Assessing your Fit-out Contractor- Part 2

Relocating or refurbishing your office can be one of the most costly and tedious processes in a company’s history, so it is crucial to appoint the best fit out company to implement the design & fit out.

If you get it wrong then it could easily lead to a poor design solution with no thought for expansion or future alterations, delays in completion, budget overruns and total disruption to your day to day business.


In-house, out-house or dog-house?

Unbelievably as much as 60% of the cost of your fit-out project will be taken up on the technical elements, ranging from mechanical services, such as air-conditioning, ventilation and plumbing, through to IT, data cabling, lighting and electrics.

It’s therefore vital to the smooth running of the project that these elements are properly analyzed, designed, specified and thoroughly understood. To make sure, ask below questions from your partner;

  • Do they understand all the technical aspects of your project?
  • MEP Design, Calculations, Statutory Requirements (DCCA, DM, DHA, KHDA etc)
  • Do they have the necessary technical skills in-house?
  • If it’s not in-house it is usually outsourced, who is it outsourced to?
  • Are the in-house “people” actually employed or just freelancers with the right business card?
  • How many projects have the team worked on together? Anything similar to your own?
  • Have they carried out detailed technical surveys?

Teamwork or hard work?

We’ve all seen a flock of geese flying in V formation, but have you ever stopped to wonder why they do it? Well, the simple answer is teamwork. By supporting each other and creating uplift they are an amazing 70% more efficient. When one of the team is struggling you’ll see a stronger team member break away in support to lead the struggler back into the formation. Clearly, there are lessons for us to learn. Don’t forget to check below points;

  • Have you met the full project team rather than just the salesperson?
  • Have they worked as a team before?
  • Consider visiting projects that the team have recently completed.
  • How many other projects are the team working on – will yours be their priority?

Network Nightmare?

In today’s world, information and communication technology is regarded quite rightly as the backbone of any organization.  If it is not well planned, executed and operational you are simply not in business.

  • Have you been given a detailed IT agenda?
  • Do they have the ability to project manage the entire IT infrastructure?
  • Can they guarantee everything will work on your first day?
  • Do they retain expert IT professionals in-house?
  • Are they prepared to work alongside your existing specialist contractors?

Skills on Tap?

One thing is knowing what resources are required for the project, but it’s another actually having them on-board.

The project team goes well beyond the handful of people who actually attend the selection presentation. For example, the design team alone should include designers, architects, CAD technicians, 3D visualizers, space planners, retailers and, of course, their managers. Always check;

  • Do they sub-contract?
  • Are the front end team well backed up with support in the back office?
  • Have their sub-contractors been fully vetted?
  • How long have they worked with them for?
  • Do they have a clean Health and Safety record?

Can they build it?

When it comes to the construction of your project there is no substitute for experience and accountability.

You should be looking for three layers of accountability in this area, which you should check out before you appoint your fit-out partner.

  • 2 A dedicated Designer who becomes your link between concept and reality
  • 3 A dedicated Project Manager who runs the site 24/7 managing the program and works
  • A dedicated Commercial Manager who ensures all the financials are tied up

In need of a fit-out contractor? Horton Interiors has been transforming workspaces across the UAE for last half decade.  To arrange a consultation with our design experts, Contact us on 043 881 1163 or email info@hortoninteriors.com