Plan your next renovation with this office fitout checklist

The key to any successful office fitout is in the planning. We’ve put together this step by step guide to help you achieve a stress free office fitout that actually sticks to your budget. Keep these steps in mind when you’re discussing your proposed fitout with your fitout specialist and main stakeholders.

Step 1

Do you need to move?

It’s common to assume your business needs a new space as soon as you’re starting to feel growing pains, whether that be a lack of meeting rooms, cramped spaces, and a kitchen that’s obviously overcrowded during lunch. But it’s important to outline the main goals of your move and keep those objectives in mind as you investigate new spaces or whether you can do a fitout of your existing space. Ask yourself do you need to move or could you get a better deal negotiating where you are? Building owners may offer incentives such as an office fitout or renovation for you to stay.

Step 2

Assemble your fitout team

Get your team together. Find the right people in your business to help make decisions, get creative with your space, and crunch numbers. This stakeholder team will be responsible for the move and keep it organised, within budget, and ensure decisions are made for the better of your business. Hiring a fitout specialist can remove the burden of sourcing furniture and contractors, not to mention provide valuable recommendations on how to achieve a functional and beautiful space.

Step 3

Select a location

If you’re making a big suburb move, chat to your staff early on about any implications they’d face with a location change. While this may not be applicable for a larger business, your team will appreciate the consideration and transparent notice.  

Step 4

Establish the square metres you will need

Work out how much area your office space needs. Depending on who you talk to, you’ll be told anything from 6.5m2 to 18m2 per person. Forecast your spatial requirements for the duration of your lease, including any projected growth to your headcount.

Step 5

Sort out your legal information

Engage your legal team, whether internally or externally. This is when you’ll start comparing leases and start the negotiating process. Ensure your legal team look over finalising your old lease if you are moving, and sort out any makegood obligations you face.

Step 6

Engage your interior designer

Using a one-stop office fitout specialist will cover your interior design creative, planning, and budgeting. You can share any inspiration your business has with your envisioned space, along with your company values and principles to create an office interior that’s cohesive with your brand.

Step 7

Finalise design and needs

Meet with a fitout specialist to finalise your design, scope of work and any specific needs and finishes you require so both parties can come to a final agreement on timelines, budget and overall vision for the space.

Step 8

Authority approvals

Deliver your chosen office design to your building manager and into council or Private Certifier for approval if it is required. You can only submit plans to council along with required paperwork after the owners of the property have approved your plans and all parties have signed the lease. If you require a Development Application (DA) via your council, allow for a longer period of time and make sure this doesn’t run into any crucial periods that could disturb your business.

Step 9

Finalise a quote for fitout

Obtain comparable quotes on your chosen office design from selected fitout contractors. Ask for the quotes to be broken down so you can see exactly what you are getting so you can compare apples to apples. You should not award the project to a contractor on price alone; you need to feel you can trust the contractor you choose and know their vision aligns with your own.

Step 10

Dilapidation report

Take photos of your space before the fitout and conduct a written Dilapidation Report. It may warrant having an independent company come in at this stage to do the dilapidation report for you. When the lease is up, and you’re required to return it to base building condition, you don’t want to face any unexpected costs and legal battles.

Step 11

Commence your fitout

It’s time to really get things started! While your office fitout gets rolling, your chosen specialist will maintain regular contact with you and pass on any relevant checkpoints and issues.

Step 12

Update your internal documents

Get your stakeholder team to start modifying your current occupational safety and health policies to reflect changes in the new site. This is also a good time to start updating your contact information for all suppliers, clients, postal systems, email signatures, and your website.  

Step 13

You’re nearly there…

When the office fitout is complete, apply for an occupancy certificate. Until you have this document, you won’t be able to occupy the site. You’ll also want to undertake a defects inspection and let your know fitout specialist know if there any items you’re not completely happy with.

And you’re done! While other issues may pop up during your fitout, this baseline checklist will give you an outline of all the things you need to consider during this important time for your business.