Choosing the right office refurbishment company for your business can be an overwhelming process. If you’ve decided your office needs improvement, your second step (after defining your initial brief) will likely be to research some potential office refurbishment companies. However, you've probably got recommendations from colleagues, industry contacts, cold callers and Google searches all returning dozens of different suggestions. It can be difficult to know where to turn.
Depending on your requirements and the size of your office, this project could cost your company from hundreds of thousands to millions of pounds. It’s crucial that you make the right decision. It’s a good idea to speak to several companies and assess their suitability for your project. You can then shortlist the top 2 or 3, who will be able to provide more in-detail designs and proposals. Finally, you can choose the best office refurbishment company for you, finalise the design, and get started!
Over the last 10 years, we’ve worked on hundreds of office refurbishments in London, including projects like MTI and MIGSO|PCUBED. We’re confident that our office refurbishments are industry-leading, but we want to make sure you make the best decision for your company. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 5 of the best office refurbishment companies in London, as well as how to choose the best option for your needs.
Office Refurbishment 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 refurbishment 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 is one of the largest design & build companies in the UK, having 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 refurbishment 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
How to Choose the Best Office Refurbishment Company for You
Now that you’re aware of some of the most popular office refurbishment companies in London, you need to decide which ones to reach out to. Whilst it may be easy to get carried away by awards they have won, big brands they have worked with, or stunning designs, you need to consider how good a fit they are for your unique requirements.
While every office refurbishment company has different strengths and weaknesses, there are 6 key aspects to consider when selecting your design & build firm:
The first consideration is the expertise of the firm, and what they are able to do. This does not necessarily mean they have done it in the past, but do they have the ability to deliver on your project on time, on scope, and on budget?
It’s especially important to think about what is unusual or unique about your project compared to others. If you are recreating your office to facilitate hybrid working, it’s important your contractor is an expert in hybrid design. If you can’t move out of your office during your refurbishment, you will need a contractor with the ability to deliver phased and out-of-hours works.
If your fit out company has a good portfolio, they’ll be happy to take you around office refurbishment projects they’ve delivered recently that are similar to yours. Track record is often confused with expertise, but there is an essential difference. Just because they used to be able to do it, it doesn’t mean they are able to do it now. Expert staff may have moved on, or the supply chain situation might have changed.
References are also more useful than testimonials. They can give unvarnished feedback about what went well and what could have been better. With this knowledge, you can reduce the likelihood of their weaknesses derailing your project.
At this point, it's really important to consider the thinking behind the design. It’s not all about the moss walls and pool tables. Yes, these can make your office look great, but if they aren’t helping your people to perform better, what’s the point?
A great fit out company will ask lots of questions to fully 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 Instagrammable!
There are hundreds of things that can drive the cost of your dream project up or help work it down. There are 6 key factors that will control the cost of your fit out project. Check out our article on office refurbishment costs for a full breakdown.
Equally important as initial costs are the extra costs incurred (or not) during the project. Does your contractor provide any fixed cost guarantees, and are they time limited? If you have already used your entire budget, increased material costs during the project could cause you serious problems. By clarifying this before your project starts, you can ensure you don’t go over budget.
Before you commit to signing the contract, you need to understand what their customer care package is like. Some firms will quickly lose interest and de-prioritise you once the contract is signed. You can avoid this by finding out how they will be accountable to you during the project. Do they have separate sales and delivery teams, or will you have one project contact there for you from start to finish?
Another key consideration is their post-project care. Do they provide any extended customer care or warranty programme? The best aftercare packages will include regular project visits to ensure your refurbished office is performing as planned, and support with any teething or ongoing issues.
This is the least exciting consideration of all when it comes to choosing an office refurbishment company. However, financial due diligence is essential. How strong is their financial position? Do they have sufficient cash resources to finance your project without relying on your deposits? Having sufficient financial resources to deal with unforeseen circumstances is crucial to safeguarding the success 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, because they are unlikely to prioritise your project enough. On the other hand, if your project is more than 25% of their annual revenue they may not have sufficient resources to handle your project.
There are many office refurbishment companies operating in the UK. These range from small independent contractors to internationally renowned design & build practices. By defining your brief and budget before you reach out to any potential partners, you can define your project purpose. This will enable you to choose the best office refurbishment company for your needs.
Why not have a look at some more resources to help you plan your office refurbishment project: