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What is a commercial fit-out?

How To Minimise Your Costs And Maximise Your Productivity

October 27, 2023
sustainable construction with metal buildings

The Old Admiralty (Ripley Building) as we know it was completed in 1726 and was the first purpose-built office building. Since that time, office buildings have come a long way, adapting to new working styles and technology. This evolution was achieved through a series of commercial fit-outs focused on ensuring the interior of a commercial building is fit for purpose, which covers the decorating and furnishing of the building along with electrical and mechanical needs.

According to Axis Europe:

“a fit-out is a general term for changes to the interior of a property. This may involve a complete refurbishment to upgrade an interior, a conversion to change the use of a commercial property.”

Common Commercial Fit-Out Mistakes

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Rushing Through The Planning Stage

Planning allows everyone involved in the project to understand the steps involved for successful completion. Plans are frequently written and shared with each team member; this helps ensure that when in the action phase of the project, each team member understands what they should be doing, and what they will be doing next.

Planning within the construction field is imperative, as inadequate planning can cause a slew of problems leading to delays and cost overruns. These are, of course, two things that any business owner would want to avoid. At the start of the planning stage, it is beneficial to consult with commercial fit-out contractors regarding the steps involved, the difficulty of the project and the projected cost of the project. This helps the project owner to be realistic about the timeframe and the cost associated with their specific project.

Choosing the Wrong Office Layout

Working within an office environment can encourage collaboration amongst staff members, which can boost productivity and increase morale. Depending on the type of business that is to be situated in the space, productivity and collaboration can be impacted positively or negatively by the office layout. Recent studies have shown that open-concept office plans actually affect productivity and worker health in a negative way due to noise levels, stress, and more. These factors often cause business costs and employee turnover to rise. As a business owner, it’s important to consider these factors when deciding on the layout of the space.

Not Enlisting a Team of Fit-out Professionals

Doing it yourself can be cost-saving if the you’re knowledgeable about how to tackle the project and understand what to do if problems arise. If that isn’t you, don’t even bother! DIY mistakes can be very costly and cause delays when you actually call in a contracting professional to fix your mistakes. Construction of any type is also dangerous even for the most experienced professionals, so play it safe and hire a team of pros.

But that doesn’t mean you should trust just anybody who calls themselves a contractor. It is important to do your research on any contracting firm you choose to work with. Ensuring that you have read customer testimonials, informing you about what your experience is likely to be with this firm. If they are getting tons of negative feedback it would be beneficial for you to find a contractor that has a higher proportion of satisfied customers; this, after all, allows you to avoid making the same mistakes yourself.

Additionally, it is important to make sure that the contracting firm that you are communicating with online is a legitimate business and not an online scam. You can perform a free and quick check on Companies House. If you are able to find the business there, it is a legitimate business registered with the government. Companies House also shows information such as when the company was incorporated.

Inadequate Lighting

Lighting within an office can seem like a balancing act, as having your office too dim can lead to eye strain, fatigue, headaches, stress and accidents. Too much light can be equally as disastrous and employees will be impacted by too much glare from the lighting, which can also lead to headaches and stress. Lighting issues can be quashed by speaking to a design professional who will be able to advise which type of lighting would be best for your individual office space.

Bad Airflow

Bad airflow within your office can lead to inconsistent temperatures, which can cause your staff to experience discomfort which may lead to a reduction in productivity and staff morale. Additionally, if the office is not well-ventilated the moisture that we all breathe out and sweat every day will sit in the air, causing the relative humidity (RH) levels of the space to increase. According to Heat Space And Light Ltd, if the level of moisture is too high within a room people will start to suffer from issues relating to mould, bacteria and mildew. These factors can cause health issues such as:

  • Asthma
  • Respiratory problems
  • Sore throats and congestion
  • Allergies

Ineffective Budgeting

Imagine this: you have made significant changes to your office and suddenly you run out of money! Your office environment is full of building supplies and it is not suitable to work in. This can cause your business increased hardship by not having the office space available to conduct regular business to gain the appropriate budget for your build.

This nightmarish scenario can be avoided by ensuring that you have a good estimate of how much money your office fit-out is going to cost. This comes back to asking industry experts for input at the start of the planning process, they will be able to give you an estimate of how much money your project is going to cost. This gives you the opportunity to scale back your plans to reduce costs before you start ordering materials and getting boots on the ground.

Set yourself up for a successful office fit-out

To conclude, organising a commercial fit-out for your office does not need to be overwhelming, there is a wealth of information out there from both the internet and experienced construction professionals. This information will help you plan realistic targets for both the timescale you expect the project to be finished and how much you expect the project to cost. Additionally, you can also read stories of when commercial fit-out projects did not go to plan, this allows you to learn from the mistakes of others and avoid making them yourself.

Author bio:

Ross Thornton is a freelance writer who graduated from the University of York in 2019 with a Journalism and Publishing degree. He enjoys writing about a range of topics, from health improvement to home renovation, and loves researching the latest news and updates.

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