Design trends are constantly fluctuating as time moves on. Ideas that once seemed like the pinnacle of aesthetics are now forgotten and buried away. There are always constants though over large periods – timeless designs and ideas that will always work and stay present. Now that we’ve entered into a new decade, we thought we’d write a blog on something other than our construction estimating services. Today, we’ll be exploring six design trends that we predict will appear within the commercial design world.


1.    Homely atmosphere

In the last few years, employers are starting to apply less and less traditional work methods and are instead opting for modern methods and attitudes. This includes flexible office hours – it doesn’t matter where you get the work done, as long as you get it done. That sort of mentality is really taking off across several industries.

Well, we believe that some businesses will be going a step further this year and designing their offices to imitate a homely atmosphere and vibe. By doing this, the office will automatically become more of a casual space – but also a more comfortable one. The aim is to increase productivity and comfort whilst also reducing stress by dressing up the environment to be one that employees would feel more comfortable in.


2.    Minimalism

This is not a new trend by any stretch of the imagination and it certainly isn’t a trend that’s going anywhere anytime soon. Minimalism is fantastic because it eases people. Sometimes when things are too cluttered it can give off negative vibes.

Whereas, with minimalism, the simple designs look and feel aesthetically pleasing and calming and leave the employee confident. The key to minimalism is maintaining that simple aesthetic and not getting carried away with trying to fill empty spaces.


3.    Internal branding

It’s all good and well to brand a business and let the outside world know who you are and what you stand for – but what about internally? Physical branding on your office’s interior walls can be great for team morale and spirit and help staff to remember what the company’s goals are.

If you’re interested in internal branding, then you should also look into construction estimating services to ensure you budget correctly. Internal branding also looks excellent when clients and guests visit the office.


4.    Sustainability

Sustainability is the way of the future. Everyone is constantly making small changes in their lives to be more environmentally aware and conscious – and the office is the best place to start. Whilst it’s common practice for employers and employees to dress up the office with plants – which produce oxygen and improve the overall atmosphere of the space – there are still more measures that can be taken.

For 2020, we don’t think it’ll be uncommon to see commercial offices be designed and built with gardens and greenery included in the initial plans. This means more elaborate and lavish indoor gardens. This will look pretty incredible and add a fantastic layer and aesthetic to any office building. Something similar has already been done in Melbourne’s CBD where a bar named Bourke Street Green has implemented a heavy amount of greenery around their space – as well as large open ceiling windows.

The logistics of a design like this can become quite tricky so it’s handy to enquire about our construction estimating services to ensure it’s a feasible and economic path to follow. Our specialists will be able to help you realise your goal in a cost-effectively and practically.


5.    Colour schemes

The days of a white office are long gone. A lot more businesses nowadays are moving towards colour schemes. This could mean a scheme that represents your branding or maybe just a nice pastel combination. A monochromatic scheme has seen popularity in recent years – especially for cafes and bars and there’s no reason why it would be going anywhere in 2020.


6.    Insert marble

Marble is an incredibly classy and luxurious material and including it in your office – even if it’s in a small capacity – would look fantastic and stand out in the best possible way. It can be used for a variety of different applications such as benchtops, columns and even floors. For even more complexity you can look at various shades of marble as well.


Interested in construction estimating services?

If you’re looking to build a new office for 2020 then hopefully our guide can offer some valuable tips and unique inspiration. If you need estimating services for construction, then why not consider Accent Estimating? Our highly trained and experienced consultants can offer quick and efficient estimating services for construction in the commercial sector.

If you’d like to get in touch with us regarding construction estimating services, then please give us a call on 0413 953 869. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our website.

Whenever a construction project has been completed – it must then be fitted out. Fitouts are essentially the process of dressing up the interior of a commercial space. You might be asking yourself – “why would I need an estimator in Melbourne to help me dress up an interior space?”

Well, many commercial buildings require a lot of furnishing to occupy them – especially large office and multi-purpose buildings. Since the furnishing will be purchased in large volumes, an estimator is required to ensure that the best price is found, and all the logistics are handled efficiently. Let’s take a closer look at fitouts.


What are fitouts?

Fitouts come after the final phase of construction. It’s when the owner of the building – or in a multi-storey office complex, the business owner on each floor – will sit down with an interior designer and ensure that the space is appropriately fitted out. Fitouts are important as they make the space liveable and able to be occupied by people. There are three types of fitouts.


Types of fitouts

  • Shell and Core – This is the initial type of fitout and covers the fundamentals of the space such as cladding, external works and structural features. Basically, a lot of the background – yet important – parts of the building.
  • Category A – The next fitout phase which generally includes, blinds, flooring, surface finishing’s, ceilings as well as electrical and mechanical components.
  • Category B – This is the final and more exciting phase of a fitout. Category B is where you can really give the space your own personal touch. It includes the branding, meeting rooms, offices, furnishings, installation of any specific lighting or specialised A/V equipment and the installation of kitchen appliances and any specific rooms/appliances/features you’d want to have in your office.

    Some of the things you may want in your office may have to be installed or planned for during the shell and core or category A phases of the fitout depending on what they are – so it’s always important to know what you want in advance so you can plan accordingly.

How to plan for them

Several elements must be considered when looking at furnishings for a commercial space. Because you’ll want your space to be navigable and workable, the following elements should be considered:

  • Layout – This is important as it’ll be the initial plan of where everything will be positioned. Make sure this is established first before considering the next elements.
  • Office and staff requirements – This includes the amount of desks and the size of them – as well as what sort of hardware will be occupying them. Depending on your business, you may need several monitors for each of your workers – or they may just be bringing in their own laptops. You’ll also need to consider the kitchen and if there will be any rec areas where staff can relax.
  • Sustainability – Will you be going green? LED lighting, solar panels, energy-efficient heating/cooling and making use of natural light are all great ways to make a more sustainable impact during the office’s tenure. Keeping space for plants is also a great way to improve the atmosphere of the office and promote a healthier working environment.
  • Colour – The colour is actually quite an important part of an office building as it really sets the tone for the whole office. The right colour can also increase productivity, believe it or not.

Why use an estimator for them?

Because the furnishings and interior decoration will be done in such high volumes – it’s best to sit down with an experienced estimator in Melbourne who can go through everything you’re looking at getting. They’ll review the contents and ensure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck. A good estimator will also be able to help you with the planning stage of a fitout.

Another reason you should consider a professional estimator is to ensure that all the architectural costs are in order and that there are no hidden surprises throughout the process. You really want everything to go smoothly and to be transparent.


Need an Estimator in Melbourne for your fitout?

Accent Estimating offer premium, boutique estimating services. Our experienced and professional experts can help you estimate your business’s fitout. With over six years of specialised experience, we can ensure your fitout is completed efficiently and in your favour.

If you would like to know more about our estimating services, then please give us a call on 0413 953 869. You may also fill out the contact sheet found on our website.

With only a little over a month left in 2019, our Sydney estimating service team has decided to look back at some of the best home design tips and trends that we witnessed this year. From concrete interiors to mass-amounts of pot plants and greenery – the year has seen some pretty incredible interior designs. Today, we’ll be listing our top five favourite trends and explaining why they work.


1.    Monochromatic aesthetic

Everyone loves white walls. They’re classic and they go with virtually any other colour or style. Even exposed brick looks good when painted white. But the perfect complement for a white landscape is contrasting black hardware.

That means door handles, kitchen appliances, taps, faucets and other similar items. This ultimate disparity makes your interior look almost unrealistic as they’re such bold tones that make each other pop equally.

For your kitchen and living room floor you can purchase alternating black and white square tiles to keep the theme going. Even cabinets and shelves can be either white or – more favourably – black. Just be sure to stock up on surface wipes as white does dirty easily.


2.    Velvet furniture

The last few years have seen reboots and nostalgia come back to everything in many forms including fashion and media, so, it’s only fitting that interior design should be affected by the same craze.

Velvet couches and chairs are plush, soft and very comfortable. It’s no surprise that more and more people have furnished their properties with these. Because they’re available in a variety of different colours it means you can match them with virtually any décor.

Darker colours like purple contrast beautifully with lighter backgrounds and also match more rustic features such as natural wood–finish tables. However, their versatility also allows them to blend seamlessly into a more modern living room as well – making it one of the hottest furnishing pieces of the year.


3.    Geometric patterns

If you’re not big on solid-coloured walls then we have some good news for you – geometric patterns are in! Bold colours and large patterns make for great wallpaper around your property. If you want to get even more creative, then you should check out bathroom wall tiles and the amazing patterns and designs that you can get out of them.

Even just having a partial pattern on a single wall – similar to a feature wall – can make a huge difference. This is an attractive feature to have as well as something that will add a lot of value to your property if you ever consider selling.


4.    Minimalism

Whilst it has been popular for several years now, this trend shows no sign of slowing down. A minimalistic space looks clean and tidy. The whole point of minimalism is to not overdo anything – so that means very simple, yet elegantly designed furnishings in clear, solid colours. Pastel or monochromatic colours are usually quite popular as they help to establish an open concept.

Decluttering your rooms also helps a minimalistic theme along nicely. It all contributes to the open concept and will make you feel like you have more space. Another element of minimalistic interior designs is copious amounts of natural light as well as simple wall finishing’s. Don’t get too carried away with complex patterns as our Sydney estimating service team tends to find that combining simple and complex themes don’t always match.


5.    Decorate with art

Whether it’s traditional or modern, riddling artwork throughout your home is becoming more and more common. Even your local café probably sells paintings and drawings that you can purchase to take home. If you can find something that matches the rest of your home’s style, then you’ve hit the jackpot.

You can even try going for something a bit more adventurous if you have space like small sculptures or abstract objects. These fit in great on dressers and shelves in your living room and add value. They’re also fantastic conversation pieces.


Do you need an estimating service in Sydney?

If you’re building a property or extending/renovating an older one then you’re going to want to decorate it in the best possible way. More importantly, however, you’re going to need a building estimator to ensure everything is done cost-effectively and efficiently.

That’s where Accent Estimating come into the mix. With years of experience providing estimating services in Sydney, our team will work with you to ensure that all the parts of your construction project are estimated correctly using the best materials and methods.

If you’re looking for an estimating service in Sydney, then please get in touch with us by calling 0413 953 869. You may also contact us via the enquiry page on our website.

Tackling a construction project – no matter the size – is a large-scale undertaking. There are a lot of components that work independently and then merge in the end. It’s not just the labour that goes into it though, it’s the planning, the meetings, the drafts and the cost estimating. A building estimating service is a valuable tool, but not just anyone can do it. Today we’ll be explaining to you just why that is, and why builders need estimators for their construction projects.

It’s a dedicated role

A building estimating service makes key components in construction projects run smoother and more efficiently. An estimator has copious amounts of hands-on experience and understands the workflow of construction projects. This allows them to make highly-educated estimations and – if required – micro-adjustments as parameters and circumstances change.

Like most things, someone who is in a dedicated role will generally be more effective and efficient than someone who is handling multiple roles. This is one reason why builders require estimators. Estimators have gone through specialised training and have been dealing with this particular type of work – whereas for your average builder, estimating may just be a background task that they’ve had to do a handful of times.

Tasks such as drafting up Bill of Quantities lists, feasibility studies, tax depreciation schedules and monthly cash-flow forecasts are all relevant and key when accurately providing a building estimating service. They’re also things that may not be completed up-to-scratch or correctly if a builder is trying to do them as well as handle their contract workers and the other demands that come with their profession.

Alleviates stress and frees-up time

A builder will have a lot on their plate trying to manage multiple facets of a project. The last thing they’ll want to do is add another job to the pile by attempting to estimate. This will take up more of their time and possibly cause them unnecessary stress. On top of that, if they make a mistake it could end up costing you dearly.

This is a fantastic reason to look at a building estimating service. It’s a safer bet to hire an estimator who knows what they’re doing than to risk doing it yourself and making a mistake. This also allows a builder to divert their time to other matters that require their attention – allowing the estimator to simultaneously work autonomously. This improves the efficiency of the project as a whole.

Unique perspective

The experience and knowledge gathered by an estimator over their career can be quite unique. They will be able to offer solutions to you that may not have previously occurred. This is because their trade enables them to know the ins and outs of the industry as they’re constantly finding the most effective way to achieve the desired goal.

It’s not just about making the budget the cheapest it can be, but also the best and efficient. This is where an estimator would utilise their knowledge to find the best quality materials and efficient strategies/processes moving forward.

Working in unison and negotiating

Whilst a good estimator will be able to work on their own, there are times where they will have to work in conjunction with the builder. If a more effectual course of action or process has been found by the estimator, then it will be suggested to the builder to streamline the project.

If there is a cheaper, yet efficient way to go, then it is the responsibility of the estimator to negotiate with the builder and bring that overall price down. Often builders will just go with a personally preferred product or something they trust without shopping around first. In some cases, this can be fine – but, by limiting their scope they can sometimes miss more effectual products or means of achieving something. That’s where an estimator doesn’t fail.

Do you require a building estimating service?

If you have an upcoming renovation or construction project, then you’ll need an accurate and experienced building estimator to help with the development’s cost. Accent Estimating has years of hands-on industry experience in employing cost estimating services and will be able to work with and for you to realise your project and help it come to fruition.

If you would like to know more about the services that we offer, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 0413 953 869. Alternatively, you may fill out the contact form found on our website.

As premium building cost consultants, we see commercial and residential disputes occur regularly. These disputes can range from a contractor not being paid for their work on a job, or the carried-out work not being what was agreed upon in the contract. If you feel you’ve fallen under the umbrella that requires legal action to be taken, then there are special tribunals tailored specifically to resolve cases such as these. 

The Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) and the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) deal with civil and administrative legal cases less formally than the Supreme Court would. Today, our building cost consultants will be reviewing some of the key differences between VCAT/NCAT and the Supreme Court and tallying up which one may be a better option for you.


The differences in legal representation

For the Victorian/NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunals, the process is much more relaxed than that of the Supreme Court. For starters, you do not need legal representation if you do not wish to. In fact, it is encouraged that you represent yourself. 

If you would like legal representation, then that is also accepted. However, you will need permission from VCAT/NCAT and must supply sufficient reason for hiring representation. The tribunal will not provide you with representation in any instance and you will have to find your own. For VCAT, there is a process called automatic right to representation. This means that you will not have to gain permission for representation if you are a:

  • Child;
  • Body corporate;
  • Municipal council;
  • Credit provider;
  • Public authority;
  • Statutory office holder;
  • Government representative or minister; or a
  • Builder’s warranty issuer.

In the Supreme Court, you may also represent yourself (the exception to this is that companies must be represented by a lawyer during an appeal) but – unlike VCAT/NCAT – it is not actively encouraged, and you may not get far without familiarising yourself with the relevant law and legal terminology. If you choose to represent yourself in the Supreme Court, then you will be known as a Self-Represented Litigant (SRL).


VCAT/NCAT is the go-to for construction-related disputes

Although the Supreme Court will hear the matters, they are also the highest board of authority within their states. With this in mind, it is generally more beneficial to opt for VCAT/NCAT first, as they’re much cheaper and less formal proceedings. The tribunals typically go between one and two hours, and will consist of facing three panel members who will be familiar with the area that the case falls under. 

One of the defining factors of the Victorian/NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunals is that they strongly encourage that an agreement should be reached between the two parties before any legal action or hearings are undertaken. Even right up to the last moment before the final hearing begins, the tribunal member may push for an agreement. An agreement can be reached at any time between the two parties.

In both theVictorian and NSW Supreme Courts, mediation may be offered as an alternative. This is similar to an agreement being reached with VCAT/NCAT, however, this is a much more formal proceeding as there is an appointed mediator to help with the discussions. Mediation can only be performed if it is ordered by the court. A matter may be referred to mediation at any time before the court. 


Appealing a VCAT/NCAT decision in the Supreme Court

An appeal can only be made if there was a legal mistake made in the original tribunal by a VCAT/NCAT member. An appeal cannot be made if the person is unhappy with the decision or for any other reason. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the original VCAT/NCAT decision.


Know your options

At Accent Estimating, our building cost consultants are knowledgeable and experienced with the legalities of the industry, and will work to ensure that no contracts are breached during your construction project. We are well-versed with both VCAT and NCAT tribunal matters and will be able to offer you expert advice should you ever find yourself needing to attend. Our building cost consultants can also offer you premium and tailored estimating services for your residential, commercial or industrial building projects.

If you would like to know more about NCAT/VCAT – or some of our other estimating or quantity surveying services – then please do not hesitate to contact one of our building cost consultants on 0413 953 869. You may also get in touch by filling out the enquiry form on our website.

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