One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when choosing an office space designer is basing their decision on a conceptual drawing or a block floorplan of an office space simply because they assume that the block floorplan is the exact way their completed office will be when the job is done. Not the case. While a block floorplan has its merits, the real decision-making factor is in the Permit Grade Design.
Similar to a block floorplan, a Permit Grade Design is a ceiling-view drawing of an office space with its different subsections blocked in—workstation area, closed in office areas, exits, washrooms, elevators, stairs, furniture, etc. However, the Permit Grade Design is drawn to scale based on the exact measurements and layout of your office space and furniture. With a Permit Grade Design, businesses and decision-makers will have a clearer view of what the final layout of their office space could look like. Presented with various Permit Grade Designs, businesses can make a more educated decision on which office space designer to hire and get the job done based on the best floorplan presented to them.
Permit Grade Designs are easy to obtain—just request one from the office space designer(s) you are considering to hire. In the short term, it may cost you a little money upfront to account for the extra time the designer takes to measure every aspect of your office space and furniture, but it would prove beneficial in the longer run because (a) you will gain a greater confidence in the office space designer you choose to hire, and (b) you will minimize the possibility of some common and sometimes costly problems such as furniture not fitting properly into their assigned office areas .
So, when it comes to hiring an office space designer based on a floorplan, remember that the Permit Grade Design is the real deal-maker!
There are many main factors that come into play when choosing a designer to create and “build” your ideal office space—three of which are pricing, personality and the plan (floorplan that is).
Pricing: This is obvious. You want the best quality for the lowest cost possible (the best bang for your buck).
Personality: Relatively obvious. You want someone who works compatibly with you and your team while working towards realizing your ideal office space.
The Plan: Deceivingly obvious. The designer that presents the most favorable looking floorplan is likely to be the professional you will want to choose. That is the premise most decision-makers bank on. However, many fall into the trap of making their final decision on the wrong floorplan.
Let me explain.
Designers vying for your business will likely present you with a block floorplan. As the name suggests, a block floorplan is a ceiling-view schematic drawing of an office space with sections “blocked” on the page to represent individual office and workstation areas, bathroom spaces, stairways, elevators, exits, etc. Some block floorplans may even include top-view drawings of furniture such as a desk or a sofa just to give an idea of furniture placement within each blocked space. Block floorplans are great for providing a conceptual view of how your office space could be laid out, but they do not represent an exact view of your office space simply because they are most often not based on the actual measurements of both your office layout and your furniture.
Now, a block floor plan does have additional benefits: it can reveal to a decision-maker what a designer is capable of creating and may even give some insight to the question of whether or not the designer can identify with your business needs in relation to your office space. However, as a cover letter is with a resume, a block floorplan should be seen as part of an introduction to a designer who could potentially provide a solution to your office space– not as the actual solution to your office space.
Block floorplans may help narrow your choices of designers to use for your office space, but the real determining factor would be in the permit grade design…but we will discuss that in another blog.