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  • CBF Contracting, Inc.

    13844 Route 68
    Sligo, PA 16255

Vanilla is sometimes mistaken for a synonym for boring. It’s not. In fact, if you hope to lease or sell commercial space, it’s simply good business. Whether you’re building a new facility or renovating an existing one, understanding what vanilla box construction is and why it’s important can help you attract new commercial tenants.

Understanding Vanilla Box Construction:

Defining Vanilla Box Construction

As a flavor, vanilla is described as basic, crisp or fresh. In commercial construction, it has similar connotations. Vanilla box is a type of finish that results in a commercial space that is neutral, impersonal, and ready for tenant improvement once the lease or sales agreement is signed. Vanilla box construction refers to the efforts necessary to create this plain vanilla shell. It can involve stripping a previously occupied space down to its bare bones or prepping a new space. Vanilla box construction is sometimes referred to as white box construction and it’s trickier than it seems at first glance.

Building a Better Vanilla Box

While the exact details of a vanilla box can vary from market to market, spaces finished in this minimal manner are generally notable for what isn’t there. Interior walls, flooring, paint or wall coverings, and upgraded fixtures are normally absent. What is present? A vanilla box offers an interior space that is sheltered from the elements by a roof, exterior windows and doors. While they tend to be basic, lighting, a finished ceiling, an unfinished floor appropriate for most types of flooring, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are generally in place. Fire protection, hot water, restrooms and drinking fountains may also be present. With its clean, crisp lines and limited offerings, a vanilla box might seem like a simple project, but doing the job right can be complicated. There may be permitting issues to deal with, everything in the space must be up to code, and the space itself has to be prepped for a quick build-out once the lease is signed or the building is sold.

Understanding the Appeal of Vanilla Box Construction

A vanilla box isn’t ready for business. Instead, it’s a blank canvas that is suitable for a wide range of possibilities. There’s no need to blank out existing configurations or fixtures, so it is easy for potential tenants or buyers to imagine the location as their own. Most commercial tenants prefer to build out their space to fit their specific preferences and requirements.  Therefore, preparing the space that is ready for them to mold to their own desires can be an attractive option. This is especially true if landlords offer lessees tenant improvement allowances that help to offset the costs while still allowing them to enjoy the benefits of a customized space.

Are you searching for an experienced shell contractor to tackle your next vanilla box construction project? With more than three decades of experience in the commercial construction industry, CBF Contracting Inc. understands what it takes to construct a desirable commercial space. Our team has experience bringing commercial buildings back to vanilla boxes, so you can count on us to get the job done properly the first time. Contact CBF Construction today at 814-745-3000 to discuss your vanilla box construction project and request a quote.

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