The term FF&E is an acronym for Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment. Of course Furniture is movable items such as tables and chairs. Fixtures are the immovable items such as cabinets. Equipment is a machine such as a water-heater or air conditioner. All are used to make a house or other space suitable for living and/or working.
When we talk about Materials and Finishes, we talk about them in one of two ways-products and construction materials. Every product you choose while developing your project plan will be made of a specific material with specific finish options.
Often people use the terms Material and Finish, interchangeably, when they are not. Material is what a raw component is actually made of, while the term Finish describes the sensual characteristics of a material or product such as sheen, color, and/or texture.
For example, people often talk about paint as if it is a finish, which it is, but only in the context of being applied to another product, like drywall (sheet rock). However, nowadays the paint itself comes in countless finish combinations when considering available colors, textural additives (like popcorn), and various sheens (such as gloss, semi-gloss and flat).
Manufacturers commonly compare product qualities in their product lines by relating other products in the same product line. A higher quality product will generally give you better and/or more numerous features.
The same is true in construction. The qualities of products on the market today generally fit into many different categories: Economy, Basic, Common, Deluxe, Luxury, and Custom –or other similar monikers. There can be different descriptors used to describe quality levels, even among manufacturers of similar products. For example, a manufacturer might use the word Luxury to describe their superior product. Generally, manufacturers are all trying to describe their product quality in a way that connects with a consumer’s vision of his/herself. The higher the item quality, the higher the item cost.
If you already know the kind of furniture, fixtures, equipment, materials, and finishes you want and need in your project, it will make creating your scope of work-tasks to be performed-faster and easier. If you do not, then you need to understand that together there are millions of different Materials, Finishes, Fixtures, Furniture, and Equipment combinations. There are so many, that there is literally no way to cover all of them in any one book, but don’t let that thought overwhelm you, because in the Construction Conductor workbook you will learn how to use that to your advantage.
For now, it is more important that you have an understanding of who can help you select Materials, Finishes, Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment and how to evaluate those items in order to incorporate them into the scope of work to maintain a balanced budget.