How Long Will My Commercial Office Fitout Take?

Desperate for a new office fitout but wondering how long it will take?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Each office fitout is different based on the scope of work and factors such as tenancy status, approvals, budget, etc. Small alterations may only take a couple of weeks, while larger projects might take up to 18 weeks.

Regardless of the project, the Total Fitouts team will “try to keep the cost down as much as possible, finding cost effective solutions and keeping the project moving” assures Mick Moore, Total Fitouts Corporate Solutions Manager.

To help you get an idea of timelines, we’ve estimated an office fitout timeline, including process details, common delays and some key considerations to think about.

An overview of the office fitout process

  1. Project discussion & consultation

This includes:

  • Initial project discussion – including brief, timelines, location, existing site info and your vision
  • Onsite consult – a site inspection to review and measure site, finalise budgets and explain the specific fitout process for your space.

Estimated time: 1 week

Note: if you don’t have an office yet, it could take anywhere from 2-6 weeks to find and lease a space.

  1. Design

This includes:

  • Design brief, proposals and planning
  • Design reviews and sign off
  • Construction design and documentation review and sign off

Estimated time: 4 weeks

  1. Approvals

This includes:

  • Lodgement of any required approvals and building permits
  • Any State and project dependent approvals

Estimated time: 1-5 weeks

  1. Quote & contract

This includes:

  • Final detailed quote with all inclusions
  • Sign formal contract
  • Pay deposit

Estimated time: 1-2 weeks

  1. Project commences!

This includes:

  • Project ramp up – brief site and project teams, booking required inspections, ordering materials
  • Getting started!

Estimated time: 4-6 weeks

Based on the above process and time estimates, the average total time: between 12-18 weeks.

What affects the schedule?

As you can see, there are a lot of components and detail that goes into getting the job done. Some key elements that are going to determine the timeline:

  • Do you already have the office space or are you looking for a new space?
  • Are there sufficient services to the building (such as power, connectivity, etc)?
  • How complex the construction work is
  • Unusual tech, specialty or unique requirements
  • What’s discovered during the defit or strip out

Mick says, “the biggest challenge of a project is the unknowns – so it’s best to go in with an open and flexible mindset”.

Some of the common delays include:

  • Unforeseen building issues – such as safety issues, needing structural repairs, etc
  • Budget blowouts – when there’s an unforeseen issue, it often requires more money that has to be found
  • Approval processes

Tips to help the project run smoothly (and quickly!)

  1. Planning is key

The more detailed your planning, the better. Things often don’t run according to plan, but if you’ve made allowances for delays and considered the smaller details there’s less “Oh no! We forgot about…” moments.

Also be sure to consider elements such as internal stakeholder approvals – people may want to be involved, but by clearly outlining stakeholders at the start of the project, you won’t get caught up in bureaucracy down the track.

  1. Stay ahead of the project timeline

Assume things will take longer than expected, create buffers and have things ready to go for the next stage of the project.

If you need to order from suppliers or schedule services, do so early. You also don’t want to have contractors booked in without the materials they need.

  1. Purpose and priorities

By having a clear vision and understanding your purpose and goals, you’ll be able to prioritise more easily. (For example: whether it’s more important to get new desk chairs or update the kitchen sink.)

We’d recommend prioritising early on so that when unforeseen circumstances pop up, you’ll be able to adapt and make fast decisions by focusing on what’s most important to you.

Keep in mind that your Total Fitouts team will aim to get the job done as fast – and budget-friendly! – as possible.

For an estimate on how long your office fitout would take, get in touch with your local Total Fitouts team.