“Whether your project is a restaurant, office, showroom, a hotel, or indeed if your project is a new build or refurbishment, the company that you hire to design the space is critical to the success of the entire project. Choosing the right company can be the difference between professional, stress-free, delivery, adherence to deadline and budget, high-quality finishes, or, it could be your worst nightmare,” says Shane Curran, CEO of Interact Group.
Curran believes that a clear understanding of expectations of all the parties involved is crucial to the success of any interior design project.
Check their reputation
Reputation matters a lot to an interior design and fit-out company. Take time out to talk to past clients and look at projects they have delivered. It will be time well spent.
Assess their financial stability and what are your risks
If your project budget is AED1 million, and the interior design company has an annual turnover of AED5 million, how will they afford to purchase resources for your project? Will their cash flow affect your project delivery? Seek out these details before you choose your fit-out partner.
Which services are included?
Make a list of everything your contractor will provide as part of their service and everything that it won’t. Comparison on this basis will determine true value for money. Many companies will quote a lower price with full knowledge that you will need additional services later on. Beware of this practice. Which services does the contractor offer in-house? Which ones will they have to hire additional contractors for? Consider all these questions.
Ask yourself the following: Are they registered directly with the relevant authorities such as DEWA, Municipality, Civil Defence and others? Are they subcontracting the approval process? Have they included the price of applying for approvals in their bill of quantities? Will they pay the deposits associated with the approvals or will they expect the client to pay? Have they given an approximate timeframe for the process?
Avoiding design conflicts
It is vital to find a partner that understands your needs and those of the project. Communicate with your designer as they will be the ones that turn your vision into reality. It is important to view their portfolio to understand their style and versatility. To ensure that your budget is not exceeded, it is always best to hire a company that designs in-house to limit any conflicts between two different companies that might arise, and you having to play referee.