How long does an office fit-out take?
The duration of an office fit-out is subject to the scope of work required. If your company only needs small alterations to the existing space, it might only take a matter of days. Larger projects, such as relocations, require more detail and consequently, can take longer.
It’s also important to remember that there’s often more to the fit-out than just the planning and construction of the workspace. A workplace that caters to the needs of your company, customers and staff requires a well-considered design and strategy.
As a rough guide, we would expect a £20k project to take around two weeks, a £100k project to take four to six weeks and a £1m project to take twelve to sixteen weeks. To find out the specifics for your project – get in touch here.
What factors influence the length of a fit-out?
Conditions & Restrictions
- Are the premises ready to occupy?
- Are the building systems (e.g. security, HVAC) sufficient? Does anything need repairing?
- Are there sufficient services such as small power and IT connectivity integrated into the building?
Design & Planning
- How complex is the scope of works being carried out?
- What modifications to the CAT A need to be made?
- Have you looked at fast-track procurement with your design and build company?
Size & Complexity
- Is the floorplan flat and rectangular or shaped?
- Will you be using an open plan or do you need cellular spaces made?
Procurement & Lead times
- What level of complexity do you require from your technology hardware?
- Do you require bespoke furniture or joinery?
- Are flooring and wall surfaces in stock from the supplier?
- Can long lead items be ordered now or only when other aspects are built?
Office Fit-Out Timeline
What are the steps in an office fit-out?
Identify needs and build a project team
In the early phases of your project, you’ll want to ascertain why you are undertaking the project in the first place. Are you looking to refurbish or relocate? Creating a project wishlist can be an excellent way of understanding your business needs. Building your management team (usually consisting of the principal heads of departments) and appointing an internal project leader will help ensure that all your company requirements are considered.
Undertake workplace consultancy
It’s essential to gain a keen understanding of your company, workplace and people before launching into designing a new one. A workplace consultancy enables you to assess and review how your people work, what types of work, and evaluate how you might improve on this within your new space. This can inform your building search by determining how much space you will need. Often, design and build firms offer this service (find out more here).
Search for new office space
Your search is dependent on what properties are available at any given moment that matches your requirements. Working with an agent can help expedite this process, ensuring you find the best space for your budget. They undertake a search for potentially suitable locations and advise you on the legalities. From this shortlist, you’re able to choose a site that best matches your budget and requirements.
Site Audit and requirements
An initial site survey includes a full assessment of the existing building measurements and features. Your brief should incorporate what you’d like to add in your interior design and fit-out. You may want to prioritise your list in case your budget determines that some can not be included.
One of the most crucial aspects of your project is your choice of design and build company. It’s recommended to work with a professional, experienced company that offers a comprehensive solution (rather than an own in-house team) as it will save you time, money, and a great deal of work. You’ll want a team that understands your business and has successfully worked on similar projects in the past.
Outline design documentation
Once appointed, your design and build company will get to work creating your design concepts. This becomes your design documentation, your brief for the project. This includes a proposed layout and floor plan; specification, costs and programme. The extent of this documentation is dependent on several factors. The size of the space, the complexity of the fit-out and the information available contribute to the level of detail required.
Detailed design documentation
Once you have your summary, you’ll need technical information such as the plans and elevations which outline the construction work required. The accompanying documentation will include joinery details plus electrical, mechanical and fire services. This information is necessary to provide a clear brief of what will be built. It’s also used for acquiring consent from the landlord.
You will require a licence of alteration from your landlord before works on-site commence. Planning or development applications are dependent on several factors. The project size and amount of works required, determine whether you need to planning approval. Your design and build specialist can advise if you need to request this approval.
The construction phase is dependent on the size of the space, how many offices and type of finishes. A typical open plan 200m2 space with one meeting room and standard finishes can be completed in four weeks. A 2000m2 workplace with offices and high specification can be completed in eight to ten weeks.
Handover & move in
When the time comes to move back into the new office, have your office manager host an orientation. This should address any of the significant changes in the new space, and give you a chance to celebrate in your new space.