Office Fit-out Q&A
To set up a new office in Yangon is an exciting but challenging process. From finding an ideal location, finding a contractor, to financing the project, all takes quite a lot effort. Below I would like to give some advices to assist anyone who is going to start this process.
Q. Where to set up the office?
A. Based on your business type, it's highly recommended to find your office location near your potential client or your supplier. AS you may know already, the traffic in Yangon can be a nightmare. If your office is in Downtown area and you need to visit very often to Hlain Thar Yar or northern industrial zones, you will lose a lot of time on transit. If your business is more service or consulting type, and your clients are around the city, you may want to settle in the mid-town area around Inya Lake or Kandawgyi.
Q. Where to find designer or general contractor?
A. You may get some suggestions from your leasing agent or friends. You can also search on Facebook or Google. You can also try to get contacts when you have a chance to visit offices that are some nicely done. We really advice to hire someone trustworthy and let him do the job rather than doing this on your own. When you realize that the time you spend on the project and the energy you lose during the process, you actually don't save much on your budget. Most general contractors can provide simple layout drawings. But if you desire some nice designs, you may want to look for design firms. Some of the design firms also provide design and build service. You can save some time and save some design cost if you use one company for turnkey solution.
Q. How much budget?
A. The construction cost ranges from 20USD per square feet for very basic fit-out up to 40USD per square feet for very nicely decorated office. This figure includes decoration work, electrical and air-con, and furniture. Price ranges a lot depends on your office set up. If you have most of the office as open type, you can keep lower budget. If you have more individual offices, then you have to budget more for building up walls and additional air-cons. Some other driving factors include the requirement for your server and IT, your expectation on furniture quality, and location of your office.
Q. Where to buy materials and furniture?
A. If you decide to manage several subcontractors and provide them materials, you can find plenty of resources in Pro 1 Homemart in Thingangyuan. You can also shop around at 10 mile materials market or Thiri Yadana Market in North Oakkala. For furniture shops, you can go to Mindama Road near Kyaik Waing Pagoda Road, or Pearl Condo. Please be reminded that most of the materials or furniture are imported from oversea. You may find it frustrating when you cannot get whatever you want on time so please plan your project early and do shopping early.
Q. How much time?
A. The overall process is at least 4 months depending on the size of your office and the complexity of your program requirement. The first month is talking to designer to design your new space. If you are clear on what you want in terms of space planning and the images you want to present, you can shorten the designing process. The second month is finding a general contractor through bidding process with several candidates. If you engage with design and build contractor, you may save some time on this part. You may also spend some time going through administration and contract preparation. Depends on the size of your project, the final stage may take from 1 to 2 months. The factor also depends on which office building your project is. Some building has very stringent rules and only allow noisy works after office hour. In this case, the construction period may be longer.