Whether your project is a restaurant, office, showroom or hotel, the company that you hire to design the space and execute the work is critical to the success of the entire project.

Choose the right company and your project will be delivered in a professional manner, with minimal stress, on time, on budget and with finishes to the highest standards. Choose the wrong company, and it can be a nightmare with far reaching consequences including poor finishing, budget run overs, business disruption and unimaginable stress.

The following check list will help you when assessing design and build contractors and ensure you choose the right contractor.

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Checking their reputation

Reputation is everything. A design and fit out company will live or die on it. Whoever you choose to deliver your project, take time out to talk to their past clients and look at projects they’ve delivered. It will be time well spent.

Assessing their financial stability and your risk

The health of the company you hire has a direct relation to your financial risk. For example, if your project budget is AED 1 million, and the company has an annual turnover of AED 5 million, then how will they afford to purchase resources for your project? Will there cash flow effect your project delivery? Choose carefully.

[Related: Office interiors: Why it matters for your business]

What services are included?

Make a list of everything your contractor will provide as part of their service and a list of things they won’t. Comparing companies on this basis will determine true value for money. Many companies will quote a lower price knowing that you will need additional services later on. Beware.Which of these services do they offer in-house? Find out for which services will they hire additional contractors, increasing the risk for you the client.


Are they registered directly with the relevant authorities (DEWA, Municipality, Civil Defense etc)? Are they subcontracting the approvals process? Have they included the price for applying approvals in their bill of quantities (BOQ)? Will they pay the deposits associated with the approvals or will they expect the client to pay? Have they given an approximate time frame for the approval process?

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It’s vital to find a partner that understands your needs and the needs of the project. It’s important that you make a connection with your designer as they will be the ones that turn your visions into reality. View their portfolio to understand their style as not all designers can design all styles. To ensure that your budget is not exceeded, it’s always best to hire a company that has design in house to limit conflicts between two different companies with you being referee.

This article is written by Shane Curran, the Managing Director of Interact Group International which specializes in office fit-outs, interior design, home improvement, building maintenance and other various services.