Drama free flooring – start with the end in mind
John White of H&H Flooring, who has spent decades managing flooring projects, writes that the secret is to know your end goal.
If you can keep your floor coverings looking good until the end of their life cycle and you can make the finance department happy by keeping within the budget, then you will have very few problems with your flooring.
It’s amazing though how often a lot of money is wasted in the wrong areas, usually because there is no flooring plan in place. The way to plan is to start with the end in mind. Many businesses in health and hospitality rotate their floor coverings every five years, while office blocks can run to seven years if the tenant doesn’t require a change beforehand.
So the goal should be to ensure that the floor coverings are perfectly serviceable at the end of their life cycle. This will ensure there are no surprises for the finance department, and no dramas for the people occupying the building before the floor coverings are replaced.
I’ve been called in when an operator has specified the wrong product and the flooring has become unserviceable 12 months or even 18 months before the budgeted replacement. That is a very costly exercise and a major disruption that could have been avoided by expert advice and planning at the start.
At the other end of the spectrum, we see operators who choose high quality 10-year life floor coverings in an area that has been specified by management to have the floor coverings changed every five years. That’s just a complete waste of money, and that budget could have been used to create better performance in other areas. For example, that extra money could be used to specify extra hard-wearing products in really tough areas, or even perhaps have something unique produced for your organisation, such as a custom design or insignia. As well as serviceability, your aim should be to enhance the décor as much as you can within the budget you have been allocated.
Audit and planned maintenance program
One way to control the budget, obtain the best value for money and ensure a planned maintenance program is to ask a reputable operator to undertake a floor coverings audit and design an ongoing replacement and maintenance program. Financial controllers particularly like these programs because they can program the costs in forward budgeting, so there are no problems about the funds being available and there are rarely unforeseen costs. With the right forward planning, you will be surprised at how much more you can get out of your floor covering budget.