How To Plan For Your Office Defit

A defit (or ‘strip out’) generally has two main purposes – either it’s at the end of a tenancy to return a space to its original state, or it’s as you move into a new space and get ready for your fitout.

Whichever reason you need to defit, here’s some planning tips – with advice from Warren Thorpe from Total Fitouts Wide Bay – so it runs as smoothly as possible.

What’s involved in a defit?

Depending on the space, requirements and the future fitout plans, it can include:

  1. Laying floor coverings or prepare floors for relaying
  2. Repairing ceilings, walls and carpet
  3. Re-painting
  4. Removing any installments like signage, partitions, shelving or light fittings
  5. Managing any demolitions
  6. Cleaning and removing rubbish
  7. General property maintenance – fixing loose fixtures, repairs, electrics, plumbing, air conditioning service report
  8. Fire extinguishers service report and log book

Warren explains “a defit changes depending on the requirements in the tenancy agreement, why we’re doing the defit and any maintenance issues that pop up, so your defit might have a couple, a few or all of those elements.”

How long does it take?

It’s completely dependent on the size of the property, location and what’s needed. On average, retail or commercial spaces take 2-5 days and offices take 1-2 weeks.

What do I need to do?

The process is a little different, depending on why you’re defitting. “If it’s to end a lease, we’ll be following your tenancy agreement requirements and restoring the space. Whereas if you’re defitting to refit, we’ll be getting the space ready in line with your floorplans, layout and design” advises Warren.

Every defit project is unique but here’s a quick overview of each process to give you some idea of how a defit works.

If you’re ending a lease:

  1. Review

Review the ‘make good’ clause in your tenancy agreement to see what’s required of you (if some of it doesn’t make sense, we can help guide you through it).

There’s often a lot of health and safety elements involved that seem complicated, but the experts are well versed in.

  1. Book your defit

Organise a site consultation to get a quote, timeline estimate and find out what’s needed for your space (for instance, access to skip bins, working hours etc). From there, we can lock in your defit team.

  1. Plan

Work backwards from the day you have to vacate the space – if you have to be out by the end of the month and your defit will take a week, you’ll actually need your stuff out 2 weeks prior. Include as much of a buffer as you can.

It’s also a polite thing to let your neighbours know what’s going on as there might be slight disruptions for them.

  1. Pack up

Pack and remove everything that’s going with you – you want the space empty or as clear as possible. (For the stuff you don’t want, try to recycle as much as possible!)

  1. Leave it to the experts

Once you’ve cleared out the space, let us do our thing and get the place spick and span!

If you’re defitting before you refit:

  1. Map out your dream space

Create your concepts of how you want your space to look and feel. Start looking at ideas, colours, themes and styles that you would like to incorporate. Warren recommends “hopping on Pinterest – it’s a great starting point for inspiration and to collate your ideas, and your look and feel”.

  1. Consultation

After you’ve mapped out your concepts, chat to the professionals to see what’s feasible. “Both structurally and financially” adds Warren. “This is also a great time to chat about timeframes, budgets and general requirements for your business to make the process as smooth as possible.”

  1. Hire your defit and fitout team

Lock in your fitout team so the project can officially kick off.

  1. Design your new space

Work with the team to design your space, including the technical designs.

  1. Submit plans for approval

You’ll need landlord and potentially building approval depending on the work being done before any type of construction can begin.

  1. Defit

Once we’re approved to start, we’ll defit, configure the layout and complete whatever else you need so it’s ready to be fitted out.

Next steps

If you need to organise a defit – for whatever reason – get in touch with us. We can help you through the process and make it as simple as possible.