When designing your new dental practice fit-out, the list of regulations that need to be considered is seemingly endless.
Unfortunately, if trying to tackle it on your own, essential aspects of construction and installation can be overlooked. This can result in a nasty surprise for your budget, which is why Dentifit will stick to budget or wear the cost. In this article, we endeavour to uncover a few of the common hidden costs associated with Australian dental practice fit-outs, so that you aren’t caught unawares when designing and building your new clinic.
There are many benefits to finding an empty shell of a space to transform into your desired dental practice fit-out. It certainly allows for more flexibility regarding design. However, it’s important to consider the implications of subdividing rooms to create the layout you have envisioned. The following are two major components that must be incorporated into your fit-out, but which are often forgotten about in the process of dividing up space. Failure to budget for the addition of these components in all rooms can result in very costly setbacks.
Fire safety provisions
Fire provisions such as smoke alarms and ceiling mounted sprinklers should already be a part of a building’s design. But the cost of altering these systems to suit your new fit-out may fall on you. Always check your lease or contract to determine if you will need to install extra sprinkler heads or smoke alarms when dividing your space into several additional rooms.
If you are connecting to a pre-existing ducted air conditioning system, it’s vital that you clarify the terms and agreements to any alterations of the system before signing your lease or contract. Changing or upgrading the AC in your practice can be a very costly undertaking. If you are planning to create several new rooms, these rooms will need new vents if you wish for them to be connected to the one control panel. Alternatively, you could look into split-system options but there may be restrictions regarding this outlined in your tenancy agreement. Always discuss these terms with the building manager so that you can weigh up the costs associated with connecting to the building’s AC.
Centre regulations & strata issues
The nature of the building you are planning on transforming into your new dental practice will also affect several fit-out considerations. The construction of a fit-out in a space that resides in a large centre can be subject to numerous restrictions outlined by the centre’s management. Likewise, if your practice is situated on anything but the ground floor, extra care may need to be taken when renovating the space to suit dental equipment and machinery requirements.
Drilling core holes into the concrete slab below your dental practice will be necessary to facilitate the use of dental chairs and other pieces of equipment that need drainage. You may need to pay for an x-ray of the slab to ensure that core holes will not be obstructed by steel building parts or affect other integral structures. Furthermore, if your practice is situated in a strata building, legal action may need to be taken to obtain permission to drill core holes. This can be a lengthy and costly process. Be sure to check the centre or strata managers policy on core holes before committing to a contract or lease agreement.
Deciding whether you want a full glass shopfront before signing a lease may save you a lot of money in the long run. Some spaces may be sold without the shopfront being included in the price and so clarifying this before committing to anything is always wise. In other circumstances, many shopping centres may make it a term in your agreement that you have to install a particular type of shopfront to adhere to the centre’s overall design consistency, and these can be very expensive.
If your new dental practice fit-out is located in a shopping centre, you may need to liaise with centre management concerning parking spaces for your staff and patients. It may be difficult to obtain free parking, and you could end up fronting the cost for patient parking in your rent. Always carefully consider the maximum number of patients treated at the one time and the duration of an average visit when determining how many parking spaces you may need.
Are you concerned that there may be more hidden costs associated with your Australian dental practice fit-out than you first anticipated? And that you may not pick up on them until it’s too late? Dentifit can assist you to design and build your dental practice fit-out without breaking your budget or meeting any nasty surprises. Our experience following regulations, mitigating risks and anticipating restrictions when designing and constructing fit-outs means that we can make the process as stress-free for you as possible. What we quote is what we deliver. Contact us today to discuss your dental practice fit-out and experience the Dentifit difference.