15 Oct 10 WAYS TO HELP SELECT YOUR NEXT FIT-OUT CONTRACTOR, FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
In this article we discuss the 10 ways to help select your next fit-out contractor, for small businesses.
We recently helped a small business owner with their quality issues. The company had hired an architect to manage the design and arrange for the interior fit-out works for their new fashion showroom. The opening launch party was scheduled within the next month.
Following completion of the works. The owner was concerned with the quality of the finish, especially in regards to the wooden laminate flooring. They had noticed it had started to ripple on the surface.
During the works the architect appeared to have become “unavailable” at the time of completion. Qualitaz were contacted and asked to assist to help resolve this issue with the fit-out works.
Our inspection noted that the edges of the laminate had begun to curl and the boards had buckled, causing a slight ridge effect.
In order to diagnose the defect, we had to turn detective and start the process of elimination. One of our first questions being related to the room temperature and control. The owner confirmed that in fact the AC had been turned off during the weekend.
It is common when the humidity levels are high that as the moisture enters the boards. It can cause the boards to expand and push against each other. If the humidity falls, the boards can shrink and the joints can separate, which often can leave gaps.
There will always be some movement in the flooring. This can be minimized by acclimatizing the boards in the room for a few days, prior to the installation. Also ensuring a perimeter gap around the room. Acclimatization had not been done in this instance.
In addition to our discussion we needed to establish a number of details including the flooring specification, installation methods and build up.
Stepping into the role of Sherlock Holmes to solve this mystery and in conjunction with the information gathered. It had soon become apparent that the issue was not actually related to the air conditioning. The rippled effect was being caused by moisture. The moisture was coming from another source and created by a workmanship issue.
Our investigation revealed that the contractor had recently prepared the floor with screed, prior to the installation of the laminate flooring. We concluded that the issue was related to the screeding works.
Upon removal of the flooring by the contractor, we wished we had bought wellington boots. The screed was covered by a bed of water and was fully saturated. In the contractors rush to finish the works, they had installed the laminate flooring on top of the wet screed.
They had made no allowance for the drying and curing process. Leaving less than 24 hours between the installation of the screed and the installation of the floor. This was not in line with manufacturers guidelines for this particular type of screed.