5 Ways to Maximize the Value of Your Building Investment


Whether your project is commercial, residential, or retail; it is always a good idea to do your research and put the proper context in place to make sure you can retrieve as much of your capital as possible when and if the time comes for you to rent or sell.

1.Let your budget be your guide.

The most important document you will create and reference is your budget. Blueprints and building plans are important, but your budget will direct your site selection, floor plan, finishing materials, and landscaping choices. If building an investment property, your budget should also include a contractor which can help direct the conversation so that you consider all angles and make the most knowledgeable choices. The experts at Maxx Builders and Designers would be glad to help with this.

2.Looks are important, but they aren’t everything.

It is true that a building’s visual aesthetic plays an important part in its marketability. A building’s curb appeal, exterior materials, parking, interior and exterior design ambiance, all play a role in how appealing it will be to the next purchaser or rent tenant. This is significant for both residential owners and commercial investors. A building’s form and function are equally important, but ultimately function will always win. This is where the design team at Maxx Builders and Designers will come in to help make the space as efficient as possible.

3.Don’t underestimate the location.

A building’s location makes an immense difference in how attractive it is to buyers and to customers. As an investor, this is one of the most important decisions you will make. If you aren’t sure what to look for when selecting a site, obtain the help of one of our experts at Maxx Builders.

4.Don’t fall victim to the most common pitfall.

Often investors head directly to an architectural designer for their building design needs. However, an architect’s expertise is in design and not construction cost. So it is important to also have a contractor to help facilitate and guide the design conversation. At Maxx Builders and Designers, our team consists of both construction and design specialists that will mediate the process, helping you choose the unique design elements you love while staying within the business plan of the investment.

5.Use your resources.

When you gather a team of expert contractors, engineers, architects, and real estate agents together, you are certain to make knowledgeable, secure decisions from the beginning.

So when you’re ready to build, Maxx Builders and Designers are ready to join your team. Contact us today to see how we can make your building project one that will work for you.


Factors that Influence the Cost of a Project

Construction of a new building structure is a complicated investment requiring careful consideration of many factors. Primarily, an investor must determine the structure’s purpose, function, and use. Building different structures have different needs, and different needs come at different costs. When evaluating the expected costs of building a new structure or using an existing one, it is critical to consider the many need-based factors that could influence this decision. When considering the potential expense of your investment, contemplate the following three questions:

What do you need accomplished in the building? What are you doing inside?
When it comes to your business, the building is merely a shell. What’s truly significant is what’s happening on the inside. The main objective l for any commercial construction project is to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of what happens inside the building. Certainly, the process and materials used to maximize the efficiency of a high-tech medical clinic will be very different than the process and materials used to maximize the efficiency of a storage warehouse. The process and materials used for one will require different costs than the process and materials of another.

The solution to maximizing the return on your investment is to systematically understand and layout all internal operations. Ultimately, what really matters is balancing the efficiency and environment within the building, to the cost of the building’s construction.  This way, you can decide what materials and construction processes are best suited to your project and which will help you find the best value. Focusing too heavily on the cost may come at the expense of productivity and durability, which could essentially be costlier in the long run. For example, a building’s interior may not facilitate maximum efficiency, and the business may incur high maintenance costs or a loss in time or productivity in the future. Saving money in the short term through lower construction costs doesn’t automatically yield lower business costs, in fact, it could actually lead to higher costs and render the building a poor investment.

Does the appearance of the building impact the business? Is it a sales tool?
Even though buildings are just shells in the business realm, to some businesses it is important to have an appealing shell. The exterior charm can be crucial for some businesses to draw in customers. For other businesses, it could be entirely irrelevant. Online retailers, for example, may not have any regard for how their building looks. A simple, plain exterior would be just as effective as an extravagant, charming one at maximizing productivity and efficiency for such a company. However, for retailers that sell their products from their building exterior appeal is very important. Their efficiency can only be maximized if their exterior draws in customers. So walk-in retail businesses would have to invest more in the appearance of their shell than an online retailer would.

What are the site conditions?
Not all sites are identical. Sites can differ in soil types, incline, and regulation among many other things. Building on certain kinds of soil can be much more expensive than building on others. Also, building on a steep slope will require more landscaping costs than building on a level terrain. Additionally, some areas have aesthetic requirements, where the exterior of the building must be of a certain material (brick or stone) for the building to be located there.

We conclude that It is impossible for any contractor to accurately predict the costs of a commercial construction project without understanding the building’s functional and locational needs, and their implications. Attempting to do this would be harmful to investors and could have long-lasting negative financial implications. Once you have taken the time to compile a plan for your facility that incorporates these factors, contact us at estimating@maxxbuilders.com to receive a preliminary estimate regarding the cost of your prospective building. The design, construction, and permitting experts at Maxx Builders and Designers would be glad to help you.


Anyone planning to develop a commercial property will immediately realize that commercial projects involve navigating a complicated maze of regulations. Before purchasing land or beginning construction on a commercial project there are numerous significant details and issues that need to be thought through and prepared.

This preparation process is referred to as the Land Due Diligence process will help determine the potential of a property and will save money from costly construction costs and changes that would have to be made to correct issues. At Maxx Builders and Designers, our expert team of builders and engineers strive to make this process efficient and simple for our clients, from beginning to end. Our consulting services maximize the efficiency of the building process by solving any permit or design problems.

Conducting proper due diligence evaluations Some of the steps for due diligence include:

Determining the usable square footage of the property to establish how much land the city may require for street widening, utilities, or expansion. This also accounts for how much of the property is unusable due to grade or water issues, land required for easements, configuration of land, and landscaping and green area requirements.

Obtaining proper zoning and planning designation for the use your property requires. it’s important to get your property rezoned or make the required changes to the planning designation. This is a difficult process that requires expertise from a consultant who is knowledgeable about zoning requirements.

Determining off-site development costs include the costs incurred by a landowner who is building on their own property, but is required to solve certain municipal matters before obtaining a building permit or certificate of occupancy. Off-site development costs can be very expensive. Usually the local municipality will declare that a street running adjacent to a property will need to be widened and the property owner will need to pay a portion of these costs. Another issue may be utilities that are located far from the property. In this case, the property owner is responsible for paying these costs too.

Conducting soil testing, which is required to determine the type of structural foundation required for the given soil’s weight bearing capacity. This information is gathered by a structural or architectural engineer who can then establish the building costs.

Obtaining a title commitment from a title insurance company providing any exceptions to the title that would limit the use of the property. Title issues can be one of the most frustrating parts of land development if handled improperly.

Conducting environmental testing, which requires a special certification and compliance. When it comes to environmental testing, the first stage is usually a Phase 1 Environmental audit. If the property is tested with only minor issues, one phase of testing is adequate. Otherwise, a Phase 2 audit is required to govern what would be required to make the property in compliance with environmental laws.

Evaluating the impact on the property valuation is typically a subjective matter. The ways that a building project could be valued may vary widely. Consulting with a real estate appraiser or broker can help property owners save equity dollars when negotiating the term of their loan.

Our team at Maxx Builders and Designers understands that this is a complex process; and we’re happy to offer our consulting services for land due diligence to help solve permitting and design problems with your next commercial project. Our Maxx consultants have the expertise and knowledge to proficiently structure your building process, assure a cost efficient design, and accurately navigate the maze of regulation.

Don’t do it alone, contact us today to schedule a courtesy consultation.

Top 5 Trends in Restaurant Design

Dining out has always been an American staple – a special weekly occasion for family and friends to eagerly look forward to and this trend is only growing stronger into the 21st century. Last year, Americans spent more money on dining than on groceries for the first time. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, restaurants and bars raised revenues of $157.5 billion compared to $151.8 billion on groceries. This alteration has had an essential influence on the design and construction industry. Restaurants have even become crucial for the success of brick-and-mortar retail leading to the growth of lifestyle centers.

Lifestyle centers are defined by the International Council of Shopping Centers as “a specialized centre of upscale national-chain specialty stores with dining and entertainment in an outdoor setting.” They were the first retail development model to relate dining experiences as an attraction for shopping. As the new “foodie” generation of Millennials emphasizes restaurant experiences, restaurants have become critical to the prosperity of the 445 lifestyle centers all over the U.S. They bring a new energy that retail cannot and hold a newfound significance in customers’ lives.


  1. Lifestyle center developers push their restaurateur tenants to construct a vivid experience to attract consumers to retail stores.Lifestyle centers aim to create beautiful and attractive neighborhoods for customers to walk around and enjoy. Developers aim to design a very specific, eclectic, and sentimental architectural style. They are typically very strict about maintaining the aesthetic of a neighborhood but are open to new venues. In fact, when it comes to restaurants, developers prefer that they stand out and catch the eye and are therefore more flexible when it comes to interior design frameworks. These changes are made because developers belief restaurants will attract shoppers to their center. This deviation makes the area seem more authentic and unique.
  2. Owners and chefs are more involved in design Customer expectations are at an all time high leading chefs and owners to get more involved in the designing process. Many feel that if they don’t have direct involvement in the design of the restaurant it’s not really theirs. Owners sometimes require several meetings over materials and layout. However, the involvement of owners and chefs can pose itself as a sort of double-edged sword for building teams. On one hand, experienced owners know their targeted customers and can provide vital input and chefs with a vision is also a bonus. Although, they can focus too much on materials, finishes, and colors and not look further towards adapting design and branding for varied demographics and markets. Their vision, while sometimes unclear, can also occasionally outdistance their budget
  3. A democratized market does not require degrading qualityChefs are spreading their brands down market to meet the growing number of Americans who dine out. This rise in demand has led to food becoming “democratized” because a lot of patrons simply can’t afford high-end restaurants. However, this doesn’t mean that targeting a larger consumer base means sacrificing the quality. When it comes to design, don’t neglect the dining experience, don’t assume that the cuisine can replace the ambiance, and don’t focus on a certain model based off another template and dare to be different.
  4. Technology enhances diningRestaurant developers/owners and their building teams depend on technology more and more to create new dining experiences. For example, lighting has become far more crucial today as it tends to set the mood and atmosphere. New technologies have been developed to allow staff to adapt LED lamps via a touchpad to adjust lighting for different times of day. Technologies for sound transmission have also allowed clients to satisfy their design specifications while preventing patrons from hearing one another’s conversations using new materials.
  5. Artwork elevates the experience while dining has been democratized to cater to the large majority of consumers, quality is still important as people wish to be wowed when they eat out. To achieve this, restaurateurs include more and more art in their venues to satisfy their patrons and enhance the atmosphere. This method also particularly attracts Millennials. Owners have taken various methods for interior design from hiring local or well-known artists to gathering memorabilia. Overall, the effect of artwork brightens and emboldens the ambiance of the restaurant.


4 essential Dental clinic Design

The top performing dental practices balances two things: Form and Function. There are four essential categories that needs to be incorporated to properly balance form & function.

  1. Attractive
  2. Efficient
  3. Profitable
  4. Enabling

1. Attractive- Form really matters! Patients rarely realize the quality of your occlusal carving but they do soak in if the design of your office looks like it belongs in the 80’s.  Too many doctors have taken this lightly & failed to reached their full potential only to find out the patients will not remain a long-term patient nor refer other patients because your practice image conficts with the quality of dentistry. Remember, Patient only rate you based on what they know. And now, with all the shows that emphasizes on floor plan design, magazines, people are very in tune with an attractive design. Incorporate an attractive design for your practice and your rewards will surpass your imagination.

2. Efficient & Profitable- What if you were told your future profit potential was correlated with the design of your facility. ITS VERY TRUE!


Our integrated team at Maxx Builders & Maxx Designers make sure we find the strongest intersection of Form and Function taking place in Efficiency & Profitability.

Patients will see the stunning dental practice design. They will be impressed with the look and be wowed by your sense of modern design and care. Few will know the precision and detail that went into the design of your facility. The ceilings will be an attractive height, the building will be accessible to wheel chair as per code, your treatment room will have an open spacious feel, the sterilization center will be positioned with precision for best efficiency.

Shopping Center Design 101


Shopping Centers require careful detailed planning in the design phase to maximize space usage, create an attractive environment for customers, and achieve optimal return on your investment with maximized future growth. Attention to certain crucial matters, and decisions made early, increase potential for success.

  1. Location is Key:  When selecting the site for your shopping center, there are specific criteria to include in your search.  Customers want “easy”; easy access, preferably off a main road or intersection, easy parking, easy entry and exit, and easy navigation, meaning not too far from the city. Off-site road improvements may need to be addressed, such as widening of access streets, to alleviate existing traffic flows and avoid excessive congestion. A key factor in driveway design is the directional distribution of traffic entering and exiting.


  • Feasibility Study:  A feasibility study is based on detailed specific data and provides information including a market and location analysis, as well as a risk analysis. It is a vital analysis for the bank loan process and will provide you with a financial picture of your project. A schematic design must be done for analysis.




  • Master Plan:  An effective Master Plan designed efficiently can increase ROI substantially for investors. It shows the most efficient utilization of the property. It shows the proposed building footprint, the best route for traffic flow and appropriate dimensions to ensure city requirements are met to create the center with the utmost functionality.




  • Branding:   Customers are always looking for the new and exciting place to go, so make your exterior elevation appealing to the eye. Go after the retailers you want to occupy your center early in your process, so your retailers are ones that provide input on design.




  • Design Types:  Regardless of size or function, shopping centers have these need to have conceptual design that is utilizes the study of local demographics.



  • Contemporary– Is the architectural design of today. It utilizes the latest trends in all elements of design. The current trending architectural design is exterior metal cladding, mixed with stucco and stone. It utilize more steel than other exterior design types.
  • Modern– is the early- and mid-20th-century architecture embodying the ideals of the machine age: an absence of ornament, structures of steel or concrete, large expanses of glass, a whitewash (usually stucco over brick) or another minimal exterior expression, and open floor plans.
  • Traditional– Design of the past, In commercial retail design application the exterior finishes will be typically brick or stone.


Exterior Design Types Pictures







Contact Maxx Designers to provide its integrated architectural engineering services.

Gas Station Construction & Design 101

Gas Stations require  very in-depth strategic planning during design phase to capitalize and achieve a profitable return on investment. Below are few critical steps in achieving efficiency in your land usage when designing & building your gas station.

1. Check local & state municipal restrictions: Most cities has a prohibition of alcohol sales 300 feet within public or private schools, public hospitals, day-care facilities. Click here to see TABC regulations for more in-depth understanding of these restrictions. This should be the first step of inquiry before purchasing land for gas station development. 

2.Get a Feasibility Study Done: A feasibility study is a three year store sales and fuel projections based on detailed specific data. It is a vital analysis for bank loan process and will provide you with a financial picture of your store. A schematic design must be done for analysis.

3. Create a brand w/ exterior elevation:  Exterior elevation design is the most important element in a gas station design. It must be carefully planned based on your vision. It must display your brands identity that is attractive to the prospective customers.

4. Design a efficient on-site circulation:  Site plan design will need to be engineered efficiently that utilizes the land usage effectively, has an ease of traffic flow and meets city requirements.

5: Create an open interior layout:  Space planning will play a major role in the store sales. It must create an open layout that incorporates product placement, architectural elements, and ease of flow for maximum sale per customer.

For any further questions feel free to contact our office @ 281.402.6656 . Visit our site below to learn more and schedule consultation.




1. Do you have insurance (general liability coverage) and workers compensation insurance?

Again, the answer to both of these better be a yes. General liability insurance protects your home and property in the event of a disaster. Workers compensation protects you from liability if the carpenters get injured while working on your property. By the way, all of the sub-contractors working on our project should carry general liability and workers compensation insurance policies, too!
You can also be specific and ask for proof of insurance, the type of insurance the general contractor has and how much coverage they have (a $500,000 policy — minimum — is a good start). What happens if the firm has started construction on your new home but then it gets destroyed by a tornado? You want to be sure the GC’s general liability insurance will cover the cost to re-build.
2. Do you provide customers with written lien waivers?

Once the job is completed, you should receive a legal document from your contractor stating that you have paid him in full, and that he waives his right to place a mechanics lien on your property (this should include lien releases from sub-contractors, too).
3. Does the commercial builder offer design-build services? Or will you need to hire an architectural firm separately?

A company being able to offer design-build services can save substantial amount on cost and project delivery time of completion. You will be able to to hold one firm accountable instead of two firms pointing fingers at a time when issues arise during the construction phase.
4. How is your billing cycle set up? How often do you invoice customers during the project?

It’s common practice for a GC to ask for a down payment to begin work on your project (usually in the ballpark of 25 percent of the project’s estimated value). Reliable contractors should also have enough working capital to use in the event they have to make product purchases quickly on your behalf (a working capital of $50,000 is acceptable).
5. Do you handle the permitting process and inspection or do we have to coordinate that?

Your general contractor should handle this. Period. You are not responsible for pulling permits or dealing with the town’s building inspector.
6. Do you have a list of client references? Do you also have a list of subcontractors, vendors (material suppliers) and architects and designers that have partnered with you that I can call?

Past clients are the most appropriate people to talk to because they’ve already experienced what you are potentially about to undertake with this GC. Ask them very candid and specific questions. Ask about the quality of work, budget, timeliness, cleanliness, safety, level of professionalism and if their goals and expectations were met.
Also check businesses that partner with the GC! Make sure the contractor is in excellent standing with all of the subs they hire and vendors from which they purchase materials.
7. Have you done a project comparable to mine? What were the biggest challenges?

Experience and expertise really count in this field! No two custom projects are ever the same. What matters is whether or not the GC can handle complex issues, and if he has the competence to successfully complete your project or not. Ask about a specific concern you have and assess whether the GC’s response reassured you or caused further anxiety.
8. Who is on-site managing my project on a daily basis, and who is ultimately responsible for my job? ​

The superintendent is a key factor of a successful project completion. You need to obtain qualifications of the project manager and superintendent who will be overseeing day-to-day activities on your project.
9. What software or technology does the firm use to manage your project? ​

Precise and consistent collaboration is a key differentiation between the quality of service you receive from your commercial general contractors. Utilizing technology for project management is a key for effective construction management.

10. What are the safety processes of the construction company? How does the company implement safety on their job sites?

Commercial construction projects are at high risk for fatalities. The company need to have clear safety plan and processes in place. You should ask for company safety procedure and plan to minimize risk on your job site.

11. How many projects do you have going on right now?

You want to be sure your GC is attentive/responsive to you and doesn’t put your project on the back-burner. The number of projects he can run simultaneously depends on how effective his firm is and how they’ve met deadlines previously.
12. How do you stay current and on top of trends?

New and better products are constantly being developed in home building. Your contractor needs to actively stay on top of product introductions, service innovations and industry trends by doing several of the following on a regular basis: attending conferences, taking continuing education classes, reading trade magazines, subscribing to industry newsletters, meeting with sales reps and networking with industry professionals.