The right questions to ask your fit-out provider before you get started

The right questions to ask your fit-out provider before you get started

Looking to engage a fit-out provider but not sure who to go for? Since the fit-out process is new to many people, and getting the right team on board can make or break your project, we’ve put together a list of what we reckon are the right questions to ask potential fit-out providers to ensure you get the best results and an easy fit-out.

  • Do you employ your staff, or do you subcontract? Do you tender to sub-contractors to ensure on getting the best value for money?
  • Do you have a nationwide network of domestic staff and subcontractors that can ensure a high standard of work across the country?
  • Can you bring others’ designs to life? Can you replicate an international design while taking into consideration New Zealand’s specific building consent and compliance rules?

  • Are you an approved contractor to work within retail malls? Do you have proven experience working in retail malls – and where can I see your work?
  • Do you overlap your trades? Are you looking at ways to find efficiencies in what you’re doing so you’re not waiting for one trade to do the next? Can you save 2-3 weeks through strategising and planning?
  • Are you willing to carry out the hours required to work within the required environment and to achieve a timely handover? When have you successfully delivered on time?
  • Do you manage your own joinery? Do you keep it in your own factory to ensure a high standard is maintained? 
  • Can you confirm timeframes? Are you in control of how and when your work is delivered?

  • Do you allocate a project manager to our fit-out, and who’s the right person for my job?
  • Do you have in-house quantity surveyors who can ensure our costs don’t escalate out of control? How do you budget your plans?
  • Do you just price at a lump sum, or do you break down your tenders and ensure that everything’s been included if it’s broken down? Has everything been priced – and are there any exclusions that need to be noted? How do you avoid variations at the end because of issues that occurred along the fit-out?
  • Do you have time allocated to close out, and a maintenance manager to ensure that we’re not waiting months for the project to finish?
  • Do you have communications processes? Do you offer structured site meetings, meetings minutes, and/or regular updates during the fit-out to keep us up to speed and aware of how the process is going?
  • Does your team collaborate with us, or do you prefer to work solo without us there? Are you and your team approachable and communicative? 

  • Do you issue any operations and maintenance manuals at the end to ensure we know how to work our new environment?
  • Health and safety is now as much the responsibility of the client as it is the contractor, so do you have an in-house health and safety manager who can help us navigate the fit-out and final space? 
  • Do you have room to store our equipment or for us to be able to deliver equipment to? (At Datum, we had an interesting situation where a client was opening a café and their big glass display cabinet from Italy arrived five weeks before opening. We safely held onto it and integrated it into their joinery as the project went on. It saved them a lot of hassle – including trying to store it in their St Lukes apartment!)
  • Are you able to carry out our works in an environmentally conscious fashion? Are you recycling and re-using as much as you can? Have you completed any Greenstar rated fit-outs (as we did for the Country Road in Newmarket, NZ’s first!) Are you using environmentally sound and responsibly sourced timbers? 

Of course, there are going to be more questions, depending on your fit-out needs, but the ideal fit-out partner will make your life easy.

At Datum, we’ve built a reputation on enthusiastic referrals and a legacy of always doing the job right, because we’re always thinking ahead and answering questions like these before they need to be asked. Our innovative, efficient and service-focused approach means you’re in your space on time and with no hassle. 

Get in touch with us today to find out how else we can make your next fit-out easy.