How much will my fitout cost?

A general rule of thumb for a commercial office interior runs from $800 - $1,000 + GST per square meter.

This of course, depends on many factors.

Some tenancies are handed to the builder with existing ceilings and floor coverings in place.

The ceilings generally have lighting, air conditioning and fire services in place.

If a tenancy is handed over empty, with no ceilings, utilities infrastructure or floor coverings, then the fitout cost will be more than $1,000 per square meter. (Modified August 2015)


Can I have a fixed price contract?

The only way we can give you a fixed price contract is if we price your project from a set of plans and specifications.

If the plans are detailed and the specification is complete, our price will be set to the requirements set out in those plans and specification.


How long will it take to build my new office?

After the plans and specification have been completed and a permit granted, work can commence. An average sized fitout of 100 – 200 square meters can take 2 – 3 weeks.  Generally allow 4 weeks to complete all onsite works such as partitions, glazing plastering and painting. It all depends on the scope of works and the availability of materials and fittings

If there is built in joinery or bespoke furniture, or if there is a lead time for the procurement of other furniture such as desking or seating, then a completion date is usually set based on delivery and installation of these items. We can give a set completion date and time after the scope of works has been determined.

Generally an office fitout will take a considerably much shorter time to complete than a housing project of a similar cost.


What are Provisional Sums and Prime Cost items?

Sometimes when setting up a fixed price or lump sum contract, one or more components may not be specified or a design may not be finalised so an amount is nominated for this item. Say you want all your board room furniture to be included in the contract sum but haven’t selected a range or style. We would agree to include a Provisional sum + GST to cover this item.


If you wanted a particular style or range of furniture but only wanted to spend a certain amount and haven’t yet arrived at a decision, we would allow a sum as a Prime Cost or PC item. This would allow you spend up to that amount + GST.

Both of these options allow you to see how much you completed fitout is going to cost after all items have been factored in to the contract sum.


Will the contract be subject to Variations?

If the scope of works changes dramatically or if a more expensive option, or a cheaper prime cost item is selected or requested, then a variation to the contract will be issued. If there is a provisional sum option relating to a component of the fitout, then we will endeavour to keep within the cost allowance. If a component included in the contract is removed or not required, then a variation credit will be issued. If extra work is required or requested, then a quotation will be prepared and then, if accepted, this extra cost will be added to the contract as a variation.


Do you have an in-house Architect?

We don’t have an in house architect.

We have great working relationships with several Architects and draughts people. This allows us to nominate an Architect most suited to your requirements and style.

Usually the cost of a set of working drawings for your fitout can be negotiated for a set fee. This would allow for a set of plans that are ready to be handed to the fitout carpenters on site and be ready for a building surveyor to apply for a building permit.  Generally a fee of $2,500 - $3,500 + GST for a set of drawings that would detail a 100 -200 square meter fitout.

Colour boards and more detailed spec sheets are a valuable tool for the builder and the Architect can also prepare these. The architect can offer a fee for each level of detail that you will require, to assist in design and procurement.

Infrastructure and services drawings are usually added to the working drawings after careful discussions regarding your needs. Joinery drawings are usually prepared by our joinery contractors.


What is the difference between partitions and workstations?

Partitions are the glass, stud and plasterboard walls that form offices and other spaces.

Partitions include doors and openings and operable walls.

Workstations are the screen panels that separate desks. Some of these workstation screens are low height and support the desk tops, sometimes they are higher and allow for screen hung modules such as shelves and cupboards and accessory panels. There are many suppliers of workstations and workstation related furniture offering a wide range of exciting and innovative options.


Will I need a permit for my fitout?

In most cases, you will need a permit. Most building owners will request a set of plans and most will require the new fitout to comply will regulations and OH&S requirements. The architect will prepare drawings ready for an application for a permit. The plans must carry specific information and our building surveyor will be able to assist and advise during this process. Generally a permit will add an extra $2,000 + GST to the cost of your fitout, depending on the size and scope of the project.


What are the hidden costs in planning my fitout?

In a larger fitout, several factors will affect the specification and the cost. The major hidden cost is air conditioning or “Mechanical Works”

Most buildings have existing mechanical plant and “base building” layout for delivery and return air.

Depending on the number of people you are bringing into the space and depending on the layout of your office partitions, this layout will need to be changed. Sometimes it may be as simple as relocating some air registers in the ceiling, but sometimes a major reconfiguration of the hard ducting in the ceiling space will be required.

This is where a provisional sum can be allowed. If it becomes likely that significant Mechanical work will be required, we will take steps to ensure the appropriate specialists are brought into the planning and pricing stage.

Other factors like fire sprinklers, base building power and security, incoming phone lines, disabled access and operating time constraints will need to be factored in.

When planning and pricing your fitout, we take the most care to ensure there are no surprises mid-project.

It is our experience in the industry that allows us to identify and act on any issue prior to them becoming a surprise.


Can I use my own contractors?

We are a full service building company. We are registered Building Practitioners, we carry all relevant insurance and have many years of service in the fitout and building industry. Usually, we will bring to the project, all trades, sub-contractors and suppliers required to complete the project.

Sometimes our client will have an ongoing relationship with a data and communication specialist or may have a cabinet maker in the family. If this is the case then we are happy to work with these trades but generally this component will be outside our warranty or defect obligations.

Sometimes the client or the clients Architect will purchase a range of furniture or workstations and this can either be included in the contract or excluded. Discussions prior to signing a contract will identify and define these requirements.


Are partition walls sound proof?

Commercial office partitions are generally constructed using metal suds and 13mm thick plasterboard. The cavity between the plasterboard sheets are filled with an acoustic polyester blanket. This provides a relative level of privacy between offices but only for low level speaking voices. The level of sound attenuation can be decreased by using more layers of plasterboard and by using a more dense type of plasterboard such as Sound-Check.

Sound transmission through the office ceiling can be addressed by using acoustic ceiling panels with acoustic blanket fitted to the tiles in the ceiling space.

Partition walls can also be constructed “slab to slab” but with ceiling space infrastructure in place in most buildings, this can be ineffective or impractical.

Plasterboard manufacturers offer specifications for sound transmission in wall construction and these can be applied to parts of your fitout but designing for noise issues can be an expensive proposition.


Do you provide a warranty?

Yes, we certainly do.

The partitions and doors that we install in your new tenancy are warrantied for the life of the tenancy.

Joinery installations are warrantied against manufacturing defects for 12 months.

Furniture and fittings generally carry a 12 – 36 month warranty depending on the supplier.

All services works are covered by the explicit regulated warranties that have to be provided as per government regulations.

Warranty provisions and defect liability periods are covered in our standard terms and conditions.


What is Sound Masking?

In modern open plan office environments, such as call centres or brokerage firms, voice chatter, keyboard noise and other distractions can be a hindrance to the way individuals conduct business both over the phone and face to face with colleagues.

A sound masking system helps to address these problems by distributing a comfortable, engineered background sound throughout your workplace.

Sound masking creates a noise floor high enough to mask unwanted noises, and low enough for comfort. It works because the human ear can’t separate, or distinguish, sounds of similar volume and frequency.

With sound masking, you can reduce distractions and achieve better privacy. A more consistent sound volume across your facility also makes it feel quieter.  Movements from one area to another become less disruptive.

A sound masking system uses loudspeakers to distribute a comfortable, engineered background sound. This makes it difficult to hear incidental noises or conversations.

This is a remarkably cost affective technological breakthrough and we offer the LogiSon© Sound Masking System.

The LogiSon© Acoustic Network’s loudspeakers are usually installed in a grid-like pattern above the ceiling tiles, inside the ceiling space.

This can be installed as a part of your new fitout but it can also be retro fitted into an existing office environment.

e covered in our standard terms and conditions.

Downie Commercial Interiors - Kellor VIC - - Telephone 0433 781666