“Cat A fit Out” and “Cat B fit out” are terms used all the time within the office fit out, design and refurbishment industry, however, for landlords and business owners, these phrases can sometimes be a little confusing. To help you identify the best commercial fit out type for your needs, we’ve compiled all the key information and put it into one handy blog.
Let’s get stuck in…
In construction terms, a fit out is all about developing a space with the sole purpose of aligning to the goals of those occupying it. When it comes to offices, this means preparing a space so that it becomes a usable business environment.
Over the years, the demand for office fit outs has increased enormously as business owners look to upscale and relocate whilst landlords look to accommodate the needs of commercial tenants.
When we use the terms Cat A and Cat B, we are simply referring to categories that fit into a wider classification system used to identify the type of fit out in question. Here is a brief overview of the 3 common categories that make up this system:
Shell and core: This is the stage at which we prepare the structure of a space as well as the gas, water and electric supply
Cat A fit out: This refers to the creation of a usable environment that is finished to an industrial standard
Cat B fit out: This is the creation of a fully furnished office that often includes office design, furniture, branding and partitions
When understanding the purpose of a Cat A office fit out, it’s best to imagine a blank canvas that can be decorated or styled to suit a business’s individual requirements. One level up from a shell and core, it offers all the basic elements needed for a commercial workplace, yet comes unfurnished so that future owners have the flexibility to make their mark on the space.
Some of the most common features included in a category A fit out include:
- Air Conditioning Units
- Toilet Facilities
- Basic Kitchen Facilities
- Raised Access Flooring
- Grid Ceilings
- Basic Fire Detection Systems
It’s important to note that, despite these being the most common features of a Cat A office fit out, the elements that go into your space will very much depend on your needs.
Most of the time, your office fit out company will give you some lee-way and will be able to tailor your space to suit you.
Cat A office fit outs can serve a whole range of different purposes. Here are just a couple of ways that they can be used:
For landlords wanting to let or sell, a Cat A fit out makes it easy to attract occupants who want an office that is ready to move into but requires a personal touch. By offering an empty, yet functional space, prospective business owners can get creative with layout, design and decor but won’t have to focus on more invasive work such as installing electrical systems and ventilation systems.
This can also be attractive to co-working companies that are looking for somewhere to house multiple businesses or freelancers. Without partitions or fixed layouts, they can decide how to configure the space in a way that best suits their occupants.
In most cases, businesses looking to move premises will need to go through the office dilapidations process. In other words, they’ll need to ensure that their office space is returned to its original state prior to occupation so that is ready for the next tenants.
With a Cat A fit out, everything is taken care of. All furniture, partitions, branding, paintwork and temporary fixtures will be removed without a trace, creating a clean, fresh space ready for a redesign.
With a Cat B fit out, we go beyond the basic requirements and create a space that is fun, inspiring and helps to enhance your business. From carefully crafted break out spaces to contemporary conference suites with multi-functional furniture, you’ll end up with an office that reflects your brand personality, encourages collaboration and makes day-to-day tasks a walk in the park.
Cat B office fit outs can include:
- Walls and Partitions
- Staircase Installation
- Cafeterias and Kitchen Areas
- Office Lighting
- Bespoke Branding and Signage
- And much more!
Cat B fit outs are the perfect choice for business owners who have acquired a new company space that has been finished to Cat A level.
With a cat B fit out, you can start to transform your new premises into a vibrant, contemporary office that reflects your company values and enables your staff to thrive.
There is a lot of debate surrounding the differences between fit outs and refurbishments; however, the main difference between the two is that a refurbishment is often carried out within a space that is already being used and is in need of an update. Because of this, it is often chosen by business owners looking to update their business or to reflect a rebrand.
On the other hand, fit out jobs are often carried out on untouched, empty spaces which can require complete repurposing to turn them into functioning office environments.
In general, Cat A fit outs come with a higher price point than Cat B because there are so many elements involved.
With that being said, the price of your project is very much dependent on the type and size of the space, along with your specific requirements and goals.
With every fit out project that we undertake, we’ll work with you to identify a suitable solution for your budget and will be transparent with you about costs at every step of the process.
Whether you’re a landlord or a business owner, if you’re looking for a quality fit out, it’s important to enlist the best people to do the job.
Here at McFeggan Brown, we have a vast amount of experience fitting out commercial business spaces that go above and beyond our client expectations. To find out more about our services or to discuss your project requirements, do not hesitate to contact our friendly team on 01275 464220.