office designers

OFFICE DESIGN & REFURBISHMENT CHECKLIST – Your step by step guide to ensuring your office design & refurbishment goes without a hitch.


Managing a refurbishment in occupation.

The refurbishment of your office is likely to be one of the biggest expenses in the history of your business. So it’s vital to get it right first time.

If you’ve been tasked with creating a brand new space for your company, you’re probably wondering where to start. And if that’s not enough, it’s pretty daunting knowing it’ll all take place under the watchful gaze of your company’s board of directors and all of your colleagues.  But by taking it step by step, and breaking everything down into easily manageable stages, your project will run smoothly and will be an enjoyable process.

We have put together this blog to try and help you out with this process. If you want to get the full PDF downloadable guide just click on the link below or contact Philip at –

Think about WHY you are refurbishing

Identifying the reasons for refurbishing your office space are critical in ensuring that the finished result meets all of your company’s needs. For instance, if you’re running out of storage space, designing an office with insufficient storage capacity is the last thing you want to do.

If you think about the ‘why’ early on, you’re well prepared to identify the ‘what’ when you come to writing up your brief and discussing your new space with your chosen office refurbishment partner.

Think about how your business is likely to change over the next 5 years and plan for that now.Whilst your workplace needs to reflect your current business values it must be able to adapt to any future changes that might be around the corner.

Ensure those WHO should be involved are involved

Choose your champion.

Although it’s a daunting task for one individual, having a single champion for the refurbishment is the best way to ensure things stay on track and don’t suffer from “too many cooks” syndrome.
Who has what it takes to keep all the necessary balls in the air?

Senior enough to make decisions
Experienced at multitasking
Skilled motivator
Knows your business inside-out
Great communicator
Highly organised
Good at sticking to a budget

Know who to involve and when.
There are certain people who should be involved in the decision making process. Make sure you know who to talk to when the decisions need to be made.

Managing Director
Your Managing Director holds the ultimate say-so over the approval of designs and costs.  But whilst you need to be wary of approving anything he or she hasn’t seen, they won’t appreciate being informed about every little detail.

Financial Director
As the person who sets the budget, your Financial Director has  lot of influence.

Facilities Director
Your Facilities Director knows the ins and outs of your building, and will already have built up a relationship with your landlord. Make sure he or she is involved in any negotiations that affect your lease.

Office Manager
The Office Manager hears the gripes and grumbles of staff on a day-to-day basis.

IT Director
If you’re intending to make changes to your IT infrastructure, you’ll need to have your IT Director on side. He or she will be able to help identify what needs upgrading, replacing or keeping, and where to find the best deals.

Operations Director
Your Operations Director is going to want reassurance that business won’t be disrupted during the refurbishment works. Keep him or her in the loop so any issues can be managed before they impact your business.

It’s the job of your Marketing department to ensure that your company projects the right image, and they’ll no doubt have input into how branding can be incorporated into the new design.

Human Resources
The basic aim of your HR department is to ensure the well-being of everybody affected by the refurbishment. Make sure they know that consideration of staff welfare is top of your list.

Think of innovative ways to get everybody involved and create buy-in for the move
Use technology to your advantage.

An online forum or Extranet is a great way of letting your stakeholders voice their Opinions and provides an ideal place to host files and plans Hold workshops to present design ideas to staff and get their feedback Create a newsletter for staff, to keep them up-to-date with refurbishment progress and inform them of key dates

Ask your landlord if there are any major changes or upgrades planned to the building that might affect the works you’re planning to do.

Work out HOW MUCH you can spend and where you can make savings

Budget for change
The cost of refurbishment is likely to be one of the biggest single outlays your business will ever make, so it’s imperative to set a realistic budget. All reputable suppliers will provide full cost estimates free of charge, so you can communicate the real financial impact of the refurbishment to the rest of your business.

Beware of those surprising hidden costs! Get quotes for everything, and then draw up your budget.

Remember to include:

Changes in your occupancy costs, particularly energy bills and maintenance costs
Transaction fees for agents and lawyers
Planning permission fees – if needed
Insurance costs
Fire /DAC cert fees
Design and fit out costs

Environmental assessments

IT and telecoms
If you’re using the opportunity to purchase new equipment, make sure this is included in the budget, along with any associated disposal costs. And take into account the moving of cabling and equipment during and after the works.

Along with the purchase, delivery and installation of new furniture, budget for the removal of any old furniture. Some charities will collect your furniture free of charge, and check out local office surplus companies who might be willing to take it off your hands.

You’ll probably find a lot of clutter and paperwork that isn’t needed anymore. Look into recycling where possible, but be prepared to pay for rubbish to be removed.

Your office is about to become a building site, meaning it will be hard to keep track of the comings and goings of staff and contractors. And because your office will be occupied during the refurbishment there’ll be plenty of works done out of hours. Make sure you have sufficient security in place.

Contingency costs
Budget for contingencies. Then include contingencies for your contingencies. It’s not unusual to budget an additional 20% for unforeseen changes and extras.

Dilapidation costs
Be aware that any alterations you make could impact on the cost of dilapidation at the end of your lease.

Mechanical and electrical
Upgrading the air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems could use up a large percentage of your budget. Discuss possible contributions with your landlord.

Energy performance
Part L of the Building Regulations refers to conservation of fuel and power. Introduced in 2006, the regulations set high standards for the refurbishment of buildings.

Ensure you’re insured
Check that you, and your chosen office refurbishment partners, have all the necessary insurance cover in place, particularly:
Professional Indemnity
Public Liability insurance
Professional Indemnity insurance
Contractors’ ‘All Risks’ insurance

Decide WHEN is the best time to carry out works.

Minimise disruption
Your office design and refurbishment partner should have experience of carrying out works where ‘business as usual’ was paramount.

Discuss how much work can be done during office hours and what needs to be done out of hours

Prepare in advance
Carry out surveys well in advance to ensure that you order long lead-in items with sufficient time to build, deliver and install them.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning
Furniture & storage
Custom joinery
Sustainable elements

The incremental costs of sustainability are minimal if it is planned well in advance. If going green’ is an afterthought, it could be expensive.

Synchronise your calendars

Time is of the essence when decisions need to be made.

When you work out your program, factor in the holidays and commitments of your key stakeholders. Your managing director won’t appreciate his holiday being interrupted because he
needs to sign something by last Friday.

Visualise the blank canvas
Don’t let your imagination be confined by current physical restrictions – walls can be moved, or even removed.

Ask your office design and refurbishment partner to help you visualise the empty space, before they draw up some indicative designs – We supply a full 3D model of your new office space.

Carry out feasibility studies and storage audits.
Evaluating your space and needs now through a well done feasibility study can save you thousands. It will not only help you determine how to accommodate your people, but will also help you plan for future growth.

How many people / workstations do you need to accommodate?
Work out growth rates for each department and compensate accordingly for changes in your space plan

Take a fresh look at how your teams and departments work together with a view to maximising efficiency and communication.
What sort of rooms / spaces would you like?

Calculate current and future size, capacity and usage needs for:

• Reception areas
• Meeting rooms
• Executive offices
• Presentation suites
• Kitchen / tea points
• Break out spaces
• Comms room
• Copy areas
• Mail room
• Recycling points
• Toilets and showers
• Other, i.e. trading floor, library

Examine your lighting, air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems.

It’s quite likely your office refurbishment might involve stripping back to the building’s bare bones, so it’s an ideal time to examine what you can change in your lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
If you share services with other companies in your building, then there’s very little you can change from a HVAC point of view. Although you should make sure you’re getting your fair share of cool air.
Look into how improving your lighting and HVAC systems can contribute to an environmental
rating such as BREEAM®4
Make the most of natural light, but ensure solar gain is taken into account when assessing
HVAC requirements

If you want to get the full PDF downloadable guide just click on the link below or contact Philip at –

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