5 Shopfitters’ Building Terms Made Easy

There are so many commonly used pieces of “shopfitter jargon” to get to know when undertaking a commercial fitout project.

Here are 5 explained in a practical way:

Contract Documents:

These are the working drawings completed by an architect or building designer or similarly qualified person from which the builder will build the project.

Added to the drawings, there needs to be a specification document which outlines details of all of the finishes, fittings, etc.

It is these documents that form part of the contract between the client and builder.


Another term for “Approval”.

It means that an independent approved person, the Certifier, checks and approves the building work to ensure it complies with the health, safety and sustainability standards set down by law and in Australian building codes.

A Certificate of Approval is then issued,

Practical Completion:

This is a stage in the project when the building work is substantially complete.

There may be a very small amount of minor work to be done, say, some defects or minor unfinished items to be completed.

However, the building work must be reasonably capable of being used for its intended purpose.

Construction is a serious business.

Final Claim:

When the building work is completed, and the obligations of the builder have been met, a final claim for payment in the terms outlined in the contract for payment will be made.

This is usually at the end of the defects liability period.

Defects Liability Period: 

The period of time in which any defective work, whether it is structural or not, must be fixed.

In the case of a builder or sub contractor producing below-standard work, a defects liability period is either 12 or 24 months from the date of practical completion.

It’s being able to understand the terms and conditions of a project that makes the process easier for both clients and shopfitters.

Meetings and discussions won’t be such hard work any more.


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