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Office Renovation

Should I Get a Workplace Designer or Renovation Contractor?


Both workplace designer and renovation contractor can be very helpful in their own ways when considering an office renovation. Regardless, when deciding which professional to use, it’s important to understand their roles and consider your unique needs and overall vision for your office space. Here are some general tips you can consider in order to make the right decision between hiring a workplace designer or renovation contractor for your office renovation project.

Workplace Designer vs. Renovation Contractor: What’s the Difference?

Let’s take a closer look into what each of the professions specializes in before making a decision.

What to Look for in a Quality Workplace Designer

An experienced workplace designer is familiar with the choice of materials, texture, colour, themes, lighting, furniture and overall space planning efforts to design and deliver best effective workplace, which could in turn increase employee engagement and drive business performance according to the 2019 U.S. workplace survey.

Office fit out designed by workplace designer, carried out by renovation/ office fit out contractor.
Office Fit Out For Twitter’s Office In Singapore. Project completed by spaceSense’s partners.

It’s also important to ensure that any prospective workplace designer is familiar with common workplace trends and strategy for team collaboration and productivity, while meeting the local regulations. If anything is done out of accordance of local or building, you’ll be the one paying for it down the road. A quality workplace designer should also be knowledgeable of the best office furniture and related products in the market- enough so to even make good recommendations if you’re unsure of which direction to take. They are designers after all!

It’s important to remember the workplace designers can be expensive but a skilled professional will be a worthy investment in the end.

What A Good Renovation Contractor looks like?

First and foremost, a renovation contractor should be aware of all the ins and outs of procuring materials, scheduling manpower, organising resources for site work to deliver the project expectations according to schedule. Good contractors are responsive and responsible in delivery quality work in a timely manner.

Unlike residential home renovation contractors, a good office renovation contractor needs to perform all the necessary paperwork for approval from the building management and local authorities’. It is important to obtain these approvals prior to move-in.

If you know exactly what you want out of your office renovation and need no creative counsel, a renovation contractor is the way to go as they don’t charge design and creativity fee. If you are still unsure about which renovation professional is the best choice for you, read below and assess who will work better for your situation:

Is your office size less than 1,000 sqft?

An office size less than 1,000 sqft may not require much space planning effort from a workplace designer. A contractor is likely the best choice for you if your project only involves putting up signage walls, installing electrical wiring, build basic carpentry works or touching up ceiling and wall finishes. You may consider hiring office contractor and buying office furniture directly to do up your office space in the most cost-effective way. 

Is your office already furnished?

An already furnished office may need only minor touch-ups and hiring a workplace designer may be a waste of money. You may want to consider hiring a renovation contractor instead to complete more basic (yet technical) tasks like touching up wall finishes or completing office space carpet cleanings.

Do you want a better performing workplace?

We spend a vast amount of time at work and in order to attract the most sought-after talent, and to get the most productivity out, companies must offer a variety of open to private type of workplace environment to engage. This is no easy feat and it will require a highly customised design solution, which only the workplace designer could offer. The workplace designer would need to understand the business goals, organisation’s demographics and work processes before proposing a well-researched and informed design layout that works for the people. This is where engaging a good workplace designer gives you the most value for money.

Do you want to create a good, lasting impression for your clients and visitors?

Unlike a serviced office or coworking space, having your own office space grants you an opportunity to create your own unique corporate identity and branding through the office design.

The first impression counts and this is more than just a nice corporate signage wall. Engaging a qualified workplace designer will help you in expressing your company’s identity, in the clients’ facing areas especially, to inspire business clients and visitors. This is definitely not the forte of the renovation contractor.

Make the Best Choice for Your Office Renovation

Workplace design is a daunting task, and it’s vital to understand the differences between office renovation and, for example, home renovation.

Where a workplace designer is more efficient in helping you in the creative process, renovation contractors are more effective in executing your precise requirements, such as painting the wall to a specific colour, setting up a wall partition, changing the carpet, lightings or adding electrical switches.

Engaging the right parties is important to avoid unnecessary stress and costs. Look at your requirements and desires, as well as your office renovation budget, and make an informed decision between engaging a contractor or a designer for your office renovation project. You’ll be glad you did!

Learn more about the keeping your office renovation cost low in Singapore here.



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