The term “fit out” refers to the process involved in making a building’s interior suitable for people to start living in it, or working in it, in case of a commercial buidling. Once the base construction is finalized, there will still be a lot of work to be done within the building. Some developers offer options with regards to fit outs, as some clients would prefer to have everything completed so that they just move in. On the other hand there are others who prefer to see to some of the design and completion of the interior on their own.

Different Types of Fit Out Categories Illustrated. Image credit: Morgan Lovell

The Difference Between Cat A & Cat B Fit Outs

Once the developer completes the framework of a building, there will still be plenty of work that will need to be seen to within the building itself. The exterior will have been completed, and the building is watertight, but one would also need to see to the installation of various services, such as electrical, mechanical and plumbing.

Besides, the floors and the walls will need to be seen to. Completing these works, typically falls under the definition of a Cat A fit out, which is basically the next step after the Shell and Core fit out. There will be the bare essentials seen to. The office space or commercial building will have the heating and air conditoning, the lighting and any electrical outlets installed. There will also be suspended ceilings, raised floors and toilets. The interior is basically usable and quite ready for one to move into. However there will still be more work to be done with regards to customization.

Some business owners will place a great deal of importance on the look and style of their offices or premises. Once a Cat A fit out is completed it will not include any personalised decorating, fixtures or unique fittings. It will be very basic and bland. For those who want the interior to have a unique look and achieve more of a branded personality, then a Cat B fit out will be required.

Some see to these final touches on their own whereas others immediately opt for a Cat B fit out which will be adminstered by the developer after thorough discussions regarding the owner’s preferences. A Cat B fit out will thus include the furnishings, the doors and window treatments, any partitions, more elaborate lighting fixtures and fittings, as well as the floors. The offices, meeting and conference rooms will have the equipment required for their operations installed. There will be reception desks, coffee and tea points, kitchen and communcal areas completed. There will  thus be the company brand impressed on whoever visits the building as the interior decor will have been carried out impeccably to achieve a particular brand image.

How to Choose Between a Cat A & Cat B Fit Out

The choice depends greatly on one’s budget and personal preferences. Some prefer to have the project completed from start to finish. In that case a Cat B office fit out applies. Others may want to take up some of the work with regards to the finishing touches of the building, and so they might prefer a Cat A fit out.