Posted on November 09, 2016

Choosing the right office design and fit out company for your project can be a big responsibility and one which should only be taken once all the relevant due diligence has been carried out. But what due diligence should you do? How do you know you are hiring the best project partners for the job?

This is where this post aims to put your mind a rest as it guides you through the minefield of picking the right company, so here we go…

Once you are armed with your objectives for your new workspace project and you have your ballpark budget, you can move onto talking to design and fit-out companies to see which one is going to be best suited to helping you implement your ideas.

But where do you start? Many people will do one of two things, they will look online for companies who do this sort of work or they will ask colleagues in businesses who have recently had their workspace renovated.

Both of these methods are valid but it will still mean you have to talk to the companies themselves to make sure they are right for you, your business and your project. It is always a good idea to talk to at least three companies when considering this scale of work and expense.

Here are some important questions to consider asking when discussing your project with potential office fit-out companies:

  • What projects have you done before?

This is a good way of gauging the companies scalability and whether they have fully understood what it is you require from your design and fit out.

  • How do you plan for contingencies?

In the majority of cases, contingencies are not needed but in the unfortunate event that they are needed, they can save your business thousands of pounds in time and resources. It is important you have confidence in your office design and fit out company so if the worst does happen, you can rely on them to fix it.

  • How long will the project take from beginning to end?

This will help you minimise disruption to your business and help you plan around the project. It is also good to know if you and your design company are on the same page as far as time-scales for the project are concerned.

  • Will you completely project manage the work from end to end?

Again, managing expectation in terms of who is responsible for what, will help you and your workspace company establish where each party stands as far as the project goes. Ask this question knowing what you want their answer to be. If you need or want them to entirely project manage everything, ask them if they can do that.

  • How will you minimise disruption to day-to-day working?

This will allow your fit out company to show you they really do understand your business, its needs and that they have experience of working around other businesses operational needs.

  • What insurance do you have in place?

This is self explanatory and doesn’t need to be a big issue, but checking the paperwork is always a 

good idea before signing on the dotted line with a company.

  • How will you bespoke designs, features and equipment to suit the needs of our business specifically?

This will sort the wheat from the chaff in terms of are the company design lead or are they a furniture company who also install. Depending on the size and scale of your project, it may not be important to establish this but responses to this question can be quite varied so it might be worth asking as a benchmark question to all of the possible companies you talk to.

  • Can you work to tight deadlines if necessary?

The answer will always be ‘Yes’ to this question but if the office design company go on to give you examples of when this happened or explanations as to how they would do this, you’ll know they mean it.

  • Can you provide any references of similar projects?

Always check references if they are provided. They will rarely throw up anything bad but they may highlight something which you hadn’t considered.

  • What sort of after care do you have in place for snagging issues?

Most companies who have office fit out projects only think in terms of project completion and rarely consider the inevitable snagging issues and after care they may need. For example, how easy is it to order additional chairs and desks for new staff? Do you go through the design company for those or direct to the supplier? How will you ensure they match your new furniture? And so on.

We hope this post has helped you to pick the right office design and fit out company for your project. If you would like to talk to us about your next project, contact us on 0370 360 2470.

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