What’s The Difference Between An Office Refurbishment And An Office Fit-Out?

  November 13, 2023      Offices

If you’re looking at your current office space and thinking it needs to change, you’re probably trying to determine whether it needs a full office fit-out or just an office refurbishment. But what’s the difference between the two? And does it matter whether you’re getting a fit-out or a refurbishment?

While it’s probably more important that your builder knows what you’re talking about even if you don’t use the exact right terminology, being educated when you go into any project helps to make sure nothing is missed when you ultimately go to fit-out or refurbish your office.

Let’s start by defining what each term is.

What Is An Office Fit-Out?

An office fit-out usually starts with a blank slate. The shell of the office will be there, whether that shell is a smaller area of a building, a single floor, or the entire building. But that’s likely all there will be. The previous tenant of the office probably completed their end of lease make good to bring the space back to its original condition and it’s probably just an empty room.

From here, an office fit-out would involve building all the internal structures like walls and partitions, installing a suspended ceiling, and all the utilities. It could also include installing amenities like toilets and staff kitchens if they don’t exist already.

After this part of a fit-out, the space would now look more like an office, but it wouldn’t have any furniture in it yet. So, the next part of the fit-out is adding furniture like desks, chairs, and decorations as necessary.

Office fit-outs can be seen as having three main steps (not including the initial planning of the fit-out):

  • Walls, ceilings, and utilities are put into an empty building.
  • General elements like paint and flooring are installed, as well as amenities like toilets and kitchens.
  • Furniture and decorations are installed to finish the fit-out.

Office fit-outs usually happen when a business is relocating to a new office, but could also happen if your office space is simply expanding. Basically, an office fit-out is creating an office from nothing.

What Is An Office Refurbishment?

An office refurbishment is usually completed on an already existing office space and can include a lot of different elements. A smaller office refurbishment may just involve some new paint and carpet to make it feel new again. Alternatively, a business may look to just replace all the office furniture to make the office feel a little bit more modern. A larger office refurbishment may look at stripping back most of the office’s elements and redoing almost everything. At this point the office refurbishment is starting to look much like an office fit-out, but there’s no clear line here.

Office refurbishments can be varied, but they’re generally faster and less expensive than a full fit-out. This is because many of the elements that make a space an office are already there and, even if it’s a major refurbishment, not everything will be replaced. What’s better about a refurbishment is that often it can be done with minimal disruption to a business. Office refurbishment companies like A1 Precision Solutions can even work out of hours if needed. This ensures that your business can keep operating while also getting a great refurbishment job done.

Generally speaking, if you’re looking to upgrade or modernise your existing office, a refurbishment will probably do the job rather than going for a full office fit-out. It can also be worthwhile speaking to a professional for advice. A reliable building company like A1 Precision Solutions can give you advice on how to scope a project to keep business downtime to a minimum while also keeping the project within a reasonable budget. We can either suggest elements of your project that can be removed altogether in order to save on costs, or even sometimes add things you wouldn’t think possible within your budget.

Refurbishments And Fit-Outs Aren’t Just For Offices

Fit-outs and refurbishments need to be done for all sorts of businesses including restaurants, shops, and showrooms. Even industrial spaces need a warehouse fit-out. All of this is similar to office fit-outs and refurbishments in the steps taken and the scope of the work.

If you need a new office, whether that’s a full fit-out or an improvement through an office refurbishment, we’re happy to talk to you about your requirements and give advice on how to proceed. Just contact us for more information and a quote.