Key steps to an Successful Office Refurbishment

Never leave yourself short of time when it comes to a commercial fit out. Lease negotiations, legalities and the expiration of your current lease will often govern your lease commencement and move dates. Dependent on the size and complexity of your commercial fit out, the following outline time frames should be considered.

  • Initial concept design and costing
  • Detailed design and approvals
  • Project Build

This is most likely the most important stage in your office fit out.

Before considering your new commercial fit out and interior design, or finding a space, you should prepare by making sure that you know what you want. This will establish the guidelines for the impending design and fit out. It will also allow you to ascertain the type of workspace you require and how much space you actually need. Therefore, ensuring the design of the tenancy meets your requirements. Important things to consider are listed here.

Things to look for in an office building

  • The look and feel you want to achieve – feature areas and first impressions
  • Current staff numbers and potential future growth/reduction
  • Allocation of offices and open work spaces among staff numbers
  • Seating and communal areas, back of house areas
  • Positioning of work groups and staff communication/interaction
  • Meeting rooms, boardrooms, training rooms and
  • Printing and utility necessities including equipment and use by staff
  • Breakout and staff facilities
  • Power and data requirements for different areas
  • Storage

Things to look for when looking for an office fit out company and reputation:

  • When was the fit out completed & was it on time?
  • Was it completed on budget? Did the costs that were originally quoted stay the same, or go up?
  • Were you happy with the level of service and quality of workmanship? Any surprises?
  • Did they provide an aftercare service?
  • Would you recommend them to others?

Once you have selected suitable commercial fit out companies, provide each one with the same brief. Set out clearly what you want to receive from them. And advise your timing for when you require a proposal to be submitted.

WE RECOMMEND PROVIDING THE FOLLOWING AS PART OF A DESIGN AND COMMERCIAL FIT OUT PROPOSAL.

  • A design that meets the brief. This might be limited to a basic floor plan. It can also include a sample of finishes and detailing that best describe how the fit out will look.
  • A detailed specification that sets out all the works required or to be considered. This should not be just a few lines. It should be a detailed description of each part of the works. If something is not clearly stated assume it will not be provided.
  • Breakdown of costs for the complete project. A single cost at the end of a brief outline of works is not sufficient for anyone to make decisions on.
  • If there are any options that could be considered. A list of these and the associated costs should be provided.
  • An outline programme or timeline that sets out all the major milestones. From signing off the design to construction and handover.
  • A specific list of any assumptions or exclusions.
  • Terms and conditions including insurances, defects liability period and payment terms. Also, actions to take place if there is a dispute, etc.

On smaller projects, terms and conditions should be clear and simple and include these items.

  • Obligations of each party
  • Programme or timeline setting out start and completion dates
  • Reference to the specification or scope of works and costs
  • How variations are dealt with
  • Insurances
  • Payment
  • Snagging and retention
  • Defects liability periods
  • Disputes, default suspension or termination of contract
  • Any specific assumptions and exclusions

As mentioned above, the contractor should provide a detailed programme or timeline that sets out all major milestones. It should include the number of days for detailed design and obtaining statutory approvals. Plus outline time-frames for mobilisation, strip out, construction and handover.

The level of detail will often be subject to the size and complexity of the job. It’s likely you will be paying rates while the work is being completed. Therefore you require the work to be finished as quickly as possible. The construction period can be broken down into depicting when each trade should be on site.

This can then be monitored to ensure the commercial fit out project will be completed on time.

Regular meetings help ensure clear communication between all parties. This is vital to achieving a positive final result. Meetings should be held onsite with topics to discuss. There should also be minutes which include the following points.

  • Progress on site
  • Issues from a design or construction perspective
  • Changes that need to be considered
  • Information that needs to be provided
  • Health and safety issues
  • Costs and payment

If changes are made to the design, ensure they are costed and approved by you prior to being carried out. Never change the design or work being completed without knowing the cost implications. All onsite work must be completed to Australian Standards and Building Regulations.

If at any stage during your commercial fit out you believe obligations are not being met, voice this viewpoint. You should also seek clarification or evidence that these concerns are being addressed. This includes standard of workmanship, legal roles, payments and supply of materials and goods

Completing your Office Refurbishment

Handover information may vary depending on the type, size and complexity of the commercial fit out. Minimal information provided by the fit out company should include:

  • As installed drawings
  • Test certificates
  • Information on what materials have been supplied and how to look after them
  • Instructions and training on any equipment

At Divo Interiors we’ve been following a full project management process for 25 years when it comes to commercial fit outs. For that reason if you need a quality fit out company in the London area then you should look no further than Divo.

Please get in touch to discuss your refurbishment needs