Taking Over Someone Else’s Office Fitout – 6 Hints to Help the Budget

Let’s face it, moving office causes a considerable expense to any business at the best of times.
So taking over someone else’s office fitout can be a saving to the budget if approached with a bit of clever forethought.
Here’s 6 hints:

1. You’ll want to make a good first impression, so put some effort into making the “front of house” area look great.
It’s the face of your business.
If there’s a feature wall or a reception counter in situ, then assess what good about working with them.
Apply a new paint colour, patterned wallpaper, a super-sized graphic or a textured cladding on the walls of reception and/or the entry foyer.
Re-finish the counter front in an entirely new material, for instance with a new laminated panel, textured timber-look sheeting, large or small tiling, coloured acrylic panelling – there’s heaps of options.
Or re-locate the counter position if it works better in a new spot. Changing the layout of an office fitout whilst re-using the basic elements can make a great difference.

2.Try to open up the space whilst retaining some key partitions to save costs.
Keep in mind how bringing in as much natural light as possible will benefit staff and productivity. Some older office fitouts are guilty of having too much partitioning which kill the light. Removing partitions and creating an open, collaborative office is very much a part of modern office design.
You can possibly still offer privacy for independent working by retaining a number of partitions. Spaces free from visual distractions and private meetings are often necessary.

3.Look up at the ceiling to make an assessment.
If it’s the typical suspended tiled grid, then assess how many tiles you can keep and how many need replacing. Some which are borderline can be relocated to less prominent areas eg: a store room. Painting ceiling tiles can be a great boost to the space. Use colour to either subtly freshen the entire ceiling or paint sections to create the wow factor.

4.Experiment with paint colour.
Paint is one of the least expensive finishes which has a high amount of impact. So using a neutral palette on the walls with a pop of colour in key areas can completely update the look and define different spaces. Be brave with colour.

5.Update the lighting.
It has a greater effect than many people realise.
If budget is very tight, concentrate on updating only key areas.
Staff kitchens, bathrooms and store areas can lose out to the front of house and collaborative/ meeting areas where the type of more efficient lighting and updated fittings should win. Softening lighting in front of house reception creates a sense of calm professionalism.
Choose some new fittings which throw light onto featured walls, signage or art work to maximise impact.

6.Minimise Changes to Flooring .
Ripping up the flooring is often the first thought when taking over someone else’s fitout, but it’s not always necessary. If modular tiled carpet is in situ, then re-shuffling worn tiles to less prominent areas may work. Adding feature panels of new complementary modular tiles often works well too. Key areas should take preference in a tight budget situation if new carpet tiles need to be purchased.
If the carpet is too worn in places, then cutting out areas and replacing it with vinyl planking or ceramic tiling can be an answer.

Be clever and conduct a good, solid assessment of what’s there and what’s worth keeping before any work starts. You might save heaps!

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