Office Fit Out Project Timeline

Typical Project Timeline for standard 5,000 sq ft office move

Project Timeline to move from lease expiry date including design and fitting out stage, site selection and review period of office spaces.

One of the most common mistakes with any office relocation, is starting to plan too late, either evaluating your office rental needs, selecting the best office leasing agent to find the right offices for rent, selecting contractors / designers etc.

An office move can take months, even after selecting the office space for rent and a lease has been signed. Most tenants will work back from their lease expiry date, making allowance for moving out of their current space early, to factor in sufficient time to reinstate. However, many tenants still take are too an optimistic view over the time schedule when dealing with offices for rent, which leads to serious complications later.

To reinstate your current office premises can take between 2-6 week and fitting out usually takes 1-3 months. Ordering of materials before fitting out can take over 1 month and settling the legal paperwork can take longer than many expect. Before you know it you are already behind schedule so it is essential to be well prepared. On average you should start to plan your office relocation 7-12 months in advance, depending on the size of your requirement.

When delays happen, many tenants try compressing the schedule. Trying to make up for lost time or a late start by reducing the allotted time for completion is very dangerous. It is important to plan for enough time to allow each vendor to complete his task as agreed. Your designer planned for this project, based on information you provided during your competition. They were selected based in part on their ability to get the project completed on time and on budget. Now, you must reduce the available time because of some schedule slippage caused by another vendor or unforeseen event. How can your designer get the same quality job done in less time? One way is by throwing extra bodies at the project. Another is by working overtime (longer days, double-shifts and weekends). You can’t expect your designer to eat this additional cost, since it is beyond their control. They will expect to be paid extra for this. If you decide to play tough guy and refuse to pay for the overtime your schedule slippage has caused, your designer’s only defense is to treat your project as a loss leader. This means that will take their A-Team off the project, replacing them with less experienced employees who earn less money. Now, you have placed your project at risk.

General contractors are notorious for compressing parts of the construction schedule. If they can’t obtain their permit to close up the walls, they will spend the time installing ceiling tiles. While this sounds like they are making good use of their time while maintaining their OVERALL schedule, think about how this one change will affect other vendors. Your cabling vendor will have far less time to install the cabling than planned. Who pays for their overtime? If the carpet is delayed, you already know how other vendors are affected. Will the general contractor pay for the overtime required of the furniture vendor, cabling vendor, and telephone System vendor? Even his small actions have major consequences.

The above is an extract from one of our Tenants Guides: Seven Deadly Sins – when moving office space and how to avoid them (also found under our Tenants Resources link) and illustrates the importance proper planning for new commercial offices for rent.