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How to Choose an Office Refurbishment Company: 11 Key Criteria

Updated: Apr 4

Choosing an Office Refurbishment Partner

If you've reached out to several office design & build companies for help with your office refurbishment, you're probably wondering "How do I choose which company to use?" You're not alone. This is a decision hundreds of companies struggle to make every year. It's a big decision with major consequences. There are so many different factors to consider, it can feel impossible to know how to choose your refurbishment company.

 

It’s a decision that can make or break your refurbishment. If you make the right choice, you get a renovated office that’s that solves your workspace challenges, delivered on time and on budget. Choose the wrong contractor, and you could be faced with inappropriate design, extending timelines, and rising costs.

 

Thats why today, we'll share the ten most important things you need to think about when choosing your office refurbishment company. As a design and build company ourselves, we regularly work on office refurbishments. However, this article is not biased in any way - it's to help you make an informed decision that is best for you.

 

 As well as the obvious things like design and price, this list covers oft-overlooked aspects that often derail projects, such as communication and trust. By the end, you'll be able to choose the best office refurbishment company for your project.

 

Culture Alignment

It's crucial that your chosen refurbishment company understands and designs for your culture. A good grasp of the core motivations behind your project is also important. You should feel confident that every decision they make is to help you achieve your objectives.

 

If a company is trying to push its ideas regardless of your needs, then it won’t be the right office refurbishment company for you. While it’s easy to prioritise more quantifiable elements such as cost, the importance of culture fit cannot be underestimated. This will likely dictate the success of your project and your satisfaction at the end of it.

 

Expertise & Portfolio

Experience speaks volumes about a refurbishment company’s ability to successfully design & build your project. A strong portfolio of projects similar to yours is a good sign, but it's not everything. They don’t have to have completed a project exactly like yours, but do they have the skills to deliver your project successfully?

 

It’s especially important to think about what is unusual or unique about your project compared to others. For example, if you can’t move out of your office during your refurbishment, you will need a contractor with the ability to deliver phased and/or out-of-hours works.

 

Design Capabilities

There is more to good design than a stunning finishes package. A great office design seamlessly meets the needs of the users of the space, from layout and air conditioning through to finishes and furniture. Your refurbishment company must be able to create a high-performance workspace design.

 

A great refurbishment company will ask lots of questions to understand the needs of your people and your business. They will then develop a design that meets those needs, not one that follows the latest trends or the criteria for an upcoming award. Remember, the best design is the best design for your needs, not the most visually impressive.

 

Delivery Expertise

The ability to deliver your refurbishment 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 equally important. Failure to meet one could derail your project.

 

Your refurbishment company should give you a fixed quote for all the works before the project begins. They should also give you a detailed and realistic programme. This should explain exactly when everything will happen. Speaking to previous clients will also help you establish their delivery expertise.

 

Pricing

Given that office refurbishments can be very expensive, the cost is always an important factor. There are hundreds of things that can drive the cost of your refurbishment up or help work it down. However, the 5 key factors are size, specification, services, state, and setting. Check out our article on office refurbishment costs for a full breakdown.

 

We recommend that you set an initial budget before you speak to prospective contractors. This, along with the goals of your project will help to give them a better idea of your requirements. This may change as the design progresses. However, starting with a reasonable figure will help set expectations. 

 

Customer Care


Before you commit to signing the contract, you need to understand their customer care package. Some refurbishment firms will quickly lose interest and de-prioritise you once the contract is signed. Others will be very difficult to contact for teething issues once the project is completed.

 

You need to consider what your wholistic experience will be like during the project. This is a big investment for your company, and it may come with a lot of disruption and change. You need someone caring and professional to guide you through this process. This care should also extend after the project to ensure your workspace is working as intended.

 

Disruption

Another important consideration when choosing an office refurbishment company is the disruption during your project. This includes both the amount of your time it takes to manage the project and the disruption it causes to your wider team during the works.

 

Managing your refurbishment project could take up a lot of your time for several months. It’s important this is minimised. Your people may also be less productive if they are distracted during the works, or as they adjust to a new office. Assessing your refurbishment company’s plan to minimise the disruption to you and your company is a crucial part of due diligence.

 

Communication

During your project, there will be hundreds of decisions to make. Timely and effective communication between you and your contractor is crucial to making your project a success. The best way to assess their communication is to speak to several of their past customers.

 

Another key part of communication is accountability. Your refurbishment contractor should be able and willing to give you regular updates about progress compared to the schedule. They should also keep you notified of any changes to the schedule. This will help make sure you are in control of the project.

 

Resource

You also have to consider your refurbishment company's resources, and their ability to deliver your project. You want a partner who isn't too big to care and isn't too small to cope. You will want a company whose turnover is not more than 20 times your project value. Otherwise, they are unlikely to prioritise your project. However, if your project is more than 50% of their annual revenue, they may not have sufficient resources.

 

Financial due diligence is a crucial part of assessing potential contractors’ suitability for your project. How strong is their financial position? Do they have sufficient cash resources to finance your project? Financial capacity is crucial, and you can't afford to overlook it.

 

Trust

The final factor to consider, and perhaps the most important, is the trust you have in their team. This is a major commitment for you, and it could have serious consequences if it goes wrong. Therefore, you need to be confident in the key people delivering your refurbishment.

 

Much of this confidence will come through your initial briefing and planning conversations. Carefully considering the previous 9 factors will also help. You can also look at their testimonials and speak to their previous clients for further insight. They will be making a lot of decisions on your behalf, so you need to feel that they are trustworthy, accountable, and committed to your project.

 

Choosing the Best Office Refurbishment Company for You

A comprehensive selection process is essential to make sure you choose the right design & build company for your office refurbishment. Your chosen company needs to be competent to deliver your project with the necessary portfolio, design profile, and delivery expertise, at a suitable price point. The need to support you with an excellent care package, communication, disruption minimisation, and enough resource. Finally, they need to give you the trust and peace of mind that you need for such an important project.

 

First, you should eliminate unsuitable companies with a thorough due diligence process. Then, by ranking the best office refurbishment companies according to these factors, you will be able to choose the best company to design and deliver your office refurbishment.

 

If you're not sure about who to reach out to, check out the Best Office Refurbishment Companies in London. You'll find 5 of the best refurbishment companies working in London, and more assistance helping you choose which is right for you.

 

Choosing your design & build company is one of the most important project decisions you'll make, but there are many others. For help with those, get your own copy of How to Plan an Office Refurbishment. It's a 7-step guide to help you plan your office refurbishment, from defining your brief right through to signing the contract!

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