Best Office Fit Out Companies
Are you planning an office fit out or refurbishment? If you're at the stage of looking for a design & build company, you're probably wondering “Who are the best design & build companies in London?”. Between old contacts, word-of-mouth recommendations, and online searches, there are hundreds of office fit out companies in London. Trying to decide which is best for you can be difficult.
At Zentura, we provide a full suite of design & build services, and are confident that we are amongst the best office design & build companies in London. However, we understand that we’re not right for every company.
To help you choose the best design & build company for your business, we’ve compiled a list of 7 office design & build companies that are among the best in London. We’ll also explain the criteria for how to choose the best design & build company, and if Zentura might be a good option for you.
Best Design & Build Companies in London
Head Office: London, EC1N
About: Oktra is a London-based design and build firm operating across the UK. They are one of the largest UK office fit out companies, with 180 staff across 4 offices.
Head Office: London, W1F
About: Originally an office design company, Morgan Lovell has expanded its portfolio to include office fit-out and refurbishment. Part of the Morgan Sindall Group, Morgan Lovell also has offices in Berkshire.
Head Office: London SE1
About: Maris are one of the largest design & build companies in the UK. They’ve delivered over 10,000 office design, fit out, and refurbishment projects ranging in size from 1,500 to 120,000 sq ft.
Head Office: London, SE1
About: With offices in London and Berkshire, Area has been providing office refurbishments across the UK and Europe for 20 years.
Head Office: London, EC1V
About: Peldon Rose has been delivering office fit out projects in London for over 30 years. with in-house specialists covering a wide range of disciplines, Peldon Rose also offers the full suite of design and build services.
Head Office: London, EC1V
About: Thirdway were originally an office interior designer, and has now expanded into workspace fit out and refurbishment. Thirdway interiors are part of Thirdway group, which also offers architecture, managed workspace, and furniture services.
Head Office: London, EC4M
About: Headquartered in London with offices in Amsterdam, AIS interiors have been delivering design and build projects for over 40 years. They also offer global delivery for multinational clients.
How to Choose the Best Design & Build Company For You
The companies we’ve mentioned are some of the most well-known and awarded design & build companies operating in London. They all have their respective areas of expertise, service levels and price points.
When choosing your design and build company, you shouldn’t ask “Which is the best?”, but rather “Which is the best for me?”. Just because they have the most awards or the most impressive portfolio or the best testimonials, they aren't necessarily the best for you. That will depend on your unique needs and situation.
To help you decide if they (or any other design & build company) can fulfil your needs, we’ve explained the 6 key areas to assess your design & build company.
The unique expertise of your office design & build partner is a crucial consideration. Your project will have unique and/ or unusual aspects. Making sure they are capable of handling those is essential. Many design & build companies are not experts in occupied space works, fixed-cost delivery, and data-driven design. They don't necessarily have to have an extensive track record, awards, and qualifications, but they should be able to prove that you are in safe hands.
Before you speak to any companies, you should also decide what decision criteria are most important, and focus on these. This will enable you to work with a company that is an expert in your most important requirements.
A design & build company's portfolio can be very helpful in assessing their suitability for your company. A reputable firm will have an extensive track record on its website. By looking at project sizes, locations, and design styles, you will get a good idea of their strengths and weaknesses.
However, it’s important that you assess their portfolio’s relevance to your brief. A stunning design will be worthless if it doesn’t match the way your people work. If your fit out company has a good portfolio, they’ll be happy to take you around projects they’ve delivered that are similar to yours. References are also more useful than testimonials. They can give unvarnished feedback about what went well and what could have been better.
A skilled workspace designer will be able to take your brief and craft a design that boosts wellbeing, embodies your culture, and drives long-term business performance. The wrong designer will create an ineffectual design that (while it may look good) will not improve your company's performance.
The look and feel of your space are important. However, the research and concept behind the design is far more important. Your design & build partner should be able to explain the data and insight behind the design. They should also cover how it will help your people and company over the long term.
While it is often overlooked, the ability to deliver a project is even more important than design expertise. To be a success, your project must be delivered on time, on scope, and on budget. All 3 are important. Failing to meet any one of them could derail your project. It is also essential that your project is delivered in a safe and compliant way, with minimum disruption to you and your people.
Your design & build company should be able to give you a detailed and realistic programme before the project starts. This will explain exactly when everything will happen. They should also be willing to be held accountable through regular meetings and progress updates.
Pricing is an important aspect of choosing a design & build firm. If your design & build company is too expensive, you won’t see sufficient ROI. However, if they are priced low, they may be hiding costs or cutting corners. There is no one right price point – what matters is that it works for your company.
As well as up-front office fit out costs, you also need to consider the costs during the project. The construction industry is notorious for mid-project price rises, and they can delay or even derail your project. It's important that you make sure everything included in the design is also costed for.
Another factor to consider is your design & build company's customer service. Some firms will quickly lose interest and de-prioritise you once the contract is signed. With good customer care, communication will be honest and open. You will be working with people who care about your success as much as theirs.
You need to know how they will be accountable to you during the project. A pre-agreed communication framework is important to maintain accountability. Another key consideration is their post-project care. Do they provide any extended customer care or warranty programme?
Making sure your design & build partner has sufficient resources to handle your project is very important. This primarily includes finance, staff, and qualifications. Having sufficient resources to deal with unforeseen circumstances in each of these is crucial to reduce the risk of your project.
Another consideration is the size of their company in relation to your project - are they too big to really care or too small to really cope? To maximise commitment, you will want to find a company whose turnover is not more than 20 times your project value. If they are larger than this, they are unlikely to prioritise your project enough. However, if your project is more than 30% of their annual revenue, they may not have sufficient resource to handle your project.
Who is Zentura a Good Fit For?
At Zentura, we understand we’re not the best option for everyone. We create workspaces where people love to work. Our designs are bespoke to your needs and brand, focussed on solving your business challenges. We deliver those designs in the least disruptive and fastest way possible. As a result, you have complete peace of mind throughout the entire process.
Many of our clients are in the professional services sector. We love working with clients based in London and across the UK with offices between 5,000 and 30,000 sq/ft. We specialise in culture-based design and occupied/ fast-track relocations and refurbishments.
If that sounds like something that’s useful to you, schedule a no-obligation call with one of our workspace experts. We’ll take the time to understand your unique needs and requirements. If we’re a good fit for you, we can get to work creating a package that is right for you and your company.
These are some of the most successful and awarded design & build firms in London. They're often regarded as alternatives to what we do at Zentura. There are hundreds of design & build companies in London, with a wide variety of costs, specialisms, and track records. It’s possible that none of these companies mentioned are right for you, and you need to keep looking.
When choosing who to speak to or proceed with your project, it's crucial to remain focussed on what is right for your company's unique needs and situation. To do this, read How to Choose the Best Office Fit Out Company For Your Project. We’ll cover the 5 essential aspects you need to consider when choosing the best design & build company for you.
Now you know about some of the most popular design & build companies in the market. If you’d like to learn more about how Zentura can help you, book a no-obligation consultation. To read other popular articles about office design & build, visit our knowledge hub.