We often get asked the following questions and we include them to help you consider your own relevant questions.
The clearer you are on what we do, the more able you will be to discover whether we might be of help to you, now or in the future.
Don't hesitate to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any other questions.
Q. Our office was recently renovated (in the past two years) and we wondered whether you would be able to help us modify our layout to suit our recent acquisition of ten more staff?
A. We often get asked this question and the answer is YES. We understand the nature of business is such that the number of permanent staff often goes up or down and that often means the space doesn't work as originally planned.
We have access to all the design finishes your architect/designer would have used and are therefore able to rework the space without leaving a different handprint than that already established.
We like to think our work in this way can remain invisible and the CFO can relax, knowing it was all achieved on a tight budget without any real chaos to the running of the office.
Q. Are you able to work in an active office or do we need to relocate while the work is carried out? Can you work after hours or on weekends so as not to disturb us?
A. Each project is assessed on its own merits and we attempt to give clients different options as to how we might complete the work with a minimal amount of disruption.
Obviously there is some variance in the project price if after-hours or weekend work is required and, in all honesty, there is always some degree, however small, of disruption to the office while works are being completed.
Q. What if we don't have plans, won't you need to design new ones?
A. As a general rule all designers leave a full set of completed drawings with the property owner. Within reason we should be able to get access to them. Furthermore if the work requires moving less than ten people, we should be able to complete this for you based on sight and low documentation drawings that we can develop at minimal cost.
Q. What if we just need design advice and we may not be proceeding with the project at this early stage?
A. We appreciate clients being candid with us and when this is the case we can offer our services on an hourly basis to facilitate the preparation of ideas and drawings suitable for further consideration in the future.
Q. Are you able to match our existing furniture/fittings?
A. Yes. As a general rule we can match them unless they were specially commissioned as a one-off registered design and are not available to trade customers. In this case we would contact the supplier and seek permission to supply.
Q. What if we have retrenched a large number of staff and need to get floors ready for re-letting?
A. We can provide plans of how best to sub-divide shared floors or decommission additional floors to prepare for the re-let process.
Q. Can we use our own electricians or other in-house contractors?
A. As a general rule we can use your own contractors, and in some buildings this is a legal requirement. But this often comes at a premium because these contractors know they have exclusive rights to landmark buildings and hence have no incentive to be competitive.
Q. What do you need from us?
A. The best results are usually achieved when the client assigns one individual from within the company to act as a central point of contact for us and to keep us informed of any changes required as the project unfolds. They don't necessarily have to have building knowledge but they do need to have a clear understanding of the objectives the proposed changes are hoping to achieve.
Q. What other requests would you make of us if we decided to use your services?
A. We would provide you with a list by email and a hardcopy of the particular things that need to be handled by your people in-house prior to us arriving on site to begin work. We would ask you to initial each line to ensure we both know the status of the logistics while work is being completed.
This might include the storage of files and personal belongings in a secure place, a list of access points where we can move items safely into and out of the building and areas where power and data points might be deactivated while work is being undertaken.
Obviously the scope of this list will vary with the scope of each project.
Q. To follow company protocol we were obliged to get three independent quotes. Your quote was 16% dearer. Why?
A. We often get asked this question and the answer is quite simple. If the two other quotes included in detail what is actually included and it is line by line identical to our quote, it is unlikely there will be much cost variance. Generally a price variance is caused by the other two parties pricing the job in such a way to win it, then subsequently telling the client that many of the items they will need to complete the project are not within the price quoted. These are variations, thereby allowing them to make up the price difference on subsequent invoices.
If you are not used to reading the fine print or reading the technical detail, it is often very difficult to identify these items.
Q. How do we know we can trust you?
A. As a rule we generally start with relatively small budgets with new clients, and this is a great way for both parties to begin to better understand how we work. In 71% of cases, our clients use us for additional projects. As the trust grows, obviously the scope of work we are entrusted with increases.
Q. Could we have access to clients you have recently completed work for?
A. We are happy to provide email access to two recent blue-chip corporate clients who are happy to recommend our services based on their experience with us for each project we undertake.
Q. How do we pay you? What are your terms of payment?
A. Once we have reached agreement over the detail and scope of the work, a detailed costing is provided to you for sign off. You then provide us with a purchase order and an initial deposit of 30% of the value of the project as a deposit. Subsequent progress payments would fall due during the duration of the project. The job timeline is calculated from the day the deposit is received in our bank account, not the day the purchase order document is received.
The only exception to this rule is where a final signature or further modification to plans is required. This may delay the start of the project past the actual normal start date of received deposit.