Let’s talk about the ‘B’ word
When it comes to commercial interior design and fitout, you can’t go past the ‘B’ word. It’s an integral part of the process and will actually steer the end result without you knowing it.
What’s the ‘B’ word I hear you ask? Budget, budget, budget, my friend.
Some people hate it and avoid it whenever possible. The Bellfort Poohbah loves it and has been known to consider it a work of art – can you believe it! And our crazy designer loves a restricted budget as she reckons it stretches her brain to make a little look like a million bucks. What?
So how do you work out your budget?
I wish I had a dime for every time a client has said they have no idea of what their intended commercial fitout and design will cost. Bolony is the first thing that comes to my mind and don’t get all uppity on me. Bolony is not a swear word!
The truth is, while people may not know what a commercial interior fitout may cost them, they usually have an inkling of what they don’t want to spend.
So…the trick is to establish this conundrum up front and then everyone can work their way towards the happy middle.
A few budget factors to consider for any commercial design and fitout are:
- Landlord contributions – in this day and age, most lease agreements will include some contribution from the landlord. Whether it be a rent incentive or contribution, everything is going to work in your favour so look at the details carefully and sign up for what works best for you.
- New vs Old – many people think that huge savings can be made by re-using existing loose furniture, joinery and in some cases, partitioning elements such as gyprock and glass. Well…if your glass meets code, there is a possibility it could be used. Gyprock walls just need to be binned because they have to be demolished for removal. And often furniture will not fit a new commercial interior without costly modifications. It’s always a good idea to tell your fitout professional that you want to re-use certain things up front. That way it is way easier to make sure they will fit. You may also like to read some additional information from our 10 successful steps to your commercial fitout blog.
From budgette to budget
So you have found a commercial tenancy to suit your business and you find that the funds available equate to you having a budgette – a mere shadow of the budget you actually need to get the job done. What are you going to do?
Panic is not an option in Baxter’s eyes so don’t even go there. Having asked around the office, my helpful colleagues offered the following ideas for consideration:
- Stage the works. It just might be that you don’t need to accommodate 20 workstations within your tenancy if you only have 12 seats to fill now. As long as the product you are installing isn’t going to be discontinued, it shouldn’t be a problem.
- Reassess what areas you want to make focal points within your commercial interior and cut back if required. It could be that your reception area will be the only face a client will see so don’t over-cook areas if you don’t need to.
- Consider options for feature areas that suit your budget best. A hand-woven wallcovering may look beautiful however, a painted wall may provide the same effect if you are confident enough to play with colour and finish. This is where a fitout professional’s advice will be invaluable.
Bellfort loves to stretch it’s client’s dollars in every way possible. Bellfort also believe that quite often, best value for money occurs when budgets are tight. Am I blowing the Bellfort trumpet here? Sure as heck am!
So what happens when you think you’ve blown your budget? Take a deep breath and get all of your facts straight before you commence meltdown.
First port of call should be to talk through any concerns or problems you have with your fitout contractor. They are, after all, the professionals in this field and are basically spending the money you have allocated towards the project. Lay everything out so you can review the financial story of your commercial interior design and fitout. Often when the overall picture is seen, there are avenues of savings or modifications that can be accommodated that will bring the dollars back in line. You may like to read more information about the processes regarding commercial fitout by reading our How we do it page. And keep in mind that if your contractors are not flexible enough to work with your budget, they are probably not the right contractors for you.
So there you go. The ‘B’ word isn’t all that bad, hey? Just don’t let it get away from you, and make it work to suit you, not anyone else. And that’s million dollar advice from Baxter today.
I’m off to count my pennies…but if you would like to be added to our mailing list and receive my posts, click on the subscribe box below.