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A Comprehensive Guide To A Renovation Project Timeline

No matter the scale of your office renovation project, you have several aspects to consider, from the final design to the materials you wish to use for your office space interior design. However, the most critical element you have to be aware of is the project timeline.

Knowing how long a typical office renovation might take is critical to help you achieve timely design and renovation flow, saving you unnecessary renovation expenses and time.

In this article, we have broken down a typical office renovation timeline into three key stages to help you digest the various aspects of a renovation project better.

Stage 1: Planning

The initial stage involves critical planning of your office renovation project. In this stage, you will be considering various processes, from preparation to selecting and finalising, to help you kickstart the renovation. This critical stage should be conducted even before you research the commercial interior design firms in Singapore.

Preparation process

Budgeting (Estimated time: 1 – 4 weeks)

Before you start your renovation, you need to plan your prospective budget. Knowing your budget’s upper limits will help you determine what is essential and what is not. There are other alternatives to upgrading your office without having to conduct a complete renovation process, such as A&A works, that might be more cost-effective if budget is a concern.

There are times when clients think that taking over a fitted unit will be more cost-effective. However, in reality, there are also many partitions to work with, which may lead to higher costs due to the MEP and demolition costs.

Hence, if you are hesitating between getting a fitted or bare unit, engaging a commercial design company like OSCA right from the start can help you decide.

Crafting a design brief (Estimated time: 2 – 4 weeks)

A design brief is a document that outlines the scope of the renovation and the deliverables, such as the estimated timeline and budget, as well as the desired aesthetics and functions of the commercial office design. With a well-crafted design brief, you are able to convey your ideas to your interior designer in a much clearer manner, saving not only your interior designer but also yourself significant time in the next stage.

Choosing your interior design firm (Estimated time: 1 – 3 weeks)

Once you have envisioned your office design, it is time to find the right office renovation design provider, which can be divided into contractors and ID firms, depending on your budget, timeline, and needs. However, you can save yourself significant renovation time by engaging an end-to-end provider, such as OSCA.

Selecting process

Pitching and tender (Estimated time: 4 – 9 weeks)

This is where your design brief comes in handy! During this process, you will be meeting various ID firms and contractors that you have shortlisted for your renovation project, communicating your needs and expectations using your design brief. They will then pitch their design proposals. From there, you will pick the one that best fits what you are looking for[1] [2] .

Finalising process

Preparation of downpayment and contract (Estimated time: 1 – 2 weeks)

After picking the renovation provider, you would have to prepare the relevant documentation, such as a contract and down payment. This is the last step before commencing the renovation. The documentation usually involves various parties, such as various authorities, departments, service providers, and building management. Hence, you need to set aside sufficient time to coordinate with them. Fortunately, engaging OSCA means you can enjoy a fuss-free process as we usually help to manage everything from start to finish when needed.

Design development and confirmation (Estimated time: 2 – 6 weeks)

Once all documentation and the Permit To Work (PTW) are approved and issued, it is imperative to fine-tune and confirm the final design details, such as layout plan and 3D visuals, wall positions and floor materials, as well as minute ones, such as furniture colour and size.

It is imperative to note that PTW can take up to six weeks to be issued, depending on the building. Hence, it is vital for you to make quick decisions during the pitching and tendering process to ensure that your selected ID firm can manage this on time.

Items such as loose furniture and carpentry might require longer lead times of up to 12 weeks as they are usually made to order. Hence, it is vital that you spend as little time as possible confirming the details to avoid pushing back the delivery timeline.

Site marking of the space will help to plan out the space and positioning of partitions. A mock-up of the furniture and materials will also be arranged on-site to feel the compatibility of the selected finishes. In OSCA, the assigned project manager will arrange this process between every vendor for the client, ensuring the provision of bespoke services for every client and going the extra mile when needed.

Stage 2: Renovating (Estimated time: 4 – 14 weeks)

Once you are done with the planning stage, you are ready to begin your renovation stage. This stage is also where delays will occur potentially, but you and your interior designer will be able to mitigate them with careful planning. Apart from long lead-time items and the size of your office space, some potential factors that might lead to longer renovation are:

Public holidays

Contactors typically do not work during public holidays, such as Christmas or Chinese New Year. Manufacturers also stop accepting orders up to a month before such occasions to avoid delivery delays.

Building management’s or landlord’s regulations

When renovating, each building comes with its specific set of regulations for contractors and tenants, such as permitted renovation hours.

Typically, noisy renovation works are allowed to occur only during office hours, from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays. However, depending on the location’s regulations, the contractors might require more time to complete the renovation, especially if they have shorter permitted working hours.

Additionally, if the documents are submitted wrongly, or the bills to the building management are not paid on time, it will cause a delay in the issue of the PTW, which will delay the start of the renovation.

Site accessibility

The accessibility of the office makes a significant difference. For example, if the site does not have a cargo lift access, it might require more time to transport larger items and materials. This is because passenger lifts are usually much smaller than cargo lifts. In addition, access to a convenient loading and unloading bay also boosts accessibility. They allow contractors to park and unload large quantities of materials more efficiently.

Mitigating delays

While there are many delaying factors, you can mitigate them with your designer and contractors easily by examining the tenancy guidelines thoroughly and sending a copy of it to your designer before you commence the renovating stage. Additionally, you should also arrange a site visit with both your designer and contractor present, allowing them to take note of certain conditions and features that might not be reflected in the initial drawing.

This is why engaging an ID company that can handle both design and build is such an advantageous element. It puts every responsibility on the ID, who will manage both the contractors and vendors, to deliver the project on time.

Stage 3: Handing over (Estimated time: 2 – 4 weeks)

The handover stage commences as soon as your renovation process is completed, during which most time is spent conducting inspections, such as building management and fire safety authorities. Of course, you will be conducting your own inspection, too, to identify any defects, allowing you to rectify them immediately! However, when you engage an ID company, such as OSCA, that provides end-to-end services, you can rest assured knowing that the site inspection with the building management will be handled by the ID.

After everything has been settled, the handover process will involve passing over items, such as aircon remotes, user manuals, access cards, cabinet keys, and door keys. You might also want to use this time to train your employees on certain office features, such as office access and the use of certain furniture.

After which, you are now ready to receive, process, and sign any relevant handover documents, invoices and certifications. With that, you have finally completed your office renovation project. Do note that for most renovation companies, such as OSCA, you will be given up to 12 months post-renovation period for any additional rectification of defects and maintenance at an added cost.


Now that we have shared an estimated timeline of an office renovation project, we hope that it has provided you with a rough estimate for your own project. If you are looking to renovate your office, look no further than OSCA. Whether big or small, OSCA offers award-winning end-to-end design and renovating solutions that will make your office as comfortable as home. Visit our website to find out more!

Do you think we could highlight that there are a few numbers of revisions of the layout plan and 3D visuals, based on the client’s feedback. And it’s normal if the design is not perfectly matching with the client’s expectations from the beginning as a professional ID should be able to develop the design further once the feedback is received. I've included those information in the later section under design development and confirmation

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