Finding the Best Tenant Fit-Out Contractor
In construction as in all trades, you want to identify a service provider you can trust - one who will meet all your needs. Finding the best tenant fit-out contractor can be tricky but instrumental. There are so many chances for things to go poorly in construction - you want to make sure you have the right contractor to make things go right. But it starts by identifying your needs, budget and schedule required for project completion.
Identifying needs or requirements is just another way of discussing scope - which is a critical upfront step in any construction project. That goes for projects whether they are white box construction for a landlord, or fit-out projects for a tenant.
A “white box” is typically an interior space which is prepared prior to tenant finishing specifications. A white box meets required specifications such as: Electrical wiring, HVAC, Plumbing, Restrooms and drinking fountains installed, Emergency evacuation routes such as elevators and stairs (if multi-story), Primary walls, Doors and windows, And basic flooring and ceilings.
A tenant fit-out project is typically commercial construction work and involves finishing everything in the interior space for tenant move-in. It is often referred to as “TIs” or tenant improvements as well. The contractors may be the same for the white box and tenant fit-out project but often are separate. The costs for tenant fit-outs are attributed to the tenants, but often tenants negotiate these fees with landlords prior to moving in and therefore landlords pay some of the fit-out costs. Obviously the contractor needs to know the scope and who’s responsible for the payment and requirements for the tenant fit-out elements.
Terminology such as white box, fit-out and tenant improvements can effect the plans, lease documents and construction specifications - and it’s too common for documents to receive only a once-over from the responsible parties. Therefore a pre-construction meeting, prior to finalizing contracts, is highly recommended. Such a meeting can allow for all parties to understand their contributions and requirements in the planning and processes. And this can help eliminate costly change orders later in the process.
In addition to scope, budget planning is critical. Tenants have to know what they can afford and what they can negotiate for landlords to cover financially. Customers also need to know that they can trust the construction company to stick to pre-defined budgets. But trust goes both ways - a quality contractor is made up of professionals providing quality services. You wouldn’t want the cheapest lawyer or doctor - the same goes for a contractor. A trustworthy, quality construction company will be clear on what is possible and what is not and be respective of budgets. Don’t forget the adage about service providers who focus on either speed, quality or price. But these focuses can relate to each other as well - for example, prolonged schedules can add to cost. It’s up to the customer to identify which of these is most important and make sure the contractor can stick to the agreement. All of these contributing elements add up to the importance of identifying the best tenant fit-out contractor upfront - a reliable, experienced construction company who can develop schedules with milestones. The best construction company could even offer oversight or services for architectural design, local/municipal permits and project financing as well as construction.
There is a lot to plan for in tenant fit-out construction - but the more identified upfront can help pre-qualify the best tenant fit-out contractor. Read about Buildrite's Roll-Out Construction Services.