7 Questions You Should Ask Office Fit Out Companies

Planning and carrying out an office refurbishment project can be a daunting prospect!

To make sure things are smoothly managed and the project is successful, you’ll need to find a design and fit out company to partner with. Whilst there are quite a few to choose from, no two fit out companies are the same – each will have different approaches and operating models which may or may not align with your business’ goals.

A quick way to check if a fit out company is a good fit for your project is by asking the right questions. From enquiring about their past experience, their internal processes and their quality checking measures, to asking how they work with their clients on a project.

Ultimately, the best way to discover if a fit out company is right for you is by asking questions and requesting evidence such as case studies.

The best fit out companies will endeavour to be transparent and clear about the entire process of working with one another and will endeavour to address all of your questions through preliminary meetings and tender submissions.

But what questions should you be asking from the offset? Here are seven key questions you should ask when selecting a design and fit out company:


Maximising Your Office's Potential Downloadable Guide

1. What’s Your Experience?

Ask about past projects, the types of clients, projects and programmes they’ve worked on. A company with a proven track record and extensive experience is more likely to deliver quality results. They may also be able to provide client references or testimonials for projects of a similar nature to yours.

Delving deeper into this, you can also ask companies for social proof or case studies relating to specific project deliverables. This could be case studies demonstrating their past successes working in a certain industry, within a certain budget, timeframe or even goal based such as reducing energy consumption.

By asking questions that pertain to challenges you envision arising on your own project, you not only get peace of mind that the right people are on the project, but it also facilitates a healthy working relationship with one another.

It might be the case that the company can’t answer every question you have, and that’s okay. The most important takeaway from this process is that you feel like you can have an honest and open conversation with the fit out contractor about their experience and capabilities.


2. What Services Do You Offer?

This could include design, planning consent, space planning, construction, project management, furniture procurement, and more. Some contractors will provide a full turnkey service where they can manage your project from start to finish or work alongside existing partners such as architects to manage the entire fit out scope.

One of the most important things for main contractors to carry out is the considered management of their supply chain. You should ask what processes they use to pre-qualify supply partners, in an effort to quality check all products and services that may come through them.

Other questions to consider are:


For businesses looking to partner with a fit out contractor on a suite of projects, these questions are essential for establishing their experience in managing long-term projects without budgets and quality being compromised over time.


3. What Is Your Process And Approach?

Understanding your contractor’s approach to project management will give you an idea of the critical path of your project, including all key phases and milestones.

These findings can then be applied to your own project, setting expectations on what is to come across the development of your project, with a clear methodology in place.

This understanding is relevant for both the design and construction phases, or in cases where the contractor offers a turnkey service, it demonstrates their step-by-step approach from conception to completion. We recently covered the step-by-step process to an office fit out, which gives you an understanding of what fit out companies should be providing.

Early planning is critical in the successful outcome of any large commercial fit out programme, your contractor should have key strategies to identify and mitigate against foreseeable risk. In turn, this limits the scope for any unforeseen challenges arising which could significantly impact timings and costs.


4. How Will You Work With Us? (Collaboration)

Identify what the contractor’s team structure looks like, identifying who your key contact will be and how they will keep you informed and up-to-date as you collaborate on your fit out project.

You may also want to ask questions around the chosen teams’ previous experience, discovering what their key strengths are to work on this project and is the company committed to continuous professional development.

The best fit out contractors will spend time during the early planning stages beginning to understand who the key stakeholders are for the upcoming project, establishing a clear communications plan that is designed to meet the needs of your project and organisation.

In this early process, they will identify the procedures to be used for sign-offs, approvals and how they will work with you, to ensure that multiple teams integrate seamlessly into your business. This is especially crucial for projects which are carried out on live-sites, as this ensures minimal disruption to the day-to-day of the business.


5. Can You Work Within My Budget?

It’s always important to share your budget parameters at the outset of any project. This way your design and fit our partner can plan a scope that’s realistic whilst offering solutions to optimise your budget, helping you achieve your desired outcomes through methods such as value engineering where possible.

Discover how the contractor manages cost variations throughout a project. Some contractors such as Resolution Interiors share regular cost updates and hold weekly status meetings to raise any potential issues, putting solutions forward against additional costs.


6. What Quality, Sustainability And Corporate Responsibility Assurances Can You Provide?

In the first instance it’s always advised to check your fit out contractor’s suitability by assessing accreditations from third parties such as, ISO, Ecovadis, Constructionline, etc.

You may also want to understand their approach to quality control throughout the entirety of the supply chain. Ask questions such as, how do they assess, quality control and manage their supply chain?

When it comes to corporate responsibility, there may be things that are more important to your organisation than others. As a jumping off point, consider questions such as:


7. Are You Licensed, Insured, And Compliant With Regulations?

What is their approach to health and safety management? Who is responsible and what practices and procedures are in place?

Are they qualified to manage the building control requirements and approvals? Where building control is concerned, case studies of completed projects could help shed some light.

An experienced Principal Contractor and Project Manager should be well versed in CDM regulations and will be able to advise you on the necessity for building control approvals, before liaising directly (on your behalf) and scheduling inspections and stage sign-offs into the programme.

To ensure that the contractor is compliant with local health and safety regulations, enquire about dedicated teams they may have focused on safety and wellbeing. You may also want to identify certifications such as Safe Contractor, CHAS, Constructionline, and ISO 45001.


Maximising Your Office's Potential Downloadable Guide



As we have touched on throughout this article, the most important thing is to ask questions of your contractor and identify their commitment to transparency and open communication.

Not all of these questions may be relevant or important to your organisation, but by establishing a clear effort to conduct due diligence, you and your business can be guaranteed that you have partnered with the right contractor for the job.

At Resolution Interiors, we start by getting to know you, your business and your customers. We build this into the brief and account expectations, swiftly following with a highly detailed site survey, this key early planning stage sets out the precise scope of your project.

During our site visit we will assess building condition and maintenance options, including asbestos reports or requirements. We provide you and your team with a comprehensive drawing pack, project timings and projected costs, including any planning considerations.

If you have an office building or workspace project which requires expert design and build skills, reach out to one of our team today. We’re always on hand to help and offer any advice!

Alternatively, why not give us a ring on +44 (0)1935 422 700. We look forward to hearing from you.

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