Introduction

Whenever you decide to move to a new office space, refurbish your current office or maybe you are probably planning for your first office refurbishment, it is very important to note that you are making an investment in the future of your business. On this note, you need to ensure that you employ the right fit out company for the job. The interior of any establishment is not just a physical space for you, your clients and employees to work in, it goes way beyond that. Your office design has to be carefully and uniquely created to compliment a variety of important corporate aspects. This way it is fully functional for the proper running of your business. Whether this is your first office or not, this article goes over in details, everything you need to know about choosing the right office fit out contractors for your refurbishment, what kind of companies to hire and also some critical fit out mistakes that you should avoid at all cost.

Things to Consider when Choosing the right office fit out contractors to hire

When choosing the right fit out company for your workspace, there are a lot of considerations to take note of. At this point, you would have to entrust the responsibility of delivering your project to a fit out contractor. This is where the controversy lies because there are lots of registered companies offering this service and they are all competing for your custom. First of all, you should begin by compiling a list of fit out contractors that you are interested in and start arranging meetings with them. You may be wondering, how can you recognise the best office fit-out team to hire?

· Ask Questions: In the planning stages of your office fit out, you should be ready to ask a lot of questions and field them too. A bad office fit-out team will put away all your concerns and only focus on your feedback on the project ahead. You should ask and get answers to questions like the impact the project will have on your company’s day to day operations, in what ways the effects of the impacts can be minimised? How long will specific aspects of the project take? Etc. It is very important that you feel comfortable enough to clarify any uncertainties. You should also expect to be asked a lot of questions. Also, any credible fit out company must be able to address whatever concerns you may have forgotten to bring up. Communication is very key for the successful completion of any project, so if you find yourself with a company that wants to rush you on the project, then you should look away.

· Portfolio, Experience and Recommendations: This is very important when choosing the best fit out company for your project. It is very logical to hire an experienced company but that is not enough. You should also ask for recommendations from trusted clients. You can also get recommendations from friends and colleagues. Whenever you visit an organisation or office and you are impressed with the fit out or design, you should ask for the contractor who handled the fit out and arrange a meeting with them. Also, before you hire a contractor, you should ask to look at their past projects. Insist on seeing live executed projects and not just merely designs on their site and portfolio. If you are satisfied with the quality of their designs, then you know you are in communication with an ideal company.

· Insurance: The next thing to consider when deciding on the right fit out company to hire is one that has insurance. There are three basic insurances that you need to look out for in your choice company; Public liability insurance, Contractors insurance and professional indemnity insurance. Public liability insurance will cover damages caused to clients or individuals during the refurbishment project. The contractor’s insurance covers damages to the contractor’s equipment and the professional indemnity insurance protects the contractor in case any claims is made for damage or loss from a third party. This insurance will also cover for legal costs of they apply.

· Health and Safety: Finally, you need to consider the health and safety of your clients and employees during the refurbishment project. On this note, you should make sure that the fit-out company you choose should be in compliance with health and safety regulations. You should make sure that you see the evidence of the health and safety policies of the contractors.

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Mistakes to Avoid

When choosing the best fit out company for your office refurbishment, there are a number of very costly mistakes you need to completely avoid. Some of them are listed below;
· Not Paying attention to your Budget: Not paying close attention to your budget or trying to make up the budget as you go along is a very dangerous mistake you need to avoid from the beginning of your project. It is very vital that you set a realistic budget and ensure that your fit out company works with it.

· Trying to manage the project on your own: This is yet another chaos to avoid. It is a very easy trap to fall into, of course, it is your project so it would seem appropriate at the time. This doesn’t turn out well most of the time and as such it is safer to allow the fit out company do their job.

· Assuming that all office fit out companies are the same: You may have probably had a bad experience with a fit out company but taking it out on your current contractor is a very big mistake. On this note, do not assume that one company is as good or better than the next one. This is because different companies have different experiences and areas of specialisation.

· Not taking your landlord’s requirements into consideration: This is a common mistake and if you want the best out of your office refurbishment, you should not neglect this issue. Thinking that your landlord is unlikely to have any house rules is a very costly mistake. On this note, you should follow your landlord’s approved guidelines for modification of the property. This means that the fit out company or design you choose to go with should comply with your landlord’s specific requirements.

· Overlooking health and safety and building regulations: This probably a bad idea and a trap you should never fall into. Whatever be the case, you should ensure that you do not overlook building regulations. Some refurbishments require building control or structural approval, must comply with fire regulations as well as health and safety regulations. On this note, you should ensure that your chosen contractor adhere strictly to the required regulations. Never make the mistake of avoiding such regulations and hoping that the appropriate agencies will not come knocking.

· Kicking off without proper communication: This is one of the most dangerous moves you can make when carrying out any project. As mentioned earlier, communication is very key and is one of the easiest ways to assess the credibility of the fit out company. It is very important that the right people are involved in the decision-making process. On this note, it is recommended that you set up an office fit out project team within your company that will facilitate the project. This will make your staff feel that they are contributing to a better working environment. This way, an office fit out can be a positive experience for everyone, including your clients, contractors, and employees.

Conclusion

Whether it is your first office or not, it is very important that you get the ideal fit out for your work area, hence, the building contractors you end up hiring should be highly competent. Do not forget that communication is the first effective key to ensuring a good project at the end of the day. It never hurts to review all the essentials until you are satisfied with the plan. Also, you should not forget to take note of all the considerations listed above.


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