, modular design to make space for the equipment and healthcare models of tomorrow.
    4. Micro-hospitals. As a whole, health systems aren’t building many large-scale, centralized hospitals anymore. But they are attempting to reach the communities around existing hospitals with small-scale inpatient facilities that offer an ER, labs, pharmacy, radiology, and a smaller number of beds. This is a boon for rural communities since patients won’t need to travel as far for care.
    5. Staying home. Hospital-acquired infections continue to be a problem, and with evolving remote diagnostic technology, it makes sense for some patients to receive care and monitoring from home. The inpatient model is changing rapidly, meaning fewer hospital beds and overnight stays.

    Whether you’re building new or remodeling an existing space, our design-build construction experts at Leon Williams Contractors can give you a top-of-the-line facility created for quality patient care, so contact us today.

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    A Look Back

     

    Leon Williams Contractors celebrates a year of milestones in 2018

    It’s been a busy year for Leon Williams Contractors, and we’re proud to look back at our biggest projects of 2018.

    Foothills Church

    In March, we completed construction of the new 33,000 square foot Foothills Church (FC) building in Maryville. By attendance, FC is the largest church in Blount County. The new space serves as an auditorium and creative space for the congregation’s Sunday services.Foothills Church built by Leon Williams Contractors

    Constructing a church with such a large capacity and with advanced technology provided several challenges. LWC had to work with Foothill’s Church’s audio/video consultant to ensure that the piping and conduit placement for the state-of-art audiovisual system was considered during every step of the building process. As with any addition, the flow of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic connecting the new spaces to the existing was a big concern to ensure the two buildings are used efficiently.

    LWC has been a construction partner with Foothills Church since 2011 when the church purchased a building formerly known as Thunderworld, helping FC transform the facility into a place of worship.

    University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

    In August, we completed two projects at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, including three new dining options at the school’s West Campus Housing building and a complete renovation of Crossroads Dining Hall.

    In August, we completed the renovation of the 13,000-square-foot UTC Crossroads Dining Hall. That project included replacing all the furniture, food stations and fixtures in the facility and adding a Mongolian grill concept and sushi machine.

    We also built out facilities for three new dining options – Einstein Bros.® Bagels, Dippers southern fried and grilled chicken, and a Provisions on Demand (P.O.D.) quick-serve store – inside UTC’s new West Campus Housing building.

    The West Campus Housing project and the Crossroads Dining Hall renovation were the 13th and 14th projects we’ve completed at UTC.

    Allevia Technology

    In September, we began renovating a former bank branch building in a commercial district near downtown Maryville for Allevia Technology, a local computer repair and business IT company. When it’s completed, the 2,700-square-foot modern, open-design office space will provide a fluid work environment for Allevia’s 10-person staff.

    While we’re proud of our accomplished in 2018, we’re looking ahead to an exciting 2019. Contact Leon Williams to learn how we build or renovate facilities for your church, business, or educational institution.

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    Five initial steps in new construction or remodeling projects

    Leon Williams Contractors will be there every step of the way

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    Congratulations, you’ve made the decision to remodel your facility or build a new home for your business. What’s next?

    In previous blog posts, we touched upon reasons why a Knoxville or East Tennessee business should remodel, expand, or construct a new base of operations. Now that you made your decision, it’s time to start planning.

    Here are five of the most important stages of the planning phase before remodeling or new construction can begin:

    1. Scope/financing: We work with you to develop a clear and concise scope of work document so you can apply for financing. You need to have solid financing in place before work begins. This is for your protection.
    2. Guidance: We will work with you and our external design team to finalize any renderings and specific building design specifications. We can make tweaks or adjustments if site constraints or issues influence design.
    3. Preconstruction consultation: Our experts and those who design our work will meet with you early in the process for preconstruction analysis. We can locate and evaluate properties and negotiate with owners. We’ll identify any potential issues with the property that may affect the project’s budget and timeline.
    4. Value engineering: We want to maximize our clients’ budgets, not just cut costs. We will look at every part of the project to see whether they make economic sense, ranging from site preparation to roof materials and utility needs.
    5. Construction: Once the construction phase begins, we will continue our value engineering and review progress and provide updates regularly on your project. We can also account for weather delays and stay on top of the budget and materials.

    You still have a ways to go before you and your employees can get settled into your new business space, but the project will be done before you know it.

    Contact Leon Williams for more information on renovating existing businesses or building a new one from scratch.

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    Five things to consider for a church expansion or new construction

    Leon Williams Contractors can help you answer your calling

    Leon Williams Contractors has been building state-of-the-art houses of worship for more than two decades. Knoxville church construction  and expansion is one of our specialties, and we can help church leaders navigate the many aspects of building a new church. One question we can help answer: Should a church renovate or build a brand new worship facility?

    There are many considerations and variables to church construction. What’s the size of your congregation? Do you want to add a large fellowship hall or merely expand your sanctuary or auditorium? Here are some basic considerations to get you started.

    1. Space constraints. What are the limitations of your current space? Sometimes there is wasted or underutilized space that could be used for your expansion purposes.
    2. What’s your congregation’s calling? If you have ambitious plans to expand your ministry, such as offering daycare or other children’s services, then a new building might be the best option.
    3. How old is your current worship space? If your HVAC system is undersized or outdated, that could also be a sign it’s time to move the flock. HVAC upgrades can be disruptive and expensive. If your church was built prior to the 1970s, then you may also encounter asbestos or other toxic materials that need to be encapsulated or removed. That’s another substantial cost.
    4. Take a hard look at your church finances. Can the church afford a new building or will a few cosmetic and internal design changes meet your needs for now? You don’t want to saddle your congregation with a large construction loan payoff or mortgage if you aren’t absolutely certain it’s within budget.
    5. Desired design. Your preferred design and layout could influence how much space you need. If it can be accommodated within your existing building, or with a reasonable expansion, that might be the best route to follow.

    We can make any number of recommendations, but ultimately, it’s up to church leaders and members to make the tough choice of whether to rebuild, remodel or expand a church. Be prayerful and thoughtful, and you’ll make the right choice.

    Contact Leon Williams Contractors for more information on how to answer your calling.

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    Should you renovate your Knoxville business or construct a new building?

    Seven ways new construction can benefit your business

    In an earlier blog we examined some of the benefits and challenges of renovating a new office building or retail location in the Knoxville area.

    While there are advantages to renovating an existing structure to accommodate company growth, there are a lot of variables to take into consideration. These include disruption to your business, challenges bringing old buildings up to current code, and the future economic vitality of your current neighborhood or part of town. Our design-build construction services and preconstruction planning will help guide you through these challenges from the get-go if you decide to go this route.

    There are clear advantages to new construction, however, and we can put our design-build construction expertise to work for you on this front, too.

    Benefits of starting from scratch and building a new office, clinic, restaurant or retail space include:

    1. Relocation: An opportunity to move your business to a more robust part of town.
    2. Utility savings: Increased energy efficiency and utility savings can be realized with modern building materials and new windows.
    3. Functionality: If you aren’t happy with your current facility’s layout, flow or design, starting fresh offers you the chance to create a space that’s right for your business.
    4. Tech integration: Modern wiring and integrated technological systems such as security and digital cabling or conduits are easier to install in new construction.
    5. Better parking: Revamping your parking lot to better accommodate employees and customers.
    6. New infrastructure: Less maintenance and extended warranties on new building features such as HVAC systems.
    7. Less risk: Fewer concerns about the discovery or release of hazardous materials such as asbestos that may be present and disturbed by renovation of an existing structure.

    Ultimately, you make the decisions and call the shots. Our construction professionals and design partners can help you with a cost-benefit analysis to help determine whether renovation or new construction is right for you. Once you decide, our design-build construction experts will be with you every step of the way to help grow and expand your business from the top down or bottom up.

    Contact Leon Williams today to get started on this exciting new phase of your East Tennessee business.

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    Leon Williams Contractors Completes 2018 UT-Chattanooga Construction and Renovation Projects

    Maryville, Tennessee-based commercial design-build firm added new spaces to UTC’s West Campus Housing building and renovated Crossroads Dining Hall in 2018

    MARYVILLE, Tenn. – Aug. 24, 2018 – Leon Williams Contractors, a Maryville-based commercial design-build firm, has completed two major projects at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga that will have positive impact on students and faculty starting in the fall 2018 semester.

    The company built three new dining options – Einstein Bros.® Bagels, Dippers southern fried and grilled chicken and a Provisions on Demand (P.O.D.) quick-serve store –  as part of the new flagship West Campus Housing building and completed a full renovation of Crossroads Dining Hall, UTC’s main student dining facility.

    “These two locations are central to the UTC campus, so it’s essential that students and faculty have positive experiences there,” said Tyler Forrest, associate vice chancellor for budget and finance at the university. “We also want these facilities to present the university’s commitment to quality and excellence, which is something we share with Leon Williams Contractors.”

    The three new West Campus Housing dining concepts account for 6,500 square feet of the 231,000-square-foot West Campus Housing building. Renovation of the 13,000-square-foot Crossroads Dining Hall included replacing all the furniture, food stations and fixtures, adding a Mongolian grill concept and sushi machine, and installing a new state of the art kitchen exhaust system to reduce cooking smoke and smells outside the building.

    “These are two very different projects, but what they have in common is that they’re presenting a range of new opportunities for students at UTC,” said Jimmy Hawkins, president of Leon Williams Contractors. “West Campus Housing was essentially a project within a project – we had to work closely with the building contractor to coordinate our work inside their construction site.  Crossroads Dining Hall was similar in that there were two other extensive construction projects occurring on the floors above the space at the same time.”

    The West Campus Housing project and the Crossroads Dining Hall renovation were the 13th and 14th projects completed by Leon Williams Contractors at UTC. The projects took place between February and early August. UTC’s fall semester started Aug. 20.

     

     

    About Leon Williams Contractors

    An experienced commercial design-build firm, Leon Williams Contractors simplifies the building process by effectively managing costs, adhering to deadlines and reducing complications to provide a seamless building experience. As a value-engineering expert, Leon Williams Contractors offers a complete range of services including pre-construction consultation, site assessment, design-build expertise and construction management in the greater Knoxville, Tenn. area.

    For more information, visit www.lwcontractorstn.com or call 865-982-1734.

     

    MEDIA CONTACT:
    Heather Ripley
    Ripley PR
    865-977-1973
    hripley@ripleypr.com

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    5 ways Leon Williams Contractors can make your medical clinic patient-centered

    5 ways Leon Williams Contractors can make your medical clinic patient-centered

    Our design-build process leads to health facilities that soothe and cure

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    Even in relatively benign settings, health care consumers can be frightened and homesick. Leon Williams Contractors can make sure your clinic renovation or construction is patient-centered and puts them at ease. Design, colors and flow plans are all important aspects of healthcare facility design.

    Here are some things to keep in mind as we lead your design-build process for Knoxville-area medical facilities.

    1. Facetime is key. All health care facilities should be designed in such a way that doctors, patients, advocates and family members can interact in a comfortable setting. This can ease anxiety and empower patients to participate in their health care outcomes.
    2. Streamline spaces. We can help ensure your medical facility — ranging from eye clinics to dental clinics and primary-care offices — has ample storage to reduce clutter. Square footage is at a premium, so it’s important to accommodate space for medical devices and equipment. Streamlining your space puts patients even more at ease. Medical equipment should have a home to avoid being a distraction or cluttering up free space.
    3. Make it personal. Generic, clinical and antiseptic medical spaces can increase stress. Allow patients and family members to personalize their space with ample room for books, clothes, personal effects and ports for tablets and smartphones. Consider speakers so patients can stream their favorite music while waiting for or undergoing a procedure.
    4. Bring family together. Make sure waiting rooms have ample space for families, and consider offering a portioned space for private discussion. Make a space for water coffee and snacks.
    5. Colors count. Choose hues with care. You don’t want a patient facing a stark or overly bright wall. Facilities that cater to children should offer more varied and brighter colors. Various shades of blue can be calming. Artwork can also add great accents, but choose accordingly for the context.

    If you are a healthcare provider, your primary concern should be providing your patients the highest level of care. Our health facility design-build process can help guide you to the perfect ambiance and environment for doing so. Contact us for more information.

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    Business owners: Should you remodel or rebuild?

    Six considerations when determining the best course of action for your growing business

    So your office or retail space is getting a little old, or maybe you’ve added more employees and need more space. At any rate, a need to expand your office or shop is generally a good thing. But deciding whether to renovate or build a new space from scratch can be a tough call.

    Leon Williams Contractors can do the job regardless of your decision and can even help you decide whether to remodel or erect a brand new structure. In this and upcoming blog posts, we’ll share our East Tennessee design-build expertise in weighing the pros and cons of each option.

    Here are six considerations if you are leaning toward a renovation of your office or retail space:

    1. Cost. It can be cheaper in the short-term to remodel or expand an existing structure. What you are sacrificing, however, is the ultimate longevity of your building. A new building will last much longer.
    2. Hazards. Some bad surprises can accompany a remodeling project. If you find asbestos or other hazardous materials during remodeling, it could drastically increase the cost.
    3. Time. Renovations can generally be accomplished in less time than building a completely new structure.
    4. Significance. Does your existing building hold historical or architectural significance that can be retained with renovation or remodeling? If it does, it may be worth more than you know, and you could be abandoning an asset if you decide to construct a new building.
    5. Economic factors. What is the economic pulse of your current location? Is it on the upswing or stagnating? If you are in a booming part of town, it might benefit you to stay put and remodel your existing building. The contrary may be the case if your neighborhood is in decline.
    6. Disruptions. What is the scope of your plan? Can remodeling or renovations be done without drastic disruptions to your office functions?

    Deciding between a renovation and a new building is a good problem to have. It means your business is growing. There are many variables to consider. Our design-build experts can help you decide the right course, and we’ll be with you every step of the way regardless of your decision. Contact us today about our Knoxville-area renovation services.

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    Leon Williams Contractors dishes on some current restaurant design trends

    Restaurant design changes as East Tennessee appetites persist

    Restaurant-design-trends-Leon-Williams-Contractors

    Americans love to eat. They especially love eating at restaurants. Americans now spend more money each year dining out than they do preparing their own meals at home.

    This provides a wealth of opportunities in the Knoxville area – for food suppliers, beverage companies and restaurateurs big and small. It creates opportunities for Leon Williams Contractors, too. Our restaurant design-build services have been used by franchises and for higher-end independent restaurants, too. But whether you are a franchise operator or building the private restaurant of your dreams, you need to stay on top of ever-changing American dining habits and demands. Now that 2018 is halfway done, here’s a quick look at four restaurant trends that will likely drive design-build approaches. Some may be fleeting, but some are likely here to stay.

    Pickup and delivery: It can be an annoyance when circling a packed parking lot to see spots reserved for “pick-up” customers. But those customers are becoming the lifeblood of an industry eager to keep pace with burgeoning meal-delivery services. Restaurant designs will increasingly add parking and integrate more pickup stations, to serve both third-party delivery companies as well as those who want to pop in and out with a full meal to take home.

    Noise reduction: Decibel readings at some restaurants actually enter the harmful range, and it’s a common complaint YOU HAVE TO YELL AT YOUR DINING COMPANIONS to engage in even sporadic conversation. Add a mediocre jazz trio, and you might as well resort to sign language or semaphore. The reasons vary, as do the solutions. In a move toward sleeker restaurants, designers have axed drapes, luxurious upholsteries and carpeting that used to absorb sound. Tile, steel and blonde wood, not so much. As the problem persists, expect restaurant design to include softer wall coverings, acoustical tile and carpets.

    Local, local, local: Be it in appearance or on the menu, diners want a reflection of their local culture and cuisine in their favorite eateries. We’re not talking about country kitsch-laden walls a la Cracker Barrel. We mean more along the lines of repurposed native wood, or displays by local artists or photographers. Budding restaurateurs may consider display cases of local products offered on the menu: Think Benton’s bacon, Blackberry Farm baguettes, or local honey. People want to feel a local connection to their food.

    Tabletop payment: More restaurants are going to try to more subtly incorporate those tabletop terminals into their décor. They are rather cumbersome to some diners, but many appreciate there is no need to give up their credit card to a stranger for five minutes. They can also be used to distract kids with games and leave reviews, and as a glance at any Yelp account will show, people love to leave reviews. Almost as much as they enjoy dining out.

    Ultimately, you decide how you want your restaurant to sound, feel and operate. We can guide, and be guided, every step of the way. Contact Leon Williams Contractors today for the best restaurant design-build options in East Tennessee.

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