When it comes to office refurbs, there’s not a lot we haven’t seen. However, if you want one single piece of advice about how to deliver your refurb without getting stressed out to the max, it’s to put together a detailed programme of works.
Before you start effing and jeffing about budgets, contracts and getting the right interior designer, sure, they’re essential too. But, your programme of works is where an office refurb team shows its experience. It’s where the detail counts and where the excellent fit out teams – like us by the way – show they know their business.
Don’t believe me. Here are 7 reasons why you should carefully map out a programme of works for your project before the builders move in:
1. It establishes time boundaries
One of the main benefits of a programme of works is it shows how feasible your timeline is. It details how much time you’ve allowed for every task. Knocking down walls, painting ceilings, installing toilets, ordering the broadband connections – the list is endless and it’s all included.
This means we can tell you at the outset how long your project will take and set the timelines for an agreed completion date. However, we can also show you what will happen to the timeline if you make design changes mid-project too.
2.It helps you to understand your budget
When you’ve ironed out the time scale, you can then better understand the overhead costs and why the budget is the way it is. There are always lots of hidden costs such furniture storage, parking bay closures and rubbish removal that can quickly be forgotten. The longer the project, the more these costs start to stack up, so it’s essential to get a grip on the timeline early doors.
This is where our long experience in office refurbs helps. We know how long a strip out will take and the timescales for getting your licence to alter agreements in place. We put it all in infinite detail into a programme of works so you can understand too. Hey, why not learn from our experience and, ahem, some mistakes also.
3.Who’s doing what?
The programme of works is also a useful way of letting everybody in the refurb team know what they’re responsible for and when. This includes things like getting access to the building at certain times, or making sure your air con maintenance team is booked in week one if you want them on site in week 3, and so on.
It’s likely to mean jobs for you too. Even though we take care of pretty much everything, even down to tea and biscuits for our regular site meetings, there will still be actions for you, such as choosing the final shade of stain for your wooden flooring. These will all be on the programme of works.
4.Mapping out the milestones, or the ‘Critical Path’
A programme of works visually maps out the key milestones of a refurb project. It shows how they will be reached by identifying the necessary sequence of tasks, sometimes referred to as the ‘critical path’. Sounds a bit military, but then proper project management needs to be efficient and well drilled. Sir, yes Sir.
The programme of works keeps everyone in the loop so they know which tasks they should be working on and which ones they should be planning for next to stay ‘on programme’.
5.Helps with communication
If we want the sparks in on Tuesday, the painters painting on Wednesday and the desks installed on Thursday, we need a document to help coordinate and communicate these tasks. A document that everyone on the team – including you, our client – understands is vital.
The includes plenty of site meetings and opportunities for you to provide feedback too. You’ll want to let us know ASAP if the CEO wants to change the main feature wall colour from eggshell to captain Nemo blue in plenty of time.
So it is that the programme of works is a crucial, living, breathing communication tool. It helps everyone understand what’s what in the planning and delivery of your office refurb.
6.Reduce the chances of misunderstandings
It’s always a good idea to reduce the chances of a misunderstanding with refurbishment projects. The programme of works outlines the expectations of the whole project team, from labourer to project manager, plumber to the client. Everyone understands what’s expected of them, so there’s less chance of a fu… screw up.
But please don’t misunderstand, there will be misunderstandings as we deliver the project. However, we can minimise the misunderstandings, if we get a clear understanding of who’s doing what and when using a programme of works. Understood?!
7.Planning the resources in your work schedule
OK, so here’s the final point. You’ve got to love a listicle, right?
Every refurb project needs resources. Not just, time, money and expertise, but materials too. Some of these you can pick up very quickly, like paint and plaster. However, others have long lead times. You know that designer boardroom table the FD loves, it has an eight week lead time on delivery, so that needs planning in and ordering early on.
Don’t forget the tiny details too, such as the artwork and planting for the communal areas, the choice of air freshener for the lavs and so on. They all need planning and ordering in good time. There’s a sh*t load of stuff that goes into a refurb project, so best to get it all mapped out.
So there you have it, seven reasons why you need a programme of works for your office refurb project. Get in touch with our team here if you want us to show you a few examples and to talk about your project. Go on, take advantage of our experience. We’ll even trade it for a cup of builders and a chocolate hobnob at your offices if you like.