Checklist for your new vet fitout

24 Apr 2017 9:00 AM - Veterinary

Investing in a new fitout for your veterinary practice is a big decision and requires a strong commitment to design and planning in order to achieve the best return on investment.


Don’t leave anything to chance and follow our 12-step checklist for your new vet fitout:

Step 1: Create a practice design

The first step is to know what you want out of your practice over the next five years. For example, if you’re focused on growth, does your new practice design need to accommodate more staff and more clients?

Once your strategy is defined, you’ll need to weigh up the pros and cons of renovating your existing practice versus moving to a new location. Consider these questions:

  1. Will renovating your existing premises cause too much disruption to business or cause adverse effects?
  2. Is parking availability suitable at your current location?
  3. Does your current location offer high exposure so clients will be able find you?


Next, use our template (ask us for a copy) to set out your wish list vs must haves and consider any new equipment you need such as surgical tables and monitors, x-ray machines, and recovery cages.


Step 2: Define your scope of works

With a clear practice design in place, you’ll need to define a scope of works. Go through your list of must-haves and determine any associated factors such as any new lead shielding in x-ray rooms, overnight accommodation and boarding facilities, and external exercise areas.

Now it’s time to set a budget. You can either do this based on the finances you have available, or contact contractors for detailed quotes to give you a clear ballpark for your project.


Step 3: Finance your project

With a budget in place, you can begin to examine your financing options. If you don’t have the available cash to finance the project yourself, you might consider bringing in some partners, or contacting a specialised healthcare finance company.


Step 4: Set a timeline

It’s important to be realistic about the timelines you set for your project as underestimations here can lead to budget blowouts in the future. Allow at least five days for the initial concept design and costing; 10 to 20 days for detailed design and approvals; length of construction depend on the scope of works.


Step 5: Source contractors

Choose at least three contractors to quote on your project to give you a strong basis for comparison. Look for contractors with specialised experience in medical or specialised healthcare fitouts, and submit the same scope of works to all contractors to ensure you’re assessing them on a level playing field.


Step 6: Assess design and fitout proposals

Your selected contractors should come back to you with design and fitout proposals that relate to your scope of works. Be careful not to simply go for the lowest price here. Rather, ensure that each proposal or quote answers every point in your scope of works so you’re confident that you’re comparing apples to apples.


Step 7: Select a contractor

Check out our seven-step guide to choosing a contractor, and be sure to discuss terms, conditions and contracts with your selected supplier.


Step 8: Apply for council approvals

If you are adding rooms to increase patient workload, changing the use of the premises, or making alterations that affect the egress of staff and patients in the event of an emergency, you’ll need to apply for the relevant council approvals.


Step 9: Confirm finishes schedules

Work with your contractor to define and confirm a finishes schedule. It’s important to be realistic about timeframes here to ensure that any close down periods are accurately planned for.


Step 10: Approve project timeline

Your contractor should supply a project timelines for your approval. This should include an agreed completion date and define claim stages so you know when you are required to process payments.


Step 11: Do a walk through

When construction is complete, request a defects list from your contractor and conduct your own walk through to inspect the listed defects before signing off on completion.


Step 12: Handover and aftercare services

Before final handover, ensure your contractor supplies a defects liability period. This is the length of time they guarantee their work and the period during which they’ll fix any listed defects that arise.


Cassin & Sons specialises in custom veterinary fit outs with more than 28 years of experience in the healthcare fit out industry. Call our friendly team on 1300 122 774 to find out what we can do for you.