Jeff Grissler, artistic director of public relations for Minerva Beauty 

Jeff Grissler, artistic director of public relations for Minerva Beauty

It's tough enough that salons lost revenue last year when they had to close their doors during the pandemic. While owners may be eyeing their salon decor with a critical eye, they may hesitate to close again for renovation when they are still striving to recover.

As part of our Designing Minds series, SALON TODAY polled readers regarding their top-of-mind salon design questions, then posed those questions to experts at salon furniture and equipment manufacturers. We asked Jeff Grissler, Minerva Beauty's Artistic Director of Public Relations, the following: 

SALON TODAY: How can I renovate my salon while still keeping it open for business? 

Jeff Grissler: Renovating your salon can be a very exciting endeavor, but planning is essential. Not many salon owners have the luxury of closing while renovating their place of business. And with the cost of building materials fluctuating, it can become a little daunting jumping into unknown waters.

To lessen the impact of your renovation, consider staying open during that time. Yes, this will present many challenges, but there is no reason to close if you follow these simple suggestions. It’s essential to accommodate the needs of your clients and employees.

If you’re committed to keeping your doors open while you remodel, consider the following factors:

Work Hours: Having limited and abnormal construction hours can require extended construction schedules and higher costs. While shopping for contractors, discuss if they can work earlier in the morning or at night to minimize the impact the renovations will have on your employees and guests.

Transparency: Post memos for employees and clients to keep them informed about your renovation plans. If you’re updating specific areas of the salon and buying new equipment, it may be good to print photos of the equipment updates you’ll be making. This will get your staff and clients excited about the upcoming changes. You can also include your reasons for renovating and the measures you’re taking to minimize disruptions. Feel free to solicit feedback and adjust if necessary.

Salon Posta, our 1st Runner-Up in the 2021 Salons of the Year competition, was a total gut job because it was a historic church being transformed into a salon, but if carefully planned, many salons can stay open while they renovate.  

Salon Posta, our 1st Runner-Up in the 2021 Salons of the Year competition, was a total gut job because it was a historic church being transformed into a salon, but if carefully planned, many salons can stay open while they renovate. 

Construction Zones: Restrict access to areas that are currently under construction. Be sure to establish unoccupied zones separating construction areas from business areas. Having such a buffer limits noise and potential health hazards. Blocking off areas with plastic from floor to ceiling will minimize dust. Use painters’ tape to hold down the plastic as it’s easy to remove and attaches to almost any wall surface or floor.

One at a Time: Trying to do a complete remodel while open is impossible. Focus your renovation efforts on one area at a time, finish that area 100 percent, then move onto the next. This will minimize disruption of business.

Back to Front: Most salons have a couple things in common; they have a rear entrance and typically all plumbing is towards the rear of the salon. The back door is a great way to get construction debris and building materials in and out of the building. This will minimize disruption in the waiting area, retail zone and front desk. If you have the luxury of multiple sinks, you can leave one up and running while replacing the others. Try to schedule your plumber to come in the same day or the day after your new shampoo shuttles arrive. Installing new shampoo systems, depending on how many units, should take no more than a day or so.

Trash Disposal: Many of us forget about garbage. When renovating, trash quickly piles up. Salon stations, desks, shampoo shuttles are not small and include a lot of packing materials to ensure they arrive to you safely. Make sure you rent a trash container. In this case, size does matter. Make sure you ask your local trash hauler what size you need based on the renovation. Keep in mind these containers take up space in the parking lot. If parking is an issue, have it delivered, get as many hands on deck to help, fill it up, and have it hauled away the same day.

Timing: When renovating or doing any salon project, timing is everything. Choosing the right equipment company that has a full line of in stock equipment is essential. They also must have the ability to have the equipment delivered when your contractor is ready for it. Working out delivery with your equipment manufacturer and contractor will make the renovation that much easier.

Unfortunately, Murphy’s law does happen on construction projects, and new equipment gets damaged in shipping and or by contractors. Make sure the equipment company you choose has a customer service department to assist if and when you need them. It’s also important that you can get replacement parts that go along with the equipment you purchased if something should break while being installed.

Bonus Safety Tips: Salon Renovation

  • Post updated renovation schedules with which areas are currently under construction.
  • Give your vendors the renovation schedule in case you need to make special accommodations for their deliveries.
  • Designate someone to sweep construction areas every hour or so to keep dust to a minimum.
  • Long extension cords stretching across your salon floor or near the shampoo sinks or on in the styling area can be particularly hazardous, so try to limit their use. If using, be sure to tape them down to limit trip hazards.
  • Give your staff protective gear if necessary.
  • Create an emergency plan for safely shutting down operations in case your building becomes uninhabitable due to air quality.
  • Following these simple guidelines will help your salon renovation go smoothly. Having everything planned is key in mitigating problems.

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