Thinking Points for Choosing a Fit-out Contractor

  • A great commercial fit-out can give new life to your building, increase occupier satisfaction, attract great quality tenants, extend occupant retention, and boost the owner’s bottom line. It’s also a lot less expensive when compared to major works, like a complete rebuild. A new fit-out is about coming into a building and providing a breath of fresh air. Contractors must be adaptive to every client’s requirements, whether that’s ripping apart the internals, building or upgrading a new lobby, upgrading services to BSI standards, even putting in new handrails or compliant glass.

In a big, commercial environment, one of the most important client deliverables is a happy tenant. You have to ensure they are safe while works are underway, and that they are able to perform their daily tasks. That means working around office hours if need be. As far as the tenant is concerned, you want a situation where the contractors are hardly seen or heard.

If we could offer one piece of advice to any owner or developer who was considering a refurbishment, it would be to choose a fit-out contractor that truly understands about working in a live environment. Choose someone with an impeccable delivery record and preferably someone who is part of a nationally recognised organisation such as the National Association of Shopfitters.

We are also keen to note that, by engaging construction expertise on smaller projects like fit-outs, clients get a chance to decide if we as contractors can be relied on to deliver. Therefore it is in our favour; if we can prove ourselves at this level, we can leverage that good experience to build a solid relationship with the owner/developer and become involved in even bigger projects.

The thing that’s important to any owner/developer is that their contractor never loses its client focus. The moment we lose the ability to understand the client’s expectation of the end product is the moment we have lost our way. When the client has an issue on a project, we want them to ring us. You shouldn’t accept mediocrity.

Reputation is everything. A design and fit out company will live or die on it. Whoever you choose to deliver your project, take time out to talk to their past clients and look at projects they've delivered. It will be time well spent.

  • Have they provided references?
  • Have they managed projects of a similar size?
  • Do they have a solid track record in your sector?
  • Will they arrange site visits for you to see:
  • One of their finished projects?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • Do they have case studies for you to read?
  • Do they work all over the UK?
  • Is the company part of a nationally recognised organisation?
  • Have you determined who owns the company?
Choosing a Fit-out Contractor
Choosing a Fit-out Contractor 2