14 Essential Tips prior to appointing a Fitout contractor

The list of considerations when relocating or expanding your existing office space can seem a daunting task for any company, no matter the economic sector. A chance to re-evaluate the company’s new look, maximise team performance and maintain a positive and sustainable future. Follow these tips and deliver the seamless office fitout.

#1 – Team

Step one is to ensure the correct stakeholders are identified, a person with overall responsibility to make decisions, allowing the project to move forward with ease, focusing on the best interests of project delivery.

Further into the process, team appointments may be necessary depending on project size and complexity.

Studio Fourteen Tips and Logos#2 – Budget

Setting a realistic and achievable budget is primary consideration, ensuring design and project team costs are considered, not forgetting the 5-10% contingency figure for unplanned eventualities, particularly when refurbishing an existing office space. Work out respective costs of each category Shell & Core fitout/Category A/Category B as a comparison.

#3 – Location

Is your existing office space suitable size for expansion? Staff commutes sensible? Transport links? Client proximity considered? Building condition and appearance? Location is everything for a successful business operation no matter the sector. Budget may also tie into location considerations, as office rental costs vary considerably to location.

#4 – Draft Layout

Closely linked to location is layout, initial key processes, staff areas, welfare and storage must be identified to establish the required floor areas and thus correct infrastructure, for example a calculation often utilised is 1 person per 10m2 floor space.

14 Tips When Appointing a Fitout Contractor

#5 – Agent Appointment

Locating the office space is often a difficult task in itself, appointing the correct office agent can provide you many options logistically, rental cost, location and assist with achieving a great overall deal, let’s not forget the financial commitment to take on office space is usually long-term. A well-considered deal may release additional funds into the fit-out build costs.

#6 – Consultant Appointment

Consideration must be given to the mechanical and electrical infrastructure in each and every fitout, no matter the project size. Consultants are often key members of the delivery team on large scale office fitouts. Make the appointment if necessary.

#7 – Design Brief

At this point set out your vision, goals, branding, themes, style and any other considerations. The introduction of an interior designer will greatly assist at this point to bring all ideas together – not forgetting the company processes behind the vision.

#8 – Staff Opinions

Increase morale, a feeling of value in the business, take on constructive staff opinions which will add value to the project, carefully considering how best to approach the correct forum moving forwards.

#9 – Initial Layout

The production of initial layouts on plan, specific to building(s) identified previously, will see the scheme come to life, converting the list of requirements to an initial space plan, allowing the office layouts to be yet further considered in respect of team numbers and areas, inter-department communication, proximity of central services and building regulation compliance.

#10 – Revisit Team

The project information flow and decision making will now be increasing considerably, at which point specialist input may be required from internal staff to correctly assess and include the infrastructure into the design, for example IT, Branding, HR and Marketing.

#11 – Design Development

Now all stakeholder, staff, departmental and consultant team considerations have been collated, the interior designer will revisit the design, revising and coordinating accordingly, introducing fixed layouts, colour schemes, drilling down into the day-to-day tasks to ensure the space works on a practical level and budgets maintained.

#12 – Contractor Appointment

Selecting the right contractor is just as important as the process preceding this, an experienced, approachable and flexible fit-out contractor will deliver the site construction works efficiently and safely.

The Design/Consultant team may continue forwards to the construction stage or allow a competent contractor to deliver from hereon.

#13 – People

A successful working relationship is about people, sharing a common goal and enjoying the project delivery, be sure to allow this key consideration is not lost, as the project duration is on average 8-12 weeks.

#14 – Communication

A successful project cannot be delivered without clear and open communication for the duration of construction works and also following completion, it is as much about including internal stakeholders as well as dazzling the world externally.

Please feel free to contact Studio Fourteen if we can assist you with your next office move and providing advice to help you along the way.