What is a fit out?

What is a fit out?

A fit out is getting any interior space ready for occupancy. This involves everything from the electrical to the mechanical setup. It also includes outfitting the space with interior decorations and furnishing. As a common practice, much of the interior space is left bare to allow commercial tenants to fit out as they wish.

Fit outs are not limited to the furnishings or design of a place. They include every aspect of the interior requirements of any space. This also includes keeping a space up to regulations and maintaining safety standards. It is rare for developers and landlords to provide those requirements. Instead, tenants can use commercial designers to outfit their space. 

Fit-out vs interior design

So often, use the phrase as synonymous or interchangeably with interior design. While both follow similar principles, they are very different in practice. They also have different end goals which guide the process. Interior designing can well be very different from what a fit out is. 

Fit outs involve installing new equipment in an indoor space that makes it habitable. It includes all the mechanical, electrical and structural components that create space. These involve building ventilation, heating, windows, and door fittings. Such features also complete the construction of the interior space essential for the occupation.  

On the other hand, interior designing is more focused on the room’s aesthetic. It focuses on the furnishing and design of the space geared to produce a specific look. There are structural elements to interior design as well. These can focus on features such as light and ventilation. However, instead of installing new fixtures, it works with the existing structure. The goal is to create the best possible interior space with the given material.

Moreover, renovations differ in their purpose and workspace. Renovations work with an existing interior to introduce design or structural changes. These can be borne out of a need for space or efficiency, energy conservation or plain aesthetics. Fit outs work on new spaces with no previous structural systems. All three processes also require attention to detail to keep a space functional.     

Interior fit-out scope of work

Flexible and adaptable work environments have become increasingly relevant with the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an increasing need to create adaptable workspaces that can remain functional. They must cater to changing environments and the needs of an evolving business. Besides addressing various safety concerns, workplace design is also essential for productivity. The lack of many base-level workplace requirements can create problems down the road. They are also accountable for low employee motivation in many cases. 

Interior fit out is responsible, among other things, for:

  • Floor installation
  • Ceilings
  • Electricity and plumbing
  • Furnishings
  • Establishing internet connectivity 

Such services take care of many aspects of workplace functionality and design. Such services also offer better guides for what a client requires for their unique goals. There are some things to keep in mind in this regard.

Fit out plan

Before actual work begins, plans should be developed that reflect these aspects. The outfitting plan should balance functionality with aesthetics. It also focuses on any other factor that a company holds important. It lays out the goals to achieve as the final product. 

Plans sometimes need to change when the practical aspects clash with hypothesized ideas. This makes it necessary to think out the process before moving on to the following stages. 

Fit out design

The design is an outline of the intended outfit. This follows the concept design created in the planning stage. Based on that, details- from appearance to practical use- are also ironed out. 

It also requires addressing many factors, including the kind of material to use. The design phase creates a viable picture of the final product after the outfit. It is essential to help stay true to the client’s vision.  

Plans sometimes need to change when the practical aspects clash with hypothesized ideas. This makes it necessary to think out the process before moving on to the following stages. 

Turnkey developments

Turnkey developments are spaces already outfitted by the developer and ready for use. These may also be referred to as ready-made spaces for tenants to lease and use as is. They are most often seen in the form of open-plan spaces. Since they require minimal development, they are suited to ready-made developments. They are also unlikely to clash too much with the tenant’s requirements.

Such spaces do leave some room for alterations. Fit out requirements differ in such spaces, as the design does not cater to any significant alterations. Contract agreements will define any clause pertaining to current or future fit outs. Most commonly, they would only include improvements to the existing structure.

Different types of fit outs

Fit out services come in different types, depending on the customer’s needs. These are based on what facilities are already available and what setups are needed. The goal is to maintain the business structure to enable daily business operations.

What are shell and core?

This fit out process starts with just the basics. A fit out designer will work with just the basic framework of the building already in place. A shell and core fit out are required for buildings with a fully finished exterior. However, they lack interior structures, including power, heating, flooring and plumbing.

Large businesses often take out such spaces, given their particular requirements and needs. Only shell and core can usually cater to such needs in a new space. Such requirements are usually those that renovations cannot meet. Existing structures are unable to cater to large business requirements. A shell and core fit out can cater to such specific demands.   

What is a Cat A fit-out?

A category A fit out is carried out on buildings and units that are structurally complete. Such spaces can be occupied and used, but most businesses would prefer to fit out the office space. Basics like electrical wiring, heating and plumbing are already available. Cat A fit outs work off of these structures.

This fit-out would focus on additional structures such as outlets and safety systems. Lighting, air conditioning, raised floor access, and fire alarm systems are all installed. This fit out also includes internal floor finishes and binds. However, unlike a shell and core, the process will not require putting up internal walls. There will be no need to build internal structures from scratch.

What is a Cat B fit-out?

A category B fit out creates a finished plan of interior space. In addition to what is already available in a Cat A fit out, Cat B adds the final touches for personalized space. Besides creating a functional space, this type of fit out also focuses on interior design and look. 

A Cat B fit out includes anything from floor finishes, special lighting and furniture. Decorations, decor and any other aspects of interior design are also included. These are often explicitly added to a client’s needs and instructions. It helps create the specific physical atmosphere a business is going for.   

Fit out company

Office fit outs can be a simple addition to a daunting task, depending on the business need. It involves taking care of many different aspects simultaneously within an established plan. Moreover, any minor issue with fit outs can create enormous problems for the company in the future. This is especially the case for companies with an ever-evolving approach. The culture needs to be within their workspace.

Therefore, it is essential to have a reliable designer who can cater to the different demands of the job. A commercial designer specializing in fit-outs can offer guidance on what is needed. Consultations can offer guidance and accurate quotes with a usable fit out plan.