New England Financial Institutions: You Can Keep Your Branches Open During Renovations

Customer at a drive thru at a bank that's being renovated.

Many financial institutions hesitate to renovate their branches because of the disruption to business they believe it will bring.  But rest assured it is possible to renovate a bank branch or credit union and keep the doors open for business throughout the project.  We do this all the time at Solidus.  It is not usually the style of this blog to boast of our achievements, but this is one of our specialties.  We can perform very extensive remodels that include both architectural and systems upgrades while implementing custom phasing plans that allow the branch to remain open throughout the entire process.

Solidus specializes in renovating New England bank branches while clients keep their doors open for business.

Customers do their banking on the floor while up above our guys can restore the beautiful high vaulted ceiling.

Keeping a branch open during construction work is achieved by performing the work in phases that target sections of the branch in a specific sequence.  The work is done at off-hours; evenings, weekends, and holidays when necessary.  The job site is always cleanly maintained, with no equipment, tools, materials or debris cluttering the business or administrative area of the branch space.  We can renovate branches or other corporate spaces in this manner, with no disruption to business or day-to-day activities whatsoever.

We can work on your branch while your customers are still able to do their banking and there's no disruption to business.

Before and During. Back offices are visible at top, but are partitioned off for demolition below, as a customer fills out paperwork.

We have completed many projects over the past several years using the phased approach to working off-hours that enables clients to remain open for business throughout.  Clients sometimes express concerns about disruptions to business during these types of remodels, but once started it fast becomes obvious that we have the expertise to accomplish the task quite comfortably.  Several of our repeat clients now have complete confidence in Solidus’s ability to execute in this fashion.

A good example of a phased project would be the recent job we started at Centreville Bank in West Warwick, Rhode Island.  A high scaffold platform was required to paint the majestic ceiling of this classically beautiful Main Office built in the early 1900’s.  In order to build the scaffold staging at West Warwick, we had to relocate everyone that was on that floor.  Phase one was to move the employees out into an unused area off to the side, finish the main floor, then move them back in on the first floor once the high work was completed.  This is phased work at its most efficient.

A New England bank branch with customers coming in to do business as renovation work is in progress.

Before and During. The teller remains busy and the customers keep on coming, as if nothing unusual is even happening, while our guys work on the ceiling above.

Solidus is currently working on a Savings Institute Bank and Trust branch in Enfield.  There are offices at front right as you enter and there are more offices, plus an employee lounge and bathrooms, in the back.  The first phase will be to demolish these back rooms and lounge.  All of this work will be performed behind a temporary barrier constructed by our tradesmen.  We will then build the new offices and other areas at the back.  The people from the front right offices will then be temporarily moved into the new offices at the back.  They won’t have the new furniture and infrastructure at this point, but it will allow us to demolish and rebuild those offices on the right and the space at the front of the branch.  Once we’ve done that, it is time for “teller line weekend”.  The teller line is situated along the left-hand wall.  This phase is a swap over for the millwork and teller pods, etc. and involves transforming the platform from a conventional teller line to dialogue towers or teller pods.  We complete this over the weekend, and the employees return on Monday morning to fully-operational pods where customers can now do their transactions.  The teller line is now forever lost in the eternity of the past, where it belongs.

We built a partition to enable the renovation of the bank branch while the branch was still open.

Behind the sheet-rock, our crew is demolishing the back offices and employee lounge, but the branch remains open and immune to the noise and dust.

Phased projects also give us the vision to coordinate better.  We can begin construction in one area, having already started the fabrication of millwork for another area of the branch.  In this way, millwork can be delivered at the exact time it’s needed.  This enables a more discrete breakdown of the components of the space, so certain pieces aren’t on demand and thereby cause jobs to be put on hold.  The millwork is built in modular form and can be installed (into an already finished space) and operable in a very short amount of time.

Stay tuned, for the “After” pictures from these projects, as only then will you appreciate the full impact of an extensive branch transformation.