Although the majority of shopfitters on the Gold Coast are reputable operators, following these few simple guidelines can help you separate the credible and competent ones from the cowboys, while sidestepping the common pitfalls that befall unsuspecting business owners embarking on a fit out for the first time.
1. Don’t Hire a Builder Rather than a Shopfitting Specialist
When it comes to a choice of engaging builders versus shopfitters Gold Coast business owners need to be aware that these two do not bring the same skills to the table. Although builders may work in commercial or industrial applications they are usually operating on large sites with their work scheduled out sequentially over a period of many weeks. Delays of days, or even weeks, might be commonplace for a builder. Shopfitters, on the other hand, are specialists in working in confined spaces with many trades working concurrently to complete a project within a tight, fixed timeframe. The ability to complete on time is vital since store opening promotions and advertising can’t be shifted, and customers and staff can’t be left waiting outside of closed doors. The main criteria to look for when screening shopfitters on the Gold Coast is a project management expert with uncanny organisational abilities and a proven history of being able to coordinate the subcontractors to consistently deliver a quality product within a tight schedule.
2. Don’t Wait Too Long to Involve a Local, Knowledgeable Professional
Once you have a clear picture of what you want to achieve from your fitout and have set a definite budget, it’s best to engage expert help as quickly as possible. If funds are at a premium when it’s time to call in the services of professional shopfitters Gold Coast business owners may be tempted to hold off on engaging someone with the idea of saving money by doing much of the legwork themselves. Although it sounds smart, unfortunately this kind of cost-cutting often represents false economy and is fraught with risk. It’s in the early stages of a project that a skilled shopfitter or project manager can often save you money by identifying costly design flaws and suggesting more suitable products, materials or construction methods to help the bottom line. Quality Gold Coast shopfitting firms are also often invaluable sources of information when it comes to advice on plans, permits or meeting regulatory requirements and this can help to avoid annoying and stressful approval delays.
3. Make Sure You Read Through the Quote In Detail to Check What Is and Isn’t Included
It’s an unhappy fact of life that the shopfitting industry in South East Queensland is a cut-throat one. This means that to win the bid, certain shopfitters on the Gold Coast may resort to leaving out the cost of some necessary items from their quote, such as insurance, building permits, levies and fees. They may then add them back in as a surprise variation once the project has commenced. Watch out for items labelled as ‘PC Sums’ (provisional costs) in quotes. These are allowances that have been estimated when specific costs are not known, for example if a contractor does not know what is inside an existing wall until it is opened up. Although a PC Sum is sometimes unavoidable on the part of the shopfitters Gold Coast business operators should be aware that wherever PC sums appear there can be a risk of increased expense and unexpected delays once the work starts.
Before signing any contracts for a shop fit out on the Gold Coast it’s important to read through the details of each quote carefully and ensure that all necessary items have been included. The more detailed your specifications and the longer you allow for the tender process, the better your chances are of receiving an accurate quote that reflects your expectations of the final product. For example, an item quoted simply as ‘tile the floor’ could represent a vastly different price and result to ‘Supply and lay 30m2 of Brand Y white 400 x 400mm rectified floor tiles with 1.5mm grout line’. Don’t be afraid to ask questions until you are clear on what you are getting for your money and remember to check whether the price is inclusive or exclusive of GST.
4. Share All Lease Conditions with your Prospective Shopfitters on the Gold Coast from the Outset
One of the most important things to consider when operating out of leased premises is that in addition to meeting your wish list for your desired fit out you must also strictly adhere to your landlord’s stipulations. Shopping centres such as Westfield Helensvale or Robina Town Centre usually have stringent tenancy design criteria and specific onsite requirements that include restrictions around access hours, noisy work and fumes. By taking the time to familiarise themselves with their lease contract and to thoroughly communicate guidelines to all prospective shopfitters Gold Coast businesses can ensure that their project proceeds in a way that is compliant. Nobody wants to deal with an unwitting violation of lease conditions that results in legal action.
5. Don’t Offer to Supply Your Own Tradespeople or Materials for the Project
Let’s say you have a mate who says he can do the plastering on your fit out at a discount rate – why wouldn’t you want to reap the dollar-saving benefits of using your own preferred tradespeople? Unfortunately negotiating to use your own services and products can cause you a world of pain. If your tradie doesn’t turn up or finish the works precisely as your shopfitter has scheduled then you may be responsible for creating a domino effect of escalating costs as subsequent tradespeople like painters, electricians and joiners are prevented from fulfilling their part of the job. Additional wage costs for tradespeople who are kept waiting around on site for the work to be completed or for needed products to arrive is just the beginning of financial burdens that will be yours to bear. If these sub-contractors are tightly booked it could be weeks before they can accommodate schedule variations and get back on site to complete your works, resulting in delays of nightmarish proportions and cost overruns. It’s recommended that when hiring shopfitters Gold Coast business owners leave it up to them to supply both the tradespeople and the fittings (except perhaps moveable furnishing items that can be added at the very end) so that the job can be completed with the utmost efficiency.
By following these simple steps when contracting shopfitters on the Gold Coast you can ensure you are hiring a suitable professional with the right resources to complete the project on time and without unnecessary hassles or expensive mistakes.
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