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Major Projects

There is no clear definition of what a major project is for us. You could be renovating or building a house or commercial space. You may have a small project from us as part of a major and intricate build which requires careful attention to detail. You do of course have the typical major commercial building and renovation work. Major projects usually have a defined schedule which many groups of people are working to.

The earlier you engage with us with a major project the more we can help refine solutions to suit you. Let's take a look at the process from start to finish:

Stage 1: Solution Concept & Estimating

Right from our first contact with you we try to get a feel for what you are looking for. You may have an exact specification or simply vague ideas. We sit down with you to help explore options and ideas and refine to a broad specification. From there we work with you to ensure it works financially.

With so many of the solutions we can offer there is often a trade-off between what you lay the foundations for in the future and what you need to work from the start. As a rule of thumb, the more future proofing you try to include from the outset, the less features you will have after your initial budget is used. You would of course have more scope for upgrades and changes in the future without running new cabling. This is often acceptable when you plan to stay in a property for many years - for commercial solutions or developer properties it is often more about getting the most features from the start.

Financials are always the most difficult part, particularly at the early stages when costs are coming in from all angles. We work with you to refine costs and the staging of them to ensure you have the foundations for your solution and thenfeatures prioritised accordingly. In many cases the solution is a fixed specification to which we can give a fixed price.

On some more complex projects we will produce estimates where extensive design revisions will occur or during major renovations where you simply don’t know what you are working with until you really start. When the time is right we aim to switch to a fixed price for the remainder of the installation to give you peace of mind.

Stage 2: Detailed Design & Specification

After the outline specification and costs have been agreed we start detailing the solution. This covers everything from wiring schedules to materials and actual location plans. If you have engaged us for bespoke products or lighting design we then provide the concept drawings or other detailed information as previously agreed.

From here we start liaising with other contractors on project plans and logistics. If you would like others to install the wiring to our supply and specification then we liaise with your appointed contractor to ensure they have the information they need. If we are running the cabling and doing the 1st fix works we agree a plan with your main contractor. The decision about whether we do the 1st fix installation or another contractor is often taken at the outset. It is typically cheaper for your electrician or main contractor to do it however it can sometimes lead to problems. Despite our briefings and specification we have often found situations where cables are pulled to hard or get run too close to power cables and quickly hidden causing problems later on. We have also had many situations where the use of a 3rd party works very well – we leave this decision up to you.

The end of this second stage is really when first fix is complete and we do a final run-through before everything is covered up.

Stage 3: 2nd Fix

For most contractors 2nd fix is when everything gets finished. For us it is often slightly different. During 2nd fix we are typically terminating cables and installing those products which cover openings in walls and ceilings. When you have expensive audio-visual or other equipment being installed this stage is often too dusty.

Depending on the services you have requested from us, 2nd fix may also entail programming lighting, heating or other basic control systems to enable the services to be signed off. In many cases this is an initial configuration which gets refined during later stages to suit.

Stage 4: 3rd Fix

Once the site is deemed generally clean and agreed by the client, we start 3rd fix. This is where the expensive, visible or fragile equipment and devices are installed. This is often when all other trades are now off-site and the building is considered secure.

Stage 5: Final commissioning

During final commissioning we complete programming, hand over hand-held devices and work with you to ensure everything is as it should be. We often find that from a clients perspective there is too much going on during 2nd and 3rd fix to really spend time with us looking at the subtleties of some of the final setup and commissioning or hand-over.

We work with you to pick the right moment to ensure everything is right before this last piece of work. It is quite common for you to change room layouts slightly or want to refine some of the controls when, how you thought things would be, have panned out slightly differently. Giving you this space helps us get that final commissioning right once rather than simply charging for constant changes.

Of course, real changes to specification are likely to have costs attached and we try to inform you before work is undertaken. We also try to ensure that any costs attached to changes happen before something is completed to prevent any costs of ‘unpicking’.