Delivering a refurbishment project on time and on budget with minimum disruption to the occupier is a complex business that requires attention to detail from a multitude of trades. Often it involves design and buildability challenges, complex programming and a high level of sites skills and project management to get the job over the line.
But the hard work starts long before the first boots arrive on site. In this blog we look at the secret to getting the project right on site by taking a meticulous approach to planning and preparation.
We Don’t Just Work For You…We Collaborate With You
At Chisholm & Winch we’re experts in delivering refurbishment and fit-out projects, but that doesn’t mean we want to work in isolation – far from it. Early engagement with both the client and end-user stakeholders is vital in helping the project management team understand the commercial, operational and logistical factors that will affect how we plan and deliver the project.
Collaboration is vital to enable us to prioritise what’s important for the owner/operator of the building. Often that involves considering how the occupier will continue to work on a business-as-usual basis and what they want from the space when the project is completed.
This early preparation with the extended project team allows us to explore any design development needs, address any buildability or logistical challenges and take a reality check on the budget. At this stage, we may be able to suggest ways to make savings on the cost and/or programme. Equally as important, we can identify any issues that could potentially cause delays so that these can be avoided and the project runs smoothly.
The Right Materials and the Right People
There are two key factors in delivering any refurbishment project: selecting the right people for the job and utilising the right materials to ensure quality and compliance.
Selecting the right project team requires an understanding of the skills that will be needed to deliver the project effectively and to a high standard. This means considering the quality of workmanship involved and any specific skills needed – such as bespoke joinery or fire door installation, for example. It also means considering the complexity of the job, the work environment and the length of the programme, so that skills and availability are aligned to the project.
Selecting the right team is about more than skills, however. We also need to consider the right personality fit for the project to ensure collaboration is effective and co-ordination runs smoothly. It’s all about finding the right fit to enable us to deliver to the client’s expectations and, on every project, our approach is to respond quickly, operate with honesty and exceed expectations.
We take the same detailed and value-driven approach to material selection. Working with the specification, we engage the client in making key decisions about materials so that the finished installation meets their vision. With natural materials in particular, such as stone and veneers, we invest time in discussing samples with the client so that quality control is built into the procurement process. In this way, we can ensure that every material complies with the specification and any regulatory requirements, while delivering the right finish.
Flexible and Accountable
A key part of managing a project effectively is to remain accountable and transparent at all times, and we can only do this by ensuring that all documentation is consistently up-to-date and available for review.
All up-to-date drawings and specifications are always available on site and at our head office to ensure compliance and enable progress to be reviewed at any time. We are similarly transparent with the programme and, where revisions are required to enable changes to the specification or leeway for the client’s operational requirements, this is carried out in a collaborative way that manages expectations and updates all documentation at the same time.
The budget is similarly transparent. Clarity on budget at the beginning of the project is maintained throughout, with a running final account provided at agreed intervals, and prompt financial reporting of any contract variation.
Ultimately, any successful project is built on trust, which is why it’s so important to establish clear working processes, teamwork and collaboration from the outset, embedding quality and integrity at every step.