A few other thoughts that have been popping into my head over the last couple of days that I think are worth writing down.
First up - order of works - this can make a huge difference to timescales. This might seem like a weird order to do things, but when rennovating property this is the order we do the final stages in.
Paint all the walls and ceilings when plastered. This happens before second fix electrics, before skirtings, doors, floors etc are installed. Painting is a lot quicker when you aren’t having to cut round endless sockets, and can paint all the way down to the floor without having to brush in the last few inches. Also because floors go down after, it means there is no masking or dustsheeting needed. This way you can do 99% of the painting with just a roller.
Install second fix wiring (sockets etc), any second fix plumbing and so on.
Second fix woodwork - skirtings if any, doorframes etc - as these are ideally done just over the edges of flooring etc, and hides any expansion gaps depending on the floor type used.
I know not all of this will apply, we are unlikely to need skirtings, and we also have building work first, but as backwards as it seems prioritising painting etc first speeds things up. Traditionally people start with the heavy building first and move along the ‘finishes’ (i.e. plaster) until they get to paint. instead, think of it as layers and start at the back and move forwards. If things go on the paint, do them after.
Flooring wise, assuming we have concrete, I had a look on eBay at second hand carpet tiles. Not ideal for everywhere in the space, but they have a lot going for them. Because they aren’t glued down in installation, office refits often pull out hundreds of uncut, matching ones and they sell cheap. They have good insulating properties because they are rubber backed, don’t need fixing down, so once the first straight line is laid they are very quick to lay, are hard wearing and look pretty decent. If we have a graphics area, some kind of classroom etc, these would be a good and very cost effective option. As an idea, on completed listings, a job lot of 390 (about 100 square meters) didn’t sell at an asking price of £150. Theres another job lot on at the moment for 600 (150 square meters) currently bidding at £1.
For building the walls, I came across a system a few years back called Bricky - it’s like a plastic template you put on the blocks, and then spread the mortar over, it leaves a uniform mortar line to help keep the lines uniform and the bricks level. It’s a simple plastic jig and I’m sure we could build something similar from MDF to help with building the wall. I’ve got self levelling lasers to help lay things out, and plenty of spirit levels. I also have a couple of long levels (1.2m & 1.8m) that aren’t level anymore but are still useful straightedges that won’t be mucked up if they get covered in cement.
I think Richard is right about the walls needing supports building in. I’ll have a look and see what i can find, and I have a couple of people I can ask. It might be worth planning the distance round usable space left inbetween - for example if we leave 2.4m between supports then full rips of sheet material would make the gap between into good shelving. I’m 95% sure we don’t need building regs or structural engineers for a non-supporting wall but I can check building regs for this.
On the wiring front, a couple of random notes. For conduit and trunking, metal is sexy but bear in mind the more metal the more earthing we have to do. I also believe that new electrical regs state that any electrical infrastructure such as cable trays needs to be held in place by non-combustable fixings, so that in the event of a fire the cables don’t start falling down, so we need to be using concrete screws or fire rated resin fixings instead of plastic plugs, although in all honesty I rate the concrete screws as a lot more convenient than plastic plugs anyway.
Finally, if the ceiling is similar to the current space (vaulted brick with old plaster covering) then I would suggest we spend a day with a couple of SDS drills and strip it all off. It’s usually quick going although messy, and means we won’t have bits of ceiling forever coming down onto projects and equipment. Also, exposed brick vaulted ceilings = sexy sexy hack space.
I know we have build out weekends planned but I’ll likely have some week days off without jobs on after we get keys, I don’t mind spending a few of them in there doing some of the more mundane prep such as stripping ceilings or clearing rubbish, taking out toilets etc so that when we have more people down we are in a good position to hit it hard and get as much done as possible.