So what is FF&E and why should it affect my building project?
FF&E or FFE is an acronym that stands for furniture, fixtures and equipment, and is used to describe the items in every building project not normally part of the contract between the owner and the building contractor. FF&E also includes equipment that has no permanent connection to the structure of a building or its utilities.
In most cases, the general contractor is not required to provide any FF&E as part of their contract. The FF&E package is typically provided by the building owner or an interior designer and is specific to their detailed business operations. FF&E is also typically not included in the construction design drawings or blueprints. If it is shown in the drawings, it typically is only showing a representation of the office furniture or equipment and items deemed necessary to depict scale and size.
An analogy is, if you were to take a completed building project and pick it up, take off the roof, and turn it over, everything that fell out would be FF&E items. All of these items have no permanent connection to the structure of the building or utilities. Items that might fall out would include furniture such as tables, desks, chairs, bookcases, and shelving, fixtures such as window treatments (shades or blinds) or movable office partitions and equipment which might include copiers, printers, computers, fax machines, and phone systems. These are all items that are classified as personal property rather than real property from an accounting standpoint.
Why should FF&E be that important of an issue to a building owner?
Some people would claim that FF&E applies only to interior design or office projects. We would argue that every building has some element of cost related to furniture, fixtures and equipment and therefore need to be considered when the owner is thinking about his total cost of construction. A building project itself is a significant expenditure for any organization, let alone everything that goes inside of it, which is all out of pocket for the owner. To underestimate the total costs of construction can be catastrophic for a business and create a hole that is very difficult to climb out of.
Many builders spend very little time discussing FFE with their clients, yet these costs can be significant. In the DJ planning and design process, we work to assist our clients in trying to identify all of the costs associated with their building project so that they have a very clear picture of the total cost to plan accurately and not be surprised late in the project construction process with unanticipated cost expenditures.
This is just another one of the many steps that DJ Construction uses to try to provide a “Decidedly Different” experience for our clients. If you would like to learn more about FFE or just about DJ’s approach to meeting your building needs, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-533-1645.