Cat A or Cat B: Which Office Fit Out is Right for You?

The start of each new year is the prime time to evaluate the past 12 months and make improvements where you can. New year, new you, right? Maybe your office feels the same way! Whether you’re thinking about updating your current workspace or upgrading to a new one entirely, the first step is to decide where you want to start: Cat A or Cat B?

Related: What’s the Difference Between Cat A and Cat B Office Fit Outs?

difference between cat a and cat b fit out

If your office is begging for a new fit out, read on to discover what Cat A and Cat B fit outs are, their inclusions and benefits, and which could be right for you. For further information or personalised advice, contact our team at HQ Renovations today.

Cat A (Category A): What You Need to Know

What is a Cat A Fit Out?

Cat A fit outs render an office— or any workspace— structurally sound and suitable for business operations. This type of commercial fit out ensures a fully functional space that meets all of the legal requirements, but stops short of fulfilling your design dreams with the style or look you’re after. Everything is operational, but there’s no personalisation or ‘wow’ factor.

Cat A Fit Out Inclusions

Essentially, a Cat A fit out is a blank space. It takes an empty shell of a workspace and gives it necessary features including:

  • Finished walls
  • Standard lighting
  • Toilets
  • Grid ceilings
  • Raised access flooring
  • Mechanical services
  • Electrical services such as air conditioning and heating
  • Fire detection systems
  • Reception areas
  • Lifts

Cat A Fit Out Benefits

Having a completed Cat A fit out gives your business the tick of approval to start operating. It will comply with building and regulation codes and be safe for employees, guests, and customers.

For landlords, your Cat A fitted out commercial space gives you a wider pool of tenants to choose from. Not only is the space a blank slate for a company to make their home in, but it’s open for interpretation. Tenants can put their own stamp on the canvas, so you won’t be restricting yourself to leasing to a particular industry.

Cat B (Category B): What You Need to Know

What is a Cat B Fit Out?

Nothing says a fresh start like a fresh lick of paint, shiny new desks, and beautiful lighting that suits your business to a T. Whether you’re rebranding, moving into a space that already has a Cat A fit out, or replacing the previous tenant’s style with your own, a Cat B fit out helps you make the space your own. If your workspace is fully functional but perhaps looking a bit drab and dreary, a Cat B office fit out and refit can bring it back to life.

Cat B Fit Out Inclusions

A Cat B fit out typically includes:

  • Furniture (whether it be computer desks and chairs, restaurant seating, reception lounges— whatever you need)
  • Branded material and décor
  • Partitions and doors
  • Floor finishes
  • Kitchen and cafe equipment
  • Specialty lighting
  • Break/tea rooms
  • IT installation and infrastructure

Cat B Fit Out Benefits

With a Cat B fit out, everything is planned and tailored to your specifications. Walls or partitions can be added to encourage as much COVID safety as possible, and you can adorn the reception area with your branding so guests and customers know exactly where they are.

You can design your tea room to be a cosy and calm space away from the hustle and bustle of the open plan work floor, changing the lighting and colours to reflect the separate areas. Whether you want a modern workspace or an industrial loft-style office, a Cat B fit out will ensure you get the aesthetic you want.

What is Right For You?

At this point, you’ve probably scrutinised your office to see where you could make improvements. If you’d prefer to start over with a blank slate, a Cat A fit out may be better for you to start fresh. Renovating your existing space falls under the category of a Cat B fit out, as the infrastructure is already in place and it’s more of an aesthetic upgrade.


Get an Office Fit Out Quote Today

At HQ Renovations we deliver both Cat A and Cat B fit outs across the UK. With over 30 years’ experience working with commercial clients, our multi-skilled team can adhere to any brief across a wide range of industries and locations. To find out more, get in contact with our team by requesting a quote for your workspace.

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