Five common office fit out mistakes
1. Not planning an accurate budget
A lot of businesses just starting out or even experienced managers will just get an initial estimate from their general contractor and worry about the cost of a fit out as the job goes. Being in the dark about costs associated with the interior fit-out of an office is a recipe for disaster. Costs can escalate and exceed the initial estimates unexpectedly. To avoid this, plan out a budget beforehand with the project manager and stakeholders… and stick to it!
2. Thinking that all contractors are the same
A lot of contractors specialize in different areas, or have experience with different projects. Find out which contractor suits you the best by arranging an initial meeting or interview. Some points to note in that interview:
- Have they done similar projects before?
- What were the results?
- Who are the key stakeholders that will be involved in the project and what are their varying areas of expertise?
- Is there a right balance between cost, time, scope of work promised and other factors such as sustainable practices?
3. Assuming that the landlord is unlikely to have any house rules
In a previous blog, we discussed the importance negotiating with your landlord before finalising an office lease agreement. Not knowing or understanding some of the fine print in the agreement with a landlord can prove to be serious barriers to a project’s completion by impacting timescale and costs. For example, the fit-out contractor may be obliged to only work outside normal business hours, may not be permitted to use the lifts for bringing in materials or furniture and may have restrictions on delivery times and noisy working.
4. Not including enough power points or data points
One of the most easily preventable issues that occur during a fit out is realizing there’s not enough power points or data points. It’s important to ensure that there’s always a minimum of two power points at any work station. Understanding and planning for this prior to the fit out should be an easy task but it’s forgotten all too often.
5. Trying to manage the entire fit out project without outside help
No matter how experienced a project manager is, they can always benefit from external advice. By utilizing skilled professionals who have the right blend of skills can result in optimal productivity and facilitate a smooth fit out.
Again, it is best to set up an initial meeting to get a feel of the professionals you’re seeking advice from. Taking advice from less experienced companies or ill-informed people can also lead to problems. It is important that the company you’re talking to has all the necessary qualifications as well as a proven track record for the services you require.