What does FF&E stand for?

FF&E is an abbreviation for Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment (sometimes also abbreviated as FFE).

What is FF&E?

FF&E refers to all movable furniture, fixtures, and/or equipment that have no permanent connection to the structure of a building.

FF&E Meaning in Construction

FF&E construction refers to the acquisition and installation of the furniture, fixtures and equipment that are used to decorate and furnish the property achieve livable and useable spaces in the project. Examples of FF&E are couches, chairs, artwork, vending machines, POS, beds, TV’s etc. including the costs for any needed construction to support the FF&E, and all installation costs. Normally the FF&E is not a part of the base construction contract between the owner and the building contractor and the work is coordinated by the Owner Representative.

Normally, the general contractor is not required to provide any FF&E as part of their construction contract. The FF&E package is typically coordinated by the Owner Representative or in with the 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 is shown to depict scale and size.

What does FF&E include?

As a general rule FF&E includes items that are easy to remove from the building that have a useful life of one year or more and aren’t products that a business would typically sell.

It is not practical to list everything that could be considered FF&E but below are some common examples:

  • Furniture – desks, chairs, lamps, bookcases, sofas
  • Electronic Equipment – computers, stereos, terminals, servers, speakers, routers, security systems, etc.
  • Decorative Items – art, photographs, wall items, shelving
  • Lighting – lamps, lighting fixtures (even if attached to the building)
  • Other Equipment – that is not a product for sale such as weights and gym equipment in a fitness center, or a currency counter in a bank or a rotating clothes rack in a dry cleaning business.

What does FF&E not include?

Below are some common asset types that are not considered FF&E:

  • Immovable Building Components – toilets, faucets, HVAC, windows
  • Built-in Furniture – desks, bookcases, display cases
  • Office Supplies – paper, pens, markers, files, etc.
  • Consumables – food, drink, paper products

Why is FF&E Important?

Every building has some elements of cost that are related to FF&E. So a building owner must consider the FF&E construction costs in the total costs of the building.

To underestimate the total costs of building construction can be catastrophic for a developer or business. FF&E costs can be significant and to be surprised by unanticipated costs late in the development process can cause severe financial hardship. This blind spot can cause a financial burden that the owner could have a difficult time overcoming.

FF&E is also an important concept for accounting and tax purposes, as items included in FF&E have depreciation in a different way than the property itself and therefore have an impact on a business’s book value.

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