What’s the difference between a category A fit out and a category B fit out

What’s the difference between a category A fit out and a category B fit out

What is the difference between a category A fit out and a category B fit out?

Cat B fit out and Cat B fit out – explained!

The process of fitting out a space, be that a commercial or residential building is the level of fitting out that takes place. This is separated into two types, A and B. Often the two are simultaneous and can be difficult to differentiate, on other occasions they are clear cut. The work can be divided between two or more contractors and between landlords and tenants. For instance, the landlord would be responsible for category A and the tenants for category B, although this is not always the case and is based on a fit-out-by-fit basis.

Category A Fit Out

category a fit out

Although a Cat A Fit Out can vary from contractor to contractor, it generally includes the following;-

  • Basic electrical services.
  • Basic mechanical services.
  • Fire protection and detection services.
  • Internal surface finishes
  • Blinds.

This type of fit-out revolves around the services and functionality of a space. The wiring, plumbing, smoke detectors, and sprinklers, etc. The fixtures and fitting are going to be in place for a long duration and are essential for the space to be practical and safe. This work can overlap with category A as the two can be completed close together or even alongside one another in some cases.

Category A includes installing the internal workings of premises that are often hidden or less visible than other aspects of a fit-out such as the cosmetic aspects. Those changes are not part of category A and are instead part of the secondary phase, category B fit-out. It can also involve the relocating and altering of ceiling and walls to reconfigure and alter the layout and design of the space to create a different configuration.

Why is it necessary? 

Category A fit-outs are common when offices change use and the requirements of the owner or tenant change, and therefore it is agreed that the interior structure should change to better reflect the new situation. If a building or space is aging or becoming unsafe, a category A fit-out will address the underlying issues and support the continued use of the premises with new and modern capabilities, while preventing any issues from developing within the structure. Ensuring that the premises can meet the relevant safety standards while also being able to meet the needs of those who will be in the space and require a suitable and adaptable area to produce their work.

With all the necessary applications and fittings able to be fitted in the next phase. Landlords and tenants often co-fund the fit-out and this can be in the form of both category A and B. The landlord may provide some funds to the tenants to spend on the second category as the secondary fixtures and fittings may be vulnerable to damage and dust, so are delayed into the second category to protect the finish of the space. This ensures that as much of the work is completed before the furnishing and final touches are added to the space. Which minimizes the chances of unnecessary and costly damage to the objects and furniture that will be filling the space.

Category B Fit Out

category b fit out

Although a Cat B Fit Out can vary from contractor to contractor, it generally includes the following;-

  • Finishes and branding.
  • Reception area.
  • Meeting rooms.
  • Conference rooms.
  • Lighting.
  • Kitchen facilities.
  • Office furniture.

This category is responsible for the visual and cosmetic design of the space including the color scheme, and choice of furnishing that are non-invasive or structural. This includes decorating and furnishings the space with carpets, paint, and partitioning as just a few examples. The work is less disruptive and more aimed at the impact the space can have, both as a coordinated branded and effective area with the secondary fixtures and fittings such as electrical equipment that offices and other premises used to conduct their work. Other examples include light and kitchen fittings and finishes to provide the services and style that the landlord or tenant has chosen to furnish the space and fulfill their vision with the level of quality and attention to detail that has been set out before the fit-out has been undertaken.

When are they used? 

Category B fit-outs unlike category A are often completed without a category A fit-out having taken place. Whereas a category A fit-out is likely to be followed by a category B to make the space habitable and useable. Offices and other spaces are often refurbished and redecorated via a category B fit-out as they are able to provide a complete visual rebrand and feel to the space without having to spend a larger sum on both categories when one will be able to deliver the required new look.

However, category A may be unavoidable which will probably require category B to follow ensuring that the space is brought back to a safe and usable space and is not left in a vacant and unfinished state that category A can create. Category B is so often fitted quickly after the primary work is completed to avoid an unfinished limbo situation within the premises where the space is not used as planned, yet this is sometimes the case.

Category A Or Category B?

category a fit out

Both of these categories are important and for their own reasons essential to a safe and successful fit-out being completed in full and ready to be used by the tenants or workers who would be able to benefit the most from the combined fit-outs. The landlord can also continue to make use of the premises while providing a renewed and improved premise that highlights both the work of those in the office and the contractors who created it.

This type of fit-out revolves around the services and functionality of a space. The wiring, plumbing, smoke detectors, and sprinklers, etc. The fixtures and fitting are going to be in place for a long duration and are essential for the space to be practical and safe. This work can overlap with category A as the two can be completed close together or even alongside one another in some cases.

Category A includes installing the internal workings of premises that are often hidden or less visible than other aspects of a fit-out such as the cosmetic aspects. Those changes are not part of category A and are instead part of the secondary phase, category B fit-out. It can also involve the relocating and altering of ceiling and walls to reconfigure and alter the layout and design of the space to create a different configuration.

Office Fit Out Vs Refurbishments

office partitions

Another frequently asked question that we are asked all time by is what is the difference between an on office fit out or office refurbishment. Office refurbishments are required when you are looking to freshen up the appearance and practicality of your office space. Office refurbishments often go ahead when businesses are expanding and you’re looking for a cost-effective way to accommodate new staff without going through the hassle of relocating to another office space. Moreover, office refurbishments are also highly beneficial for practical reasons such as increasing employee productivity and morale. Reconsidering the colours and practicality of your office space can make a massive difference.

On the other hand, an office fit-out is basically like working with a blank canvas. An office fit-out includes the installation of various different working stations that are needed for every modern-day businesses. Office fit-outs include raising the flooring, implementing partitioning, and much more. If you are still unsure of the difference between office refurbishments and office fit-outs, please reach out and we will be more than happy to assist.

For Category A Fit Out Or Category B Fit Out – Call JST!

If you are interested in getting a fit-out and would like more information about Cat A Fit Out or Cat B Fit Out, please contact JST construction, whose experience and knowledge of the industry will be able to provide the information you seek. Alternatively, get in touch with us right away for an immediate response by calling us directly on 0151 355 9232.