There are two ways you can proceed with your fitout. Separate the project into 2 units, Design and Build and appoint different service providers for each function or one specialist turnkey company to carry out the whole project.

Let’s compare the 2 options.

  1. Total Cost

There will be little or no difference. An architect or designer will charge a higher fee than a turnkey company as all the designer’s income is from the fee while the turnkey company usually makes a small margin on the build and is not totally reliant on the fee. Whilst you might have explained your project budget to the designer, they are not responsible for the costs so you might have a surprise when you go out to tender the building works. Make clear your budget to the turnkey company and they will design to that cost.

  1. Time

With a turnkey company, some tasks can be performed concurrently resulting in a significant time saving (at least 25%). By separating, the builder will not even quote until all the documentation is complete and handed over. Your own time saving is considerable using the turnkey method. You have one point of contact and responsibility through the project.

  1. Variations

Most builders work on small margins. They can increase this margin by charging more per unit for any extra work outside the original scope (variations). By separating the design from the build, you will find yourself in the middle of disputes over chargeable variations between the builder and the designer as the builder looks for gaps in the documentation where he can justify variations. Appointing a turnkey provider means they are responsible for achieving the project budget. Any errors or omissions are an internal problem between departments and will not be your problem. Your initial budget is safe.

  1. Scope of works

There are some necessary tasks that might not be included in either the builder or the designer’s costs such as Council or Certifier fees, Structural Engineers Fees, Occupation Certificate, Loose Furniture etc. You will have to spend your time looking after these and navigating the approval pathway. A turnkey provider will take care of all these as a matter of course saving you time and money.

  1. Summary

Your time is your most valuable asset. The less time you have to spend on the project sorting out problems the better. The Design and Build process using one turnkey supplier is proven to save time and money.


Design Doctors Australia offers an end-to-end solution for healthcare professionals. Starting with a no charge site assessment, design, approvals, and fitout to handing over the keys giving you one point of contact throughout the journey. Our core clients are private GPs, specialists, dentists, and veterinarians.