Can we use our own trades? Case studies


Can I use my own trades in my office fitout?

We do not recommend that for a timely and budget-controlled rollout. There is 3 excellent reasons that we have for not using your own trades as part of an overall building project design and fit-out.

The first problem is lack of cost control, as variations in the project scope quickly spiral out despite whatever pre-existing relationship you’ve got. Secondly there is a lack of project timing control and things fall out of sequence. The third issue is that you will not have full insurance cover as part of the overall contract or risk insurance. Ongoing warranty is also not part of the overall project.

Keep reading to see 4 case studies where it went wrong.

Timing was affected drastically by one project we worked on in Sunbury where the floor preparation and floor coverings was taken out of our scope. This blew the timeline out by at least two weeks.

They proposed to use a different type of levelling compound, which required the floor to be dry and clean, which we would consider to be part of the flooring scope. However, we found that the supplier of the floor finishes had made absolutely no allowance for associated works. We then get phone calls from the outside provider complaining ‘Hey, the site’s not clean’. If you’re doing floor preparation, that’s part of the scope of works.

Firstly, they complain about the site, then we find that their products that they want to use can’t be used when there is any moisture on the floor. After some roofing repairs as a result of a leak, there was moisture on the floor and some from the plumbing being tested for the new metering. We then had to waste another whole week waiting for the floor to dry.

Then we find that the client has decided on vinyl flooring, which shows micro defects in the floor. We then had to effect massive amounts of floor remediation because of the unsuitable specification.

Another issue we had was when plumbing was pulled out of our scope of works. The plumbers disconnected all the toilets on day one which meant there were no toilets on site for the whole duration of the project. This created additional cost as we had to provide secondary amenities.

He also cut a big trench right across the back of the office just outside the door, which meant that from day one the team had to navigate around it. We had to board it over as it was a massive WHS issue, as the plumber decided to fit his grate at the end of the project, because he didn’t want the grate damaged.

We had a customer in Werribee who had a pre-existing relationship with an electrician. We gave them full instructions on how to conceal cabling within joinery etc. and a lot of other detail that we wouldn’t normally have to communicate with the team because they understand the quality that clients are looking for.

After he had been through, right through the middle of the beautiful feature wall with a custom credenza in the boardroom, we found directly face mounted a conduit partially covered by the TV and going into the credenza. It looked an absolute disaster.

At the end of the project, the client said that when he does another fitout, ‘I will never us my own electrical team. You guys will do the whole thing, so it is done properly.’ We did another fitout for him where we did the whole project, and the result was amazing at the end.

Another project where things went wrong, also in Werribee, where the client had their own air conditioning provider – also a great friend. In the presence of the client, I called this provider and said, ‘how many kilowatts have you allowed for this tenancy?’ He said he had allowed 18 kilowatts, and I said ‘only 18 kilowatts? You need 36 kilowatts!’ And the supplier said ‘I was only doing one side, he only asked about half of the office’, which meant the quote was exactly 50% out on our costs.

There are 4 excellent reasons to make sure that you don’t use disparate providers- and that’s only the tip of the iceberg! We have so many horror stories where it has gone wrong. You want the best result and the only way to get that, despite whatever prior friendships or arrangements are in place, is to use the team that trains together and performs together.

We can get it right for you the first time with cost control, insured scope of works, awesome warranties, backup and aftercare. We would love to help you on your next project! Give us a call, we’re here to make your team and your business grow and get the return on investment that you need.