Andrew Kneeshaw
Turn Key

Member Article

Top ten tips for refurbishment

As your business grows, refurbishment is a cost efficient way to make the most of existing office space, avoiding an expensive and often unnecessary relocation. Andrew Kneeshaw, Commercial Director of principal building contractor, Sanderson, offers his advice to SME’s on how to undertake a successful refurbishment project:

    1. PREPARE TO PLAN. It may not be possible to keep working whilst your refurbishment takes place so keep the project on a strict timescale. In a small business, lost working time means lost income so put together a detailed programme that will ensure work is completed on time and on budget.
    1. OBTAIN CONSENT. You need to ensure that all interested parties are kept informed and that you have obtained the correct consents. If you don’t have the budget to employ an architect, then it will be your responsibility to contact the local council, English Heritage (if it is a listed building), landlords, adjacent owners and licensing.
    1. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Completing building surveys before the project starts may seem like an unnecessary expense but it will ensure that any problems are identified early – saving valuable time and money later on.
    1. APPOINT A PROJECT MANAGER. It is important that you select a project manager to oversee the refurbishment. Most small businesses may not have the budget to employ an external site manager, so instead make use of the skills in your team and choose someone who is well-organised, confident and has good attention to detail.
    1. KEEP EVERYONE IN THE LOOP. A successful refurbishment project requires cooperation from all members of your business so make sure that everyone is kept informed throughout the work.
    1. SIGN A CONTRACT. To protect all parties involved, a Form of Contract should be agreed before starting work. You don’t need to incur the cost of a solicitor to draw this up; instead use the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT), which is a standard form of contracts, as a guideline and tailor this to your project.
    1. KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR BUDGET. The expense of a refurbishment can quickly add up, and as any small business owner knows, keeping the price down is imperative. All costs should be agreed before the project begins, but you should also have a contingency budget in case any problems occur.
    1. KEEP A DIARY. Ensure that a record is kept of the refurbishment, by writing a detailed diary of events and taking plenty of photos at all stages.
    1. COMMUNICATION IS KEY. Although most problems should be identified in the planning phases, changes may occur as the project progresses so make sure that these are communicated to the entire team as soon as they arise.
    1. PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL. Details can make or break a refurbishment project, so assess the quality of work on a regular basis and check that all finishes are executed to the highest standard – after all that’s what you are paying for!

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Turn Key .

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