10 tips for a stress-free fitout or refurbishment project.

  1. Advanced & Long-Term Planning

Clear and detailed planning is the biggest key to a stress-free project.  The more detail you give to the contractor when asking them to design and quote the better, this will help align it to your exact needs.

This is a good time to consider your long-term expansion plans, these can be incorporated into the fitout now to save costs when the time is required to expand.

  1. Set realistic deadlines

When commencing on a project like this, ensure you have worked backwards from your required completion date and share this with the contractor as soon as you engage with them, so they understand your requirements.

Ask the contractor as soon as you engage to give a clear schedule of how their processes work with timescales stated.  This will help you to keep the project on track without putting undue pressure on you and your team to meet the required deadlines.

  1. Find the right partner

It is key to find the right partner for the job.  You need to have trust and confidence that they can deliver the project on time, within budget, to satisfactory standard and without distraction to you and your business.

Its good to meet them at your premises and maybe even visit their premises and their current projects.  Speak to existing clients, check their experience within the industry and ask yourself, do they have all the necessary regulation and legislation knowledge and do they understand how your company works.

  1. Accurate budgeting

It is advisable to work out a budget for your project before you start engaging with any companies.  Whilst it may be only a guide and some fact finding will be required to reach a rough guide price for a fitout that reflects your ambitions, it will save you wasted time in engaging with contractors that are outside of your budget or unable to deliver on your expectations.

Some things to consider in your budget:

  • Costs associated with the move
  • Will you need to store any equipment or furnishings during the project?
  • The overall design of the fitout
  • The cost of the new furniture
  • IT & Telecommunications infrastructure
  • Any legal and professional fees

When gathering quotations, give as much information on how your business operates so they can get the design and brief to reflect this in the best way.  Once you have all the necessary quotations, use a pros and cons list to compare different companies and consider the total picture.  The cheapest isn’t necessarily the best option as it is could be they’ve missed elements out of the quotation or put forward inferior products.

Make sure the quotation covers off all possible costs so you can effectively budget for the fitout and not have to worry about unexpected costs down the line.

  1. Cover all possibilities – dot the ‘I’s and cross the ‘T’s

Ensure that the contractor has covered off all areas of concern and that any elements of work they are not undertaking is clearly stated.

Check you are happy with all the terms of contract before you sign off the project.

  1. Work with employees and clients

If your business is client-focused, your office means first impressions count.  Things to keep in mind are: comfort and engaging reception areas and decorations such as artwork or plants.

All through the process of the office fitout, you need to keep your employees engaged but not distracted.  Communication is the key for this – a weekly email bulletin to showcase photos of the rapidly changing spaces help to keep them on board for the changes ahead.

  1. Sign off all designs and finishes before the project commences

Its key to get all necessary parties together before the designs, layouts and finishes are confirmed so everyone is on the same page.  Once it is agreed upon, they can be signed off, so this gives the contractor the clear direction on how to proceed without causing any unnecessary delays during the project duration.

  1. One person leading the project

Rather than have multiple persons involved in liaising with the contractor, it is key to have one point of contact with the contractor and for any other parties wanting to give their comments or ideas on any element of the refurbishment.  Communication is key on projects like this, so it helps to keep a clear line of communication.  Also, with too many persons involved, it can become overwhelming with ideas and changes coming in too late down the line causing stress.

  1. Declutter

Moving premises or undergoing a refurbishment is a perfect opportunity to take a long hard look at your storage needs!  Maybe work out how many linear metres of storage space you already have – does it need to be in the offices, or can it be in an archive room out of sight?  Are your staff making the best use of their desk space?  Can part time staff desk share with another part time staff?  Maybe consider going paperless?

  1. Check the small print

Double check all legal issues – either get a professional involved or spend time to go through the detail with a magnifying glass.   All the below items are to be considered before any works commence for the project to run smoothly.

Some things to consider:

  • Check your existing lease terms
  • Are you moving to a listed building?
  • Will you require planning permission?
  • Will you require building regulations?
  • Is it within a conservation area?
  • Do you need to obtain landlords consent for alterations?

If you wish to learn more about successful projects or discuss your project further please contact us on 08456 595911 or view our projects page https://accentoffice.co.uk/projects/