What You Need to Know to Help You Choose an Office Renovation Company
You’ve found the perfect building for your company. It’s large, has space for growth and is in a great location, but the office layout doesn’t quite fit your needs. Here’s another scenario, you’ve decided to update your office space because you really like the building, but the walls haven’t been painted nor has the carpeting been changed since you moved in 10 years ago. Oh, but where do you begin?
You could decide to manage the rehab yourself, along with your work responsibilities. But do you have the time to maintain oversight of the vendors, subcontractors and inspectors? Do you have the skills to decide whether using alternative materials might yield future savings? Do you have connections to establish better pricing on materials and labor?
If you hire a professional renovation company, you will be paying for their insight and management skills that will help avoid potential glitches and offer solutions as problems arise. Experienced in renovation work, the pros will be managing and coordinating multiple contractors who will be completing complicated projects.They will be resolving complex issues, as well as making a large number of decisions to keep your office rehab on time and on budget. While coordinating all of this, they will be communicating with you, keeping you up to date on the project’s progress, and on any challenges and ultimate resolutions.
What do you need to do? Your job is to choose the right remodeling specialist, so your office redo is completed the way you want with, as few worries and hassles as possible. Here are five simple steps to help guide you in choosing a renovation company that inspires confidence and trust in their work.
First Get Referrals and Then do Your Research
Talk to your building owner or management firm for a list of renovation companies they have worked with on previous projects. Call your local Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce for a list of companies, then start researching those referrals. Review the companies’ web sites. Look for photos of recently completed projects and read their client reviews. Don’t hesitate to call a few of those clients and ask if you can tour their new offices. See for yourself the quality of the work the renovation company produces.
Find out if Your List of Candidates are Members in Good Standing in Your Community
This is an important step that people tend to forget or overlook. Not all states require remodeling companies to have licenses. In states that do, many times a company merely needs to register with the agency and post a bond to receive a license. So, the best way to get to know your contractor is to research the company’s reputation. Check to see if your referrals are listed with state and local municipalities, as well as the consumer protection agency. Do the remodeling companies’ websites mention memberships in professional organizations, such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)? Find out if there have been complaints made against the companies regarding their services or not meeting deadlines. Getting answers to these questions will give you a much better idea of how well connected the remodelers are to your community and what consumers have to say about their work.
Know What You Want Before You Interview Candidates
Before interviewing potential candidates do your homework and write down why you want an office renovation. You need to be able to communicate to the contractor what you need to have done verses what you would like to have done. State your goals clearly, whether you’re reorganizing the office space to accommodate additional personnel, creating an open office concept or updating your infrastructure system, the contractor needs to clearly understand your ultimate goal. Keep in mind, changes you make to the plans down the road will add to the cost of your project.
Do Some Comparison Shopping
Maybe you have a good idea as to the remodeling company you want to deal with, but do some comparison shopping. Try for three job quotes to give you a good balance of what other companies charge for the same work. You might find that price isn’t the only important variable. Perhaps the company that offers the lowest price is appealing, but communication with the slightly higher priced contractor works better for you and causes less stress. You might also decide that another company’s price includes additional skills that might cost a little more, but will be valuable during the project.
During the Interview Process, Don’t be Afraid to Ask the Important Questions
The next step is to ask to see proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation coverage. Since insurance companies regularly issue these certificates for their clients to show proof of coverage, a qualified renovation company shouldn’t hesitate at your request. Although the insurance is purchased by the builder or remodeler to cover them against unforeseen on-the-job accidents, injuries or property damage, it ultimately protects you. Any hesitation on the part of the remodeler to provide these documents is a red flag.
Additionally, get answers to the following bullet points:
- Financial references from suppliers and banks
- The number of renovations they will be working on, while simultaneously working on your project
- A list of completed projects, particularly those similar in size to your renovation and contact info for the owner
Conducting this ground work may not be the most fun you’ll have during the renovation process, but it is necessary work. The fun part comes when you see the space you envisioned for your company starting to take shape. Walls are built, repositioned or torn down. Paint colors are applied and floor covering installed. This is when you realize, that you and your renovation team have created an inviting place to work and an atmosphere of successful and reliability.