You might have found the dream location and office space for your business. Now it’s time to select a fitout builder that suits the requirements for your project. However, not every fitout is not completed the same; there are 3 so-called different delivery methods that have their advantages and disadvantages for you, being the customer. In this article, we’ll explain your options and help you select the best delivery method for your fitout project.

Design and construction

Probably the most popular delivery model in Australia today; the design and construct method. With this option the designer and head contractor are hired as a team or are within the same company. Many contractors have an internal design team or head contractors will hire an interior designer. With this method, there’s only one contract between the head contractor and the client. This model is very popular, as contractors will have improved communications between the design team and the actual builders delivering the project. One key benefit of this delivery method is the flexibility in change order requests. Compared to the other delivery methods, design construct is by far the most flexible fitout delivery method.

When should you choose a design and construct structure?

  • When you have project with a tight deadline
  • When you want to have minimal involvement as a client
  • When you have highly technical fitout project that requires a lot of communication between contractor and designer

Construction management

With this delivery method, the construction manager is engaged early on in the process. Sometimes tenant representatives are offering these services. They act as a consultant to the client and as negotiate with the head contractor and project manage on behalf of the client. The construction manager typically caries some financial risk because of the guarantee the client a set price for the fitout project. The client typically has 2 contracts, 1 with the designer and 1 with the with the construction manager. The construction manager engages subcontractors and has the responsibility to deliver the project to the satisfaction of the client.

When should you choose a construction management structure?

  • When you don’t want any budgetary surprises but rather have a fixed budget
  • When you want select multiple contractors to do the work
  • Fitouts that are on a tight deadline

Lump-sum tender

This delivery method is a fitout process that is linear and straightforward; the client themselves engages with an interior designer who completes a design and documentation. The construction process gets started with a tender. A head contractor is engaged to complete the project. Typically, the head contractor doesn’t have input into the design, they will bid on the project based on the information that is provided. The head contractor who promises to complete the project within the budget and meet all the requirements typically win the job. The lump-sum fitout delivery method is a very popular method as its very familiar to everyone. Additionally, contractor involvement, contracts and payments are straightforward.

When should you choose a lump-sum tender structure?

  • When you have project with a tight deadline
  • When you want to have minimal involvement as a client
  • When you have highly technical fitout project that requires a lot of communication between contractor and designer

Fitout Delivery Methods Comparison

Design and build
Construction management
Lump-sum tender
  • Hire a designer and contractor as a team
  • Custom fitouts
  • Projects with limited budget
  • Client hires a consultant to manage the project
  • Client has multiple contracts
  • Can be fast-tracked
  • Project manager is involved financially
  • Designer administers fitout contract
  • Head contractor engaged after designer
  • Contracts with designer and head contractor
  • Designer adminsters fitout contract
  • Perfection takes time
Common project types
  • Best suited for fitouts with time restraints
  • Client has 1 contract
  • Maximum time to complete
  • Easy for clients
  • Fitout project with short timeline
  • Specialised fitouts
  • Large scale fitouts
  • Fixed budget
  • Competitively tendered fitouts
  • Public and private industry
  • Design documents
  • Fixed budget
  • Great communication
  • Flexibility
  • Head contractor is there at the start of the project
  • Can be fast-tracked
  • contracts with project manager and designer
  • Ease of construction – added value
  • Competitive tender
  • Most common process
  • Set project cost
  • Price is suseseptable to change
  • Client may feel left out
  • No resistance between design and contractor
  • Can’t be adversarial
  • Client needs to knowledgable
  • Less Competitive in tender process
  • Can’t be fast-tracked
  • Possible challenges in construction process
  • Not flexible
  • Can’t be adversarial

Need help with your office fitout project?

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