AOFS Fit Out Blog

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Your Fitout Queries Answered

07 JUN 2022 | POSTED BY DIGITAL NEXT

Can I Get A Fit Out fast?

There are many factors that change how long a new fit-out takes. Every situation is unique although these factors can be roughly grouped into:

  • The Design Process   
  • The Property   
  • The Furniture & Fitout

How Long Should The Fit Out Design Take?

The answer to how long the fitout design process should take is a broad one. There are various ways this process can be taken. Here, we take a look at one example of each of the two extremes in which the operation can be taken.

Short And Reconfigurable 

The short and reconfigurable process is generally suitable for small and medium-sized enterprises that have offices with up to 100 people and not many special requirements in the fitout. 

It will begin with scoping and requirements discovery sessions with a core group of stakeholders; often the business owners, directors and senior management are involved. Layouts are produced by a professional designer or small design team. Usually, not a lot of consultation with the broader office staff is required as long as the key stakeholders are firmly in touch with the needs of the business. Furniture in these layouts should be modular, easily reconfigurable, and extensive customisation should be avoided. This approach may have advantages in our rapidly changing workforce as new additions, moves and changes are fast and minimally disruptive.  

Long And Custom

The long and custom approach is often required for larger corporate offices or specialist situations where the complexity of the organisation and any corporate requirements must be incorporated into the design.

This approach will include lengthy and thorough discovery and scoping sessions and could involve many team members and departments to understand and provide clarity for the requirements. It is not uncommon for the design team to spend time in the present office location observing current work habits, and room and work zone usage patterns. From there, extensive discussion around future usage and requirements. Obviously, it is still fine to use modular furniture for the final fitout, although the in-depth scoping does mean that a highly customised fitout can be installed with confidence. This is the premium fitout pathway comes at a significant cost in time and money.

Neither of these options are better or worse than each other, just different and excellent solutions in the right situations.

Which Properties Are The Fastest To Fit Out?

One of the largest time considerations with the property is the building work that will have to be done to make it suitable for occupation. Though this can be done relatively quickly when the office has existing walls and can be used “as is” or with only minor cosmetic changes such as repainting and adding new floor coverings.

Once you are carrying out new work or making modifications to an existing internal structure, you’ll need to obtain a CDC (Complying Development Certificate) which is not a lengthy process in itself, although can add time to a fitout. A CDC will likely mean things like fire service, air-conditioning and disabled access, which you weren’t intending to upgrade, have to be brought up to the required standard for compliance. All of this “additional” service work can add significant time to the project. 

How Does Furniture And Fitout Selection Change How Long The Project Takes?

The specified fitout in a design has a big influence on the length of time it takes to deliver and install. We have a lot of high quality modular furniture available in Australia which is often held in stock, which means there are shorter lead times and quick installation.

More innovative designs and systems means that you can still get a fit-out that complements your corporate brand while giving staff an inspiring environment to work in. Our proximity to manufacturing powerhouses in Asia means we are spoiled for choice in that regard. 

Local computerised manufacturing means that customised joinery and furniture is available relatively quickly if only using finishes and fittings that are in stock.

However, the use of more exotic materials, custom designs, finishes and fittings are where longer lead times can come into play, but we can all agree that the end result of a fully custom, designer specified interior can be extremely satisfying and the crowning jewel in corporate pride.

The question asked at the start was can we get the fit-out fast? The short answer is yes with a bit of give and take and smart choices.

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