The Rocket Refurb - Where to start?

Our current offices in Hove.

 Our current offices in Hove.

The Monday morning Rocket Projects team meeting has just been made infinitely more exciting with the announcement that we are moving to new offices. Since 2011 we have been located in the lower level (okay, the basement) of the offices owned by our design partners Platform Group and we are very happy that we will be moving on with them to a bigger and better space in the heart of Brighton. And here begins our journey – how do the design and build experts (that’s us) do an office move?! Our checklist begins with the best bit – choosing the location.  We start with the facts and then cross our fingers that we can find 5000 square foot of space, ideally central Brighton, with natural daylight  and with the option to carry out a complete refurbishment.  We then cross our fingers again and hope that our wish list is within the budget. After much lease negotiation (we recommend you take on an extremely good solicitor for this bit) the new offices are signed for and a move date of December is achievable – “in by Christmas” is currently the most over-used phrase in the office.

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A sneak peek of our new offices in central Brighton!

Here is a handy checklist of how to survive the first phase of your project:

Budget: It’s the bit no one likes to talk about (apart from your Finance Director who really loves to talk about it). Know your budget and try not to deviate from it.  Have a bit of extra cash up your sleeve as a contingency for any unplanned expenditure.  A realistic budget allows all your contractors and suppliers safe parameters to work in and saves a lot of time at this phase of your project. If your suppliers know your budget, they will specify products that are within that. Location Make friends with all the local commercial letting agents.  You may have to compromise on some of your office move wish list items, consider and prioritise these items and you have a good start:

  • Location in relation to public transport, parking/bike access.
  • The building – age, room to grow, maintenance, future construction.
  • Productivity – natural daylight, internal/external noise source.

 

Time Management: Don’t under estimate how long the first part of the process takes, particularly the lease negotiation and associated paperwork.  Discuss with your legal and lettings team a realistic date of completion and then confirm lead times with your suppliers and contractors.

Communication: Keep your staff involved in the project from the word go and seek their input and ideas. Make the office move a positive experience for all your staff!: