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Warehouse fit-out and refurbishment: Contract administration case study

Brief: To provide contract administration for the refurbishment and fit-out of a warehouse.

Property: Large, new warehouse development in the West Midlands.

Instructed by: Incoming tenant.

external inspection contract admin

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Project specification

Following receipt of our photographic schedule of condition of their warehouse, our client appointed us as contract administrators for a £230K refurbishment of the building.

  • Works included:
    • external alterations to the air vents, CCTV and signage
    • installing a mezzanine
    • installing M&E, to include warehouse heating, pluming, lighting, power points and ventilation
    • installing male and female toilets inc. locker area
    • forming areas below the office to comprise of training, office and kitchen/canteen areas
    • forming additional compartmented office to the first floor open plan office area.
  • The client needed to still use the space as an office and warehouse while works were being carried out. We therefore needed to sectionally complete the works to avoid down-time and maximise use of the building for our client.


  • At project initiation, we spent a considerable amount of time on preliminary preparations, making sure that we understood the specifications and that we knew exactly what our client wanted.
    • This meant that throughout the project, our contract administration surveyor could resolve queries and scrutinize the tenders and works, freeing up time for our client.
    • Our client particularly valued our expertise and understanding of leases and legal obligations, meaning that we could act as a trusted advisor.
  • We carefully analysed the tenders.
    • Our surveyor scrutinized each item on the tender to make sure that the quote was valid and met the specifications.
  • Regular visits and valuations were crucial. These allowed us to check that workmanship was high in quality and meant that we could ensure that the contractors were paid on time, but, critically, not ahead of time.
    • Developing a strong working relationship with contractors helped facilitate the smooth running of the project and a high standard of work.
  • We also made sure that we were always available to deal with contractor queries, to minimise the impact of the works on our client’s time.
  • Keeping variations to the budget to a minimum was important to our client. We completed the works within the original contract sum, with additional works adding just 3% to the overall cost.

o   We achieved this by carefully reviewing changes proposed by the contractor. Our knowledge of construction and materials meant we were able to reject most of them. For other variations, we found that many would result in cost-savings. We were then able to pass these on to our client.

o   A significant alteration to the original specification was the adaptation of the mezzanine design to meet health and safety and fire requirements. The original design was 35m and would have needed several adaptations to conform to regulations. Instead, we designed a split mezzanine, reducing costs while maintaining function.

  • Our surveyors used their expertise in dilapidations to advise on how to achieve the desired changes without jeopardizing the terminal dilapidations costs. We ensured that all of the changes made to the warehouse were easy to reverse, so that the warehouse could be put back to its original state if needed.

Read more about our contract administration services here, or find out more about our industrial sector surveying services.

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