We’ve all seen The Block and other renovation shows, where the new norm is to deliver your bathroom or kitchen renovation in less than a week! Its amazing what producers can do when editing for TV!
So what are the factors that need to be considered, when not on TV!?!
A question we get asked all the time when it comes to working on our interior fit out projects, is “How long does it take……?” Interior fit outs and in particular (mall based) retail fit outs have been compressed to the point where 4 weeks, including mobilization and store set up are integrated, take out public holidays and restricted working hours and we’re looking at about 21 days.
The only way a store can be built in 21 days is with impeccable planning. As I am sure everyone in the industry knows, the project is only as good as its preparation – and this goes not only for the contractors and suppliers, but the design and detail, as well as how well the project is managed.
Taking a step further back, most of our retail projects run a lifecycle of around
12 – 16 weeks depending on their market segment and to be honest, the clients ability to negotiate their lease to facilitate time prior to commencement on site! This is broken down with around 5 – 6 weeks for design, planning and decision making, 2 weeks to tender, 4 weeks on site – with a week of contingency in there if we’re lucky!
[Technically we should allow the same amount of time offsite prior to the project starting, for production of joinery, fixtures etc – but this rarely happens]
Cost + Quality
The message that many of you may have heard before, the more time allowed to work on the project prior to getting on site, the better. The further you get down the renovation process, the more expensive changes become – so good planning allows for good outcomes, as well as commercial outcomes!
To speed up this process not only starts to compromise the deliverables – it is usually from one area – cost, time or quality. The old rule of choosing two of these factors rings true today! Quality at the right cost takes time. Quick projects will deliver on quality at a cost. Consider your priorities.
Cost is the number one challenge we face as designers every day. It’s always one of the factors in decision making, as a space comes together. The one area that needs to be considered is where capital investment is offset by ongoing operational expense or maintenance. This is becoming more relevant with lighting, equipment and signage – basically electrical components. The outlay may be up front, but the operating costs will look better on the bottom line.
Another question that we are asked often, is ‘should we source some or all of our fit out from offshore?’ There are significant savings when sourcing joinery and fixtures offshore, however the reward comes with higher risk than local sourcing.
Prospace has been operating in Asia now for over a decade and the one lesson we have learnt time and time again, is that low cost joinery and fixtures need to be delivered in volume and without compression on timelines – otherwise the deliverable will not meet standard expectations. These simple reward/risk ratio’s apply –
Local Supply Low Risk vs High Price
SE Asia Supply Medium Risk vs 20% saving – on single store volumes
China Supply High Risk vs 30% – 50% saving – on multiple store volumes
Time also becomes a factor on these supply chains, as depending on the time of year and your supplier or manufacturer, volume and or relationships will dictate your priority for production.Similarly with the consolidation of shopfitters and joinery workshops in Australia and New Zealand in recent years, we are seeing demand based pricing creeping into what was a fairly stable industry.As a brief overview to some of the potential questions you may have ahead of a new build or renovation – if you have more, feel free to touch base!