Important budget-busting construction traps to avoid

30 Oct 2017 7:15 AM

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to your practice fitout is going over budget. These days, money is tight for all businesses and a budget blowout on your construction project can erode its return on investment and make it more difficult to achieve your greater business goals.


That’s why it’s vital to set an accurate budget – and stick to it. Here are five budget-busting pitfalls to avoid to ensure your fitout project doesn’t break your bank account:

1. Not defining a scope of works

A scope of works is a document that clearly defines the details of your fitout project. It gives your contractor set parameters to quote on and, generally speaking, the more detailed your scope of works, the more accurate the quote will be. Providing your contractor with a scope of works will also help them to better plan a timeline for your project, which may also reduce the overall cost of your fitout. And be sure to put the scope of works in writing and have it signed by your contractor.


2. Making too many variations

It’s natural that you’ll change your mind as you see the fitout of your practice develop throughout the construction project. However, remember that any variations you make to the agreed scope of works will likely incur an extra cost. To keep your project on budget and on time, try to stick as close as you can to the initial scope of works. And ensure all variations are quoted on before work beings – don’t allow your contractor to proceed on a ‘do-and-charge’ basis.


3. Failing to conduct a site assessment

Conducting a site assessment before construction begins will identify any challenges of the site and any obstacles it presents to achieving what’s listed in your scope of works. This will reduce the likelihood of your contractor encountering unaccounted for surprises mid-way through the fitout, which may be expensive to fix or work around.


4. Accepting the first quote

Always seek at least three quotes before appointing a contractor. To find the average quoted cost, add the three quotes together then divide this number by three. Compare each of the quotes to the average cost. If the particular quote is above the average, consider what extra value it offers. On the other hand, if the particular quote is below the average, think about what corners it may be cutting such as the use of cheaper materials that may have to be replaced much sooner.


5. No project milestone summaries

Your contractor should provide a project summary whenever a milestone is reached. These summaries should set out the project costs to date so you can compare them against the overall project budget. This will help you to identify any potential budget blowouts as the project progresses, rather than being shocked by an unexpected bill after the completion of the project.


Cassins specialises in custom medical and veterinary fit outs with more than 30 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.