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Your Business Relocation Questions Answered

When it comes to relocations we get asked a lot of questions from customers wanting to know how we handle the logistics of this complex process. Without expert knowledge and planning, moving an office or laboratory can seem like a daunting and endless task but with the right help it can be broken down into a manageable project so that you and your employees can have peace of mind the move will be completed efficiently and professionally. 

Usually everything starts with a pre-planning meeting and survey, where we make sure to answer all your questions when we meet with you, and share with you our experiences and insights. Below are some of the most common questions and concerns people have at the initial stages of their office relocation or laboratory relocation project. 

If your question is not answered below feel free to ask us directly or use our contact form to get in touch or call us today to speak to one of our Move Managers. We love hearing from our customers. 

Still want to know more? Simply view our blog page for more tips and suggestions.


Office Relocation FAQs

How much notice should I give for booking my office move?

The simple answer is as much notice as possible. The time for choosing a removal contractor is not when your moving date is known precisely, but when it is known approximately. It may be known approximately long before it is known precisely, and the intervening period should not be wasted. 
The earlier we get involved the more we can help you to plan and prepare. 

However, we pride ourselves on our flexibility and responsiveness, so no matter your time frame, get in touch and we’ll always help.

Will you plan the office removal process from beginning to end?

Yes, when it comes to relocating your business you will be assigned a dedicated Move Manager at the very start of the process. Our Move Manager will arrange a number of meetings during which we will agree your moving schedule and ensure nothing is left to chance. Our meticulous planning and detailed approach is essential in helping to keep everything on track. We will keep you updated every step of the way, provide help with your own staff briefings and produce unique ‘employee move packs’ which are packed full of helpful guidance for your employees affected by the relocation. 

Can you do moves during the evening and over weekends?

Yes we can and do! A lot of our customers choose to relocate their business over a weekend and out of ‘normal trading’ hours so that any disruption on the business is minimised. For larger moves, this usually takes place over several phases often involving weekend and/or evening working  to ensure that the transition is smooth, and downtime is kept to a minimum.

What about moving sensitive information and secure files?

When moving sensitive files we implement a number of protocols to ensure confidentiality. For example, we use lockable crates which we can pack in the presence of your staff to ensure line of sight is maintained. These crates are sealed with unique, numbered seals and transported with one of your staff on board the vehicle to maintain the chain of custody. Once at the new site, the seal is broken in your presence and the files returned to their safe location. In addition, all of our teams undergo security background checks and sign non-disclosure agreements, which qualifies them to handle sensitive data.  

How will the space be planned at the new office site?

If you need help with your new office layout and making the most from your new space, we can help. Space planning is a fundamental element of your interior design process. We have experienced space planners available to help you plan how the space is to be used. 

How do you know what items go where at our new location?

By using a simple but effective labelling system - As experts in logistics we have a detailed method for identifying all items involved in your office move, which includes recognising specific areas at destination, such as different areas and floors. For example, all personal crates are labelled internally and externally for increased safety. Items that are going to be moved are labelled by colour, category and final destination on an equally coded spreadsheet. Items not moving are also clearly marked as such. All IT is labelled both on the component itself and on the packaging and every item is identified as part of a larger configuration. Cables and small components are placed in labelled bags and where applicable, IT assets are barcoded so that we can track the asset’s information. Finally, the position of all desktop items is recorded so that each desktop configuration can be replicated at its new location.

Do you decommission, move and recommission IT, servers and AV equipment?

Yes, we’re able to relocate every type of computer system as well as server rooms, telephones, Audio Visual and associated office technology. Our in-house IT relocation teams will decommission and recommission your IT and offer support before, during and after your move. We can also set up and deploy your new equipment, collect, wipe and remarket your legacy IT assets to deliver you maximum rebate.

Do you also recycle IT?

Yes, this is a growing area for us. We offer a comprehensive service of IT repurposing, resale, data erasure and destruction, depending on your needs. Visit our Restore Technology site for more information.

What does an office move cost?

We tailor all of our prices to the customer’s specific requirements, this will factor in items such as the size of the move, how many employees are moving, when and over what timescale, access in and out of buildings, any specialist requirements such as moving large items of equipment or machinery and what services are required for example, file packing, pre and post move assistance and other specific project requirements.   

 We offer a free consultation to all customers considering an office relocation so we’ll advise you up front on what the total costs will be and we guarantee there will be no hidden extras.

How do you work out your prices?

One of our expert Move Managers will visit your office and get a full understanding of your relocation project and aims. We take an outcome based approach to every relocation project. We will prepare a comprehensive quote and move schedule detailing what we will do, when and how. Your move schedule becomes a ‘live’ working document which can be updated to record any changes as your project timeline progresses.

How will you protect our buildings against possible damage?

We take great care in every space we work. We first determine the best route to take for ease and efficiency and then place protective coverings on the floors, protectors on all corners and door frames as well as corrugated cardboard along the walls to ensure your building is in the same condition from when we arrive to when we leave. We protect lift interiors, stair wells and all vulnerable areas before we start work. On completion we take down all protective material and remove it from site. 

What if I need new office furniture?

We have access to all of the major office furniture manufacturers and can supply you with a wide range of office furniture as part of your relocation project. We can also help you design and space plan your new space.

What about items I don’t need right away, do you provide secure storage?

Yes, we have secure storage facilities throughout the UK. If you have office furniture, stock or assets you won’t be moving to your new site but might require them at a later date, we can help. Our online storage inventory provides you with real time stock levels, images and the ability to manage your items via our customer portal. Items in storage are easy to retrieve and very accessible.

What happens if we need to make a last minute change to the move schedule?

Last minute changes are no problem for us, we pride ourselves on our ability to respond to our customers’ needs and provide high quality service even at the last minute. Our experienced teams, are very flexible, enabling us to react to short notice challenges quickly and easily. 

How do you pack fragile items?

We have a number of specialist methods and materials for packing sensitive or fragile items. For example, monitors have custom built, padded sleeves designed to offer the utmost level of protection and all electronic items are wrapped in anti-static bubble wrap to ensure they are kept safe and secure. Another example is artwork for which we use bespoke crates, acid free tissue and protective cardboard. A vulnerable part of artwork when being moved is the frame, we use specially designed frame protectors that ensure artwork arrives at its new destination in exactly the same condition as when we collected it. 

What about furniture we don’t need anymore, will you take that away and what happens to it?

Yes we often undertake office and building clearances for our customers as part of their relocation project. We offer a comprehensive reuse and recycling service for all of our customers’ legacy office furniture and assets, ensuring that they’re utilised in the best way possible. If, for example, the furniture is in good condition we’ll arrange for it to be sold through our furniture dealer network. As an alternative to re-sale we work with UK based charities, business start-ups, schools and community projects  that are in need of office furniture but do not have the funds to purchase. We also offer furniture upcycling – from our own experience at least 50% of office furniture can be brought back to life by reupholstering chairs and resizing desks. Finally, if your used furniture does not fit in any of these categories, we’ll ensure that your items are broken down into component materials and recycled either by being turned into fuel pellets or reused in other manufacturing methods to ensure we stay within our 0% waste to landfill guarantee.

Why should I choose Restore Harrow Green for my office move?

We are the market leaders and have held the largest share of the UK's business moving market for more than fifteen years.
Our focus is on making things easy for our customers and no doubt this is why we have an excellent customer retention record. Our staff take great pride in their work and they understand that it is their actions that help us maintain our market-leading position, so you can be confident that they will go that extra mile on your behalf. We make it easy for you to do business with us; we offer great value for money; we do what we say we will do, and we will not let you down.

We aim to be the number one choice for organisations who are relocating, reorganising or recycling, providing the very best service tailored to our customers' needs.


Laboratory Relocation FAQs

How much notice do I need to give to book you in to complete my lab relocation?

This is a question that we get asked very often. The main factors that determine this are things such as where you are up to with any initial planning, the size of your laboratory move, do you need us to project manage the full relocation including fumigation, equipment decommissioning/recommissioning/calibration/validation and the level of complexity of the relocation. 

We can accommodate relocations in short timescales in as little as a few days. However, a large and complex relocation which requires project management and a lot of planning a lab relocation could need as much as 6-12 months, or even longer to plan and complete.

Our labs are very large, and we do not know where to start in terms of planning. Can you help plan and project manage our laboratory relocation?

The short answer is yes. Laboratory relocation project management is one of our main areas of specialism. Our project managers have vast experience with all types of laboratory relocation planning tasks. 

Whether it is completing a full asset survey and asset tagging piece of work capturing key equipment requirements once relocated, compiling full costs for specialist equipment decommissioning/recommissioning/calibration/validation or being the linchpin between a number of key stakeholders such as the lab managers, security, OEMs and third party engineers, relocation teams, office managers and project sponsors, we know all of the steps required to safety and successfully plan and deliver a laboratory relocation.

How long does it take to plan a laboratory relocation?

There are no set timescales for planning a laboratory relocation. We have planned lab moves in very short timescales, a few weeks, but at the same time have had teams of project managers working with our clients’ years in advance of their relocation. 

Our best advice is once you know that you are likely going to be relocating to new laboratories then get in touch and we can discuss your requirements and end goals. Once we know a bit about your requirements we can advise from there. Initially fact finding and consultation meetings are free of charge.

We are a regulated lab. Does this make a difference as to how we need to prepare and relocate all our equipment and research?

Yes. There are a number of factors that will need to be taken in to account for this and need to be accounted for, such as ensuring that equipment is calibrated and validated to the correct standards or providing a full temperature audit trail of cold chain material that is being relocated. 

As part of our project planning and fact finding we will liaise with key client staff such as Quality Assurance and Laboratory Managers to fully capture project requirements, provide advice and relocation solutions for you and ensure that the costs to complete correctly are captured and allowed for.

We are a large and complex lab with a lot of equipment, can you assist with the decommission / recommission / recalibration element as we will not have anyone with enough time to complete this?

This is a common undertaking for Restore Harrow Green Laboratory Services. One of our first questions to our clients for a large and complex laboratory relocation, where there is a lot of equipment that cannot just be unplugged and moved, is around the management of OEMs and third-party engineers and whether they have time to complete this themselves. 

Whether there are 5 or 100 separate OEMs or third- party engineers to contact for costs, availability, and timescales in and amongst the relocation activity, it is a very time consuming and onerous task to complete, especially if you have a full-time job to complete as well. 

We have a great understanding of relocation requirements of equipment and what is required in terms of decommissioning and making them “safe” and “ready” to relocate. Therefore, we are used regularly by our clients to complete this element and ensure that the relocation is all planned and completed within the agreed timescales and to the agreed budget. 

If you do have a project lead that does have time to manage this element, then we are happy to offer advice throughout the process as well as if there are any cost savings by grouping equipment or using different qualified equipment engineers.

We only have a couple of larger pieces of equipment to move within our current site. Do you complete smaller relocations?

Whether you are moving a couple of centrifuges or a full 500-person lab and office set-up, we are always happy to complete a laboratory relocation for you.

Can you relocate chemicals?

Yes, we can. Restore Harrow Green Laboratory Services are one of the very few relocation companies that can offer this service in house and do not have to rely on sub-contracting this out to other chemical relocation specialists.

How do you relocate our fridge and freezer contents?

There are a number of ways refrigerated and frozen contents. We will need to understand a little bit about the type of contents that you are relocating, as well as some other key factors, and from this can advise as to the best relocation method to relocate them. 

A couple of options are to pack out into shippers with the correct coolant i.e., gel packs or dry ice, or we can look at relocating the contents within their current fridges and freezers using our specialist vehicles that can supply power to them during transit.

Can you relocate Cryo vessels that contain liquid Nitrogen (LN2)?

Samples and contents that are stored in LN2, where they are standalone dewars or cryo vessels that require a mains feed, both fall under ADR regulations and therefore, as we have DGSAs and ADR trained staff within our full time employed staff, we can safely and legally relocate these under ADR regulations.

I see that you have a DGSA and ADR trained staff. What are these qualifications and why are they needed for lab relocations?

ADR stands for Accord Dangereux Routier. Its full meaning in French is “Accord européen relatif au transport international des marchandises dangereuses par route.” In English, it means “European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road.” 

Along with CDG regulations (Carriage of Dangerous Goods), if substances are classed as hazardous, and are above limited quantities, then they need to be relocated by an ADR certified driver, in an ADR compliant vehicle with the correct paperwork and overseen by a DGSA (Dangerous Goods and Safety Advisor).

We have hazardous samples to move are you able to move these?

As we have ADR staff, ADR vehicles and Dangerous Goods & Safety Advisors, we are legally able to relocate hazardous materials on public roads which laboratories will almost have in the form of hazardous samples, specimens, and chemicals above limited quantities.

Can you also plan and relocate our office areas?

We are a multifaceted business and can complete both the planning and relocation of the offices. We can also assist with other services as we are part of the Restore Group. These services include:

Your head office is in London, can you complete lab relocations anywhere in the UK?

As we are the largest commercial relocation company in the UK, we have a number of flagship depots in key cities including: 

  • Glasgow
  • Leeds
  • Manchester
  • Birmingham
  • Cambridge
  • Bristol

We had to have a number of large items craned in due to bad access, is this something that you can complete as part of the relocation?

We understand that there can be issues getting large equipment either out of their current location or into their new location. We regularly have to complete the removal or install of large equipment such as autoclaves, -80 freezer and large fume hoods. 

However, we will first look at other options to ensure that you have the most cost-effective solution. We have a variety of stair climbing equipment that we regularly use to take equipment up staircases. Our stair climbers have the ability to take equipment up to 1000kg upstairs!

We cannot afford to have any downtime (or as little as possible), can you work evenings and weekends to minimise our downtime?

In our world, there is never a time that we cannot complete relocations. We fully understand about the need to keep lab downtime to an absolute minimum. We would first look at the option of moving key equipment in phases so all equipment is not “out of action” and if this is not possible, we can complete the relocation over evenings and weekends if required.

We have expensive equipment to move, are you able to provide insurance?

Yes, we can offer insurance cover either under our standard coverage or as a bespoke requirement depending on the value of your equipment.

We are relocating our equipment and samples to another Country; can you complete international relocations?

Yes, we can. We are very experienced in completing relocating into Europe and further afield. We have a very good knowledge of all the requirements including advising clients around the information that they need to provide us and can complete all the import / export paperwork.

We have cleanrooms to relocate, are you able to relocate these?

Yes, we can. We have relocated a large number of cleanrooms over the years and have a full understanding of what is required in terms of how the equipment needs to be packaged prior to being taken out of the cleanrooms, PPE and how we need to prepare our equipment prior to entering cleanroom environments. 

Our experienced team will ensure that they obtain all the necessary information off you to provide costs in line with your requirements.

We have a lot of old equipment, IT, and furniture that we no longer need. Can you assist with recycling these?

We regularly come across a lab that is relocating and has either bought a large amount of new equipment to replace old equipment in their new labs and/or has redundant equipment that is broken and “end of life” and needs recycling. 

As we have a very good network of contacts in the laboratory industry, as part of our turnkey solution we can look at the equipment that you have that is surplus to requirement and can see if there is any second hand value in it and therefore get you some money back for it through a number of second hand laboratory equipment dealers. 

If the equipment is “end of life” we can remove and recycle the equipment for you as we have a waste carrier license.