None of us are perfcet. But that doesn’t mean you should accept anything less than a banging office that is anything less than, well, banging. We wouldn’t allow it. We couldn’t. An office design company has a responsibility to take any imperfections in their works and fire them into the sun.
Or at least do a bit of snagging and make good. Here’s what what you need to know about this stage of the office refurbishment process:
A. What is snagging anyway?
Like when you meet with the inventory guy at the end of a tenancy, snagging is the process of inspecting your office for any defects. These may seem small at first, but we guarantee they will keep you up at night. Snags could include scratched paintwork or missing hinges, but could also be more serious, such as wrongly fitted sinks, toilets or cracked walls.
The first period of snagging usually takes place a couple of weeks before practical completion and is built into the project programme. Your office design company should compile a list detailing all defects, and ensure things are all buffed out before the handover.
You can then rest assured that you’re moving into a place where all the nooks – and all of the crannies – have been meticulously pored over and given the nod of approval.
B. How long is a typical defects period?
So, the initial snagging has taken place, and you’ve reached practical completion with all the known issues sorted out. Now the defects period kicks in. This is a length of time written in the contract for when the office design company is still liable for dealing with snags at their own expense. It’s like a warranty period for your new office and can be anything from 6 to 12 months.
But watch out for latent defects. These are the ones that have been lying concealed within the works, like a shrimp behind the radiator, which can only be found when something begins to smell. Your contractor may still be liable for these defects years after the fact, but it’s up to you to check the contract to see whether it allows for a latent defect period.
C. What are your rights and responsibilities as a client?
We’re suckers for commitment. When a client chooses us as their office design company, you may as well stick a big ring on our finger and pledge your undying love. That’s how significant we see the between you and your office design company.
And when we’re finished? Just like Gwyneth Paltrow, we’re going to consciously uncouple with you and reminisce about the good times. This means occasionally visiting to see what you’ve done with the place, complain about your music taste (Coldplay is dead), and note down any defects we need to sort out.
Yup, your contractor isn’t off the hook yet. As the client, you have the right to ask them to do a full survey and a responsibility to give them a reasonable amount of time to fix any defects. You can even provide them with a list of the ones you have found. Although remember, you ain’t no rockstar. That window you broke because you thought throwing a computer monitor out of it would put an end to the fourth hour of the finance meeting – that isn’t on us.
The great news is that you’re not liable for any costs the contractor accrues in making good during the liability period. But make sure you’re using the same company as written in the contract – this commitment works both ways, and they’re not going to shell out for another contractor’s work.
You may want to write a retention into the contract to take into account the defects liability period. Once this period finishes, and a ‘Certificate of Making Good’ is issued (basically saying that all defects are ironed out), this final part of the fee is paid to the contractor.
They can then be released into the wild, only to reappear to gate-crash your office parties or boast that they knew your company before you became famous.
D. What should you expect from your office design and build contractor
Well, first off, you should expect them to do their damn job – and do it right the first time.
Nothing annoys us more than a contractor not taking pride in their work. It’s like a baker who sets fire to the cake and covers it up with mountains of icing.
People have to eat that cake, every day, Monday-to-Friday. A whole community of hard-working people is dependent on that cake. Clients judge you on your cake. We mean office.
No amount of icing will fix what is essentially a bad job.
A good office design company snags as they go, and sorts out any defects when you bring them to their attention during the liability period. This means you get a perfect office handed over when they said they would, rather than dragging it out.
Sure, there may be some tiny issues that can be buffed out, but at least no one is drilling in the kitchen when the celebratory muffins are being handed out.
Now you know what snagging is and what it’s not. Go ahead and plan your office refurbishment with confidence. But, if you want a no snagging guarantee, get in touch. We leave no stone unturned to deliver perfect offices, and we always stay in touch with our clients to make sure everything is tip-top. You can find out what our clients think here.