£200K Dilapidation Cost Saving on Window Blinds Shows How Commercial Premises Occupiers Can Decrease Exiting Overheads.
£200,000 window blind dilapidation costs were saved by a major international publishing company based in London when exiting the 30 storey Kings Reach Tower. Facilities management contractor Bilton Solutions asked window blinds management company Bright A Blind to undertake a rapid survey, repair and renovation programme to enable substantial savings to be made.
Unexpectedly high dilapidation costs are often a substantial and unpredictable expense when leaving commercial buildings at the end of a long lease. The requirement to hand back the building in good condition can be onerous. A key problem is that the full scope of necessary refurbishment works may not be known until the building is vacated. In addition, time is usually limited. This was the situation at Kings Reach in Southwark, a 1970’s office tower that also included a cluster of smaller buildings. The dilapidations order covered 29 floors in the main tower and an adjoining block of five floors.
The inclusion of blinds within the scope of work was not decided until the last minute. This created difficulties for Bilton who had substantial work in their main contract to strip out the partitions, supplementary air-conditioning and associated facilities and return the building to its original open-plan state. Blinds are often treated as a disposable item and replaced completely during dilapidations.
Kings Reach had over 1800 blinds and therefore disposal was not an option. Worse still, the vertical PVC louvers were of a style now obsolete in the UK. A comprehensive floor by floor survey was conducted with a team of three surveyors continuously employed for five days to decide which blinds could be retained, repaired or replaced. In parallel, procurement staff at Bright A Blind searched for compatible components, eventually finding a Dutch manufacturer.
A team of three fitters followed the survey team. The aim was to save as many existing blinds as possible, renovating blinds with new head boxes and louvers where needed. The fitters worked 12 hour days rising to 15 hours towards the end of the project to meet the tight deadline.
During the programme 70 percent of the blinds were retained and serviced in-situ. Just short of 700 new head rails were installed and over 6000 new louvers. The project was completed to deadline. The estimated saving over complete rip-out and renewal was approximately £200,000.
The conclusion is simple. Dilapidations can be a very significant expense at the end of a long lease. However, with a well managed professional programme of repair and refurbishment major savings can be made and good relations maintained between the tenant and landlord.