The first question you need to ask is how much service do I need. If price is the most important criteria and you are happy to do your own research, put the furniture together and get rid of the packaging yourself then one of the many furniture stores or on line “box shifters” will be fine for you. You may have to collect your goods (and take them back if there is a problem) but you will certainly save money.
If you are running a busy office, and want to delegate the whole experience then you need to talk to an office furniture dealer. They will probably charge you more, but will listen to you and offer you products to suit your requirements and even come up with solutions you may not have thought about. They will provide plans and renditions to give you an idea what your office will look like, and can take away any old furniture if you require it. They will deliver and assemble the furniture, check it over, and then take away all packaging materials.
You will get a guarantee for the furniture products, and this will mean that they will come to your office and sort out any problems. You will be able to tap into their vast database of knowledge and experience and you will be able to speak to other customer of theirs in order to evaluate their level of service. They can even advise on health and safety, office data and power cabling, lighting and other matters relevant to your office environment.
You may also find that the price quoted by the dealer is not a great deal more that from the DIY option, especially when you consider the additional services on offer. They may even be able to offer you a flexible payment plan or lease hire options.
So having decided on what you want, you still need to decide how much to spend
A cheap rectangular desk with a very basic box section frame can be yours for around £80, but this is really an entry level product. The top will be 18mm and there will be very few options available. Invariably these products are imported from China or Eastern Europe, so there will always be some doubt as to supply and continuity
Curved desks (radial, crescent or wave desks) are more expensive, ranging from around £140 to £200 depending on specification and quantity.
The next level is a 25mm top supported by an all steel frame and you should expect to pay around £250 for a curved desk, with the rectangular versions being around £140.
The big advantage with all steel desk framework over the cheaper frame with integral wood modesty panel is strength. There are no thread inserts to pull out on a steel frame, and the desk top is not part of the integral structure of the desk. If you are looking to keep the desks for 10 years and plan to move them around in that period, then you really should consider the stronger, all steel frame version.
It is impossible to go through each item separately and most office furniture dealers have a rule of thumb for office furniture costs for an average sized office. This rule includes an allowance for a reception area, meeting room, and adequate file storage facilities.
Generally the guide figure at the budget end is £550 per person, rising to £850 for a better quality product will steel frames. Managerial and executive ranges can push this average up to around £1,100 per person. These guide prices are very rough estimates but they can at least give you an idea of what you will have to spend.