Blog, Fit-Out

The Lowdown on Turnkey Fit-Out

Turnkey is by no means a new concept; it’s been used across many industries to signify a project or service that is positioned as a complete product.

In Fit-Out, this often means dealing with a single firm or supplier who will deliver everything from initial concept and design services right through to project completion and the handing over of a building.

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Go on then, what’s the proper definition?

In fit-out and engineering, a turnkey project is a contract under which, when a project is complete and handed over to the user, the user only has to ‘turn a key’ to operate the project.  It’s a pretty clever term really.

So, it’s design and build then?

In short, no. Design and build projects typically have much more involvement from the ‘client’ or property owner, who will collaborate with designers, construction contractors and other parties to deliver their project.  There is more responsibility placed on the client, who will control elements such as decision making, budget and build schedule.

What’s included in a turnkey approach?

Typically, you should expect to see the following elements on offer:

  • Concept development and design
  • Market research
  • Project management
  • Value engineering and budgeting
  • Fixed price contract
  • Project staffing, including ID and vetting

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Why should I think about handing over my project as a turnkey one?

There are several stand-out benefits to adopting a turnkey approach:

Cost control – the fit-out company is responsible if the build schedule overruns or exceeds budget; this mitigates financial risk and promotes adherence to agreed timescales and deliverables

Project management – turnkey providers bring with them extensive experience of delivering projects just like yours and so offer reassurance that your project is in safe hands regardless of any complexities or nuances

Single point of contact – communication becomes far more streamlined as there is only one company to deal with, meaning no more managing multiple suppliers or trying to facilitate conversations between multiple parties on a particular issue

Holistic approach to design – design and planning are handled together as one, reducing the number of involved parties and accelerating the project schedule as well as bringing the added benefit of making it far easier to help commit your plans to paper

Improved quality – a single supplier means a consistent, assured level of quality throughout every stage of the build process.  It also means that some of the more contractual elements of the build, such as restrictive contract language, audits and inspection are simpler to manage.

Can all fit-out companies offer this approach?

Again, the simple answer is no.  It’s a specialist approach involving either large, in-house teams who can deliver at scale or a contractor with an extensive network of professional sub-contractors with whom they are prepared to stake their reputation.   It sounds obvious, but make sure you talk through your expectations, timeframe, budget and other key success factors as part of your initial exploratory conversations.

At RFM, we have the experience to deliver on design, quality and value every time.

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Whether you need advice on a new project or have an existing property or portfolio - We're always happy to help. Please call 0113 202 9000 or email proactive@rfm-group.com
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