How to Choose the Right Office Interior Design Firm
Before we get into how to choose the right office building interior design firm, we should discuss what could happen if you get it wrong. The wrong firm may not communicate with you effectively or honestly, leading to costly delays and even more costly budget inflation. You won’t know what’s happening, or when it’s supposed to be happening, which turns an already stressful project into a nightmare. With thousands of dollars on the line, the stakes are high to get it right. And the first step is to choose your partner.
For simplicity, we’ll break up your due diligence task into two categories:
- About the Design-Build Firm
- How the Design-Build Firm Works with Your Company
Finding Out About the Design-Build Firm
Your due diligence starts with checking out your prospective firm’s reputation, both online and offline. Ask for references, check them out with the Better Business Bureau, and ask about their history of working on projects of similar size and scope. You may also be able to ask to see one of their finished projects in person, or even a project in progress.
Your detective work doesn’t stop here though! Ask for a list of everything they do, and everything they provide as part of their service, as well as things they don’t provide. Make sure you are clear on what tasks you need to undertake, which may include obtaining permits or ensuring they adhere to the waste management laws of your city. Some design-build companies handle everything, but never assume. Not only will these questions help outline clear expectations from the beginning, the answers will also help you compare similar companies when making the decision of whom to hire.
Finding Out How the Design-Build Firm Works with Your Company
A good design-build firm will understand that clear, fast, and constant communication is one of the most important parts of the process. Ask the firm to explain how their chain of communication works, who you’ll be speaking with, and how often you can expect to hear from them. In even a simple build-out, there are many moving parts, and to save you time and sanity, you want a central person who knows everything that is going on.
Too Good to be True?
If the design-build firm guarantees completion by a fixed date, without delays or snags, that may be a red flag that they over promise. Very few construction projects are completely free of snags. What matters is how the firm handles those snags, and communicates them, when they arise. Go ahead and ask the firm how they handle unforeseen expenses, what risks your project might expect, and how they plan to safeguard your budget.
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