What’s the Difference Between a Category A and B Fit Out?

The Construction and Property industry’s are full of jargon. Sometimes it can be hard to see the wood for the trees. To keep things simple, here’s an explanation of what a typical Category A and B fit out means for you.

Category A fit outs – usually carried out for developers and landlords – turn the rented office floor space into a blank canvas ready for the business to install all the finishing touches.

Meanwhile, Category B fit outs are focused on painting that blank canvas. This means installing the look, facilities and bespoke design – ready for a business to move in.

Let’s look at each in turn to see what you can expect.

Category A … Breathing New Life into a Tired Space

Category A’s starting point is an empty shell. It’s where the rented space is given a face lift – often ensuring it meets modern standards.

Typical works include:

  • Raised floors and suspended ceilings
  • Floor coverings
  • Placement of electrical and mechanical services
  • Window blinds
  • Sprinklers and fire alarms

At this stage, too, health and safety issues are often sorted out – including building regulations and environmental compliance.

Equally, landlords also request that a used office space is turned back into a Cat A standard to enable it to be rented out again.

Category B … Turning an Office Space into a Home

Once all the general building work has finished – usually to the landlord’s or developer’s spec – a Category B fit out can start.

This stage is driven by the specific needs of the client who’s moving in. And it’s an exciting stage too where the interior design journey starts.

Typical installations include:

  • Interior architecture of partitions and office spaces
  • Doors and floor finishes
  • IT and AV infrastructure
  • Specialist lighting
  • Office furniture, fabrics, artwork
  • Kitchen area/reception fit-out
  • Branding features

Essentially, it’s when the space is transformed into exactly what the client wants: an individual office design.