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If you wish to renovate or relocate your business, there is an aspect you need to pay utmost attention to. You do not only need to make your office spaces look good, but you also need to nail down your office fit-out cabling. The electrical fit out of your commercial space can directly impact office productivity.
Read on to learn what office fit-outs are and the types of fit-outs for office spaces. This post also considers the electrical fit-out component of commercial fit-outs and factors to consider when planning your office fit-out cabling. To wrap it up, you can view questions to ask yourself before commercial electrical fit-outs and the role of commercial electricians in electrical fit-outs.
What are Office Fit-Outs?
It would be best if you thought beyond getting the commercial electrical fit-out of your office space right. Office fit-outs generally include what you do to transform your office space into a comfortable and appropriate office work environment.
As such, office fit-outs include the following necessities depending on the type of fit-out:
• Office workspaces
• Meeting rooms
• Office furniture
• Electrical wiring
• Lighting system and controls
• Structural window
Types of fit-outs for office spaces
Your options for types of fit-outs include Shell and Core, Cat A, and Cat B.
Shell and core fit-outs
This type of fitout is a literal shell and core framework for your office space. They have a framework waiting for you to add the necessary elements.
Cat A fit-outs
This is the minimal unit you will typically have when renting commercial spaces. They have basic utilities that include plumbing and electrical wiring. Another critical feature of a Cat A fit-out is the presence of fire detection, smoke alarms, and suppression systems. However, these features need to meet building regulations.
Cat B fit-outs
This type of fit-out is a functional upgrade to the Cat A type. They typically include audio, visual, and lighting features. Other Cat B fit-out features are IT infrastructure, kitchen installations, décor, reception areas, design, and branding. Cat B fit-out happens to be the most common type of commercial electrical fit-out.
Electrical Components of Commercial Fitouts
Despite the types of fit-outs mentioned above, you are sure to agree that commercial fit-outs are hardly complete without electrical fit-outs. You need electricity for a smoothly running office. The electrical fit-out component of commercial fit-outs involves taking steps to create an optimal electrical system for smooth and efficient workflow.
How to Plan Your Office Fit-Out Cabling
Before you consult your commercial electrician, having a plan can significantly help. This plan should cover everything from the start to the end of your office fit-out cabling process. Here are some points you should consider for a successful electrical fitout.
Check the office layout
Your office fitout may already include an electrical cabling system. Thus, you can confirm the areas needing specific cabling, lighting types, or added lighting.
Assess electrical cabling needs
If your office fitout already has an electrical system, there should be designated switches and power plugs. Commercial electricians can work with them and even further reduce stray wires and optimally place other power plugs.
Keep a running budget
You should consider that office fit-out cablings can be costly. You and your electrician can use your budget to allocate electrical fit-out expense items. For example, your electrician can use your budget to perform the best lighting and electrical installations.
Determine requirements of network data cables
Today's businesses require an effective data-cabling structure for their communication systems to function well. Your company may also have new network and cabling needs. You should know your future bandwidth needs and what type of cabling will meet those needs.
Consequently, you should know the number of workstations that will connect to your network bandwidth and what type and volume of data they need for office work. A great way to assess your networking cabling needs is using a network analyser such as Windows servers' Network Monitor Utility.
Note that optical fibres are known to provide the fastest bandwidth. However, they may have transmission problems if they get scratched or dirty. One thing to remember is that planning for increased future bandwidth needs on time can save you some costs in the long run.
Questions to Ask Before Commercial Fit-Outs
You can seek answers to the questions below in a bid to plan ahead and cover your electrical fit-out needs:
Where will the commercial fit-out be done?
This question is crucial if you have just acquired a new commercial space. The new office layout can determine the cost of your commercial fitout.
What's the purpose of the office fit-out?
Customising your electrical fitout to meet your office needs would be best. Recognising the reasons will help you draw up your plans and budgets. For instance, it will help you plan the type of data cabling system to go for.
What are the electrical tasks that need doing?
Here, you need to identify the specific electrical work that needs to be done. This can include getting new power points installed and installing alarm systems. You may also consider whether you need a switchboard upgrade to meet your commercial electrical workload.
What's the timeframe for the commercial fit-out?
It is essential to set realistic time frames depending on the size and complexity of the electrical fitout. This reduces the chances of a rushed job, and you can better monitor the process.
What commercial fit-out company will I use?
You must ensure you choose the right electrical contractor for your commercial fitout. It is preferable to go for licensed and qualified electricians. One significant advantage of hiring electrical contractors instead of performing DIY office fit-outs is the time and stress you can save yourself.
For example, you may not realise there's more to your ceiling fan's installation until you try to do it. However, do not be swayed by "we pride ourselves" claims on websites. Be sure to check that the electrical contractor is legit and reputable. You can check their online reputation on review sites and be sure to get several quotes for comparison.
Role of Commercial Electricians in Fitouts
Hiring commercial electricians to perform office fit-out cabling for your office spaces is generally best. That is a surer way of ensuring you create an ideal electrical system. Here are some general roles that commercial electricians play in electrical fit-outs for office spaces:
• They can help you pick out the right lighting fixtures.
• Commercial electricians have the professional expertise to perform seamless electrical installations.
• Some commercial electricians can assist you with tools and link you with designers and interior builders.
• They can design the cabling system following installation guidelines.
• Your comms rooms and data centres are less likely to have tangled cables as they are experienced in cable laying and installation.
Services of Electrical Contractors
You can reduce project time and costs if you use a single electrical contractor for various aspects of your office fit-outs. Apart from performing electrical fit-out cabling for office fit-outs, electrical contractors can perform the following services:
• Commercial electrical installations such as installation of power points and internet data outlets
• Installation of electrical appliances such as ceiling fan
• Downlights installation
• Fibre optics data cabling
• TV antenna cabling
• Installing data and communication tie cables
• Installation of industrial lighting and commercial lighting
• Installing patch panels and Wi-Fi points
Electrical Contractors Can Help With Fit-Out Cabling
After reading up on fit-out cabling and the various factors to consider when planning your office fit-out cabling, you should have greater confidence to initiate the process. Getting professional electrical contractors to perform commercial fit-outs for your commercial office is preferable. You wouldn't want there to be a mistake that costs you so much in the long run. Moreover, a professional electrical contractor can save you a lot of stress and costs.