Saturday, 21 January 2012

Refurbishing Commercial Interiors - Things You Need To Know

Anyone familiar with the cost of commercial refurbishments will be well aware of the various issues and costs these refurbishments can generate. Things like carpet can be extremely expensive. Most commercial flooring is also required to last for a long time, raising further issues regarding product choices and the office maintenance budget.

The primary issues are quality and cost. Good interior materials can save a fortune in ongoing costs for building managers. They can also eliminate the rather infuriating range of possibly expensive issues created by inferior products. Best practice choice of office interior materials is unambiguous- Low maintenance, low cost and minimal need for replacement. This is as much common sense as good business practice, but achieving these standards may require some management.

The options for refurbishment also have to include thorough costing. It’s no longer good enough, (or wise), to simply buy the lower of three quotes for any office materials and assume that will solve the cost issues of the next 10 years. They almost certainly won’t, and the likelihood is more cost upfront.

Case in point: Carpeting problems and solutions

One of the first and biggest issues in office refurbishment is carpeting, which is a good example of the issues related to choice of materials in any office revamp. Commercial carpet forms the largest part of any office space. Office carpets can run to tens of thousands of dollars, and the truth is that many inferior quality carpets, particularly broadloom carpets, can be terrible investments.

These large, bulky carpets can be very difficult to maintain, especially in high traffic areas, where they’re subjected to enormous strain. They become impacted, and deterioration is inevitable. Repair and replacement are major operations. The “cheap” carpet, therefore, becomes an expensive problem.

The solution is simple enough- Get a better type of carpeting which doesn’t incur these costs. There’s a new type of carpeting on the market which is rapidly replacing the old style broadloom carpets and creating some major waves in the commercial interiors industry in terms of design, too. The new carpet solutions are actually carpet tiles, but carpet tiles with a lot of new features.

The new carpet tiles are heavy duty, tough and durable tiles with their own backing. They don’t use underlay, so that cost is eliminated from the outset. In practice, these are very long-life, almost zero maintenance carpets. Replacing them takes seconds, not hours, and they’re so tough they’ve become standard features in major airports around the world, universities, commercial centers and even aged care homes. They save money simply because they don’t need much if any maintenance, and when they do, it’s easy to deal with the issues.

These carpets are also the products of new manufacturing techniques which allow custom design to be very easy. There are an almost infinite number of design possibilities, meaning that any desired office “look” can be achieved. This is another cost saving, reducing the design issues to easily quantified cost bases.

If you’re refurbishing your office space, do yourself a big favour. Talk to your builders, check out your options and have a look at the carpet tiles. You’ll save a fortune.