Should You Opt for an Office Fitout or Renovation?

It is always exciting to have your own office space for your company. Now that the initial paperwork is done, you can move on to something more creative and fun. Not to say the paperwork is entirely gone, but it is your time to bring in some personality and character to your space. Whether it is changing your entire floor type, paint job or as large as rebuilding a wall, it is important to know what you want and exactly how you want it for this to be a smooth sailing process. Hence, it is time to get to know whether a fitout or renovation is right for you and your space. 

What is an office fitout?

To simply put it, an office fitout refers to a transformation of a space so that it can be occupied and used. It can range from having a completely empty shell or blank canvas where you would need to identify and plan out the space accordingly to a full blown office space with proper amenities. 

What does an office fitout include?

There are three types of fitouts: Shell and Core, Category A (Cat A) and Category B (Cat B). Individually, each fitout includes different elements or amenities. Here is a more in-depth look at what which of them would include to give you a better idea: 

  • Shell & Core

Think of this as your blank canvas. Just like its name, the shell and core fitout is literally just a shell and core. It comprises a structure, base, completed common areas and at times, mechanical plants. There could also be windows and plasterboard lined, taped and jointed. Communal areas such as the reception, lobbies, stairwell, loading bay and lifts will be part of a shell and core fitout as well.

  • Cat A

Now, this is a step-up from a shell and core fitout. Still an empty space but it is now equipped with basic mechanical and electrical services such as lighting, air conditioners and fire detection. Additionally, a Cat A fitout would normally include suspended ceilings and lighting, main power distribution and raised floors. Not to worry, you are still able to create a design according to your liking with the right mechanical and electrical specifications.

  • Cat B

Fully fitted and properly equipped by the tenant or landlord, a Cat B fitout includes everything an office space would need. This would include the necessary corporate or brand identity, staff facilities and spaces such as:

  • Floor finishes 
  • Meeting and conference rooms
  • Workstations 
  • Office furniture and lighting 
  • Partitions 

What is considered a fitout?

A fitout can also be the activities involved to create a space that is occupiable such as floor or ceiling installations, installations of electrical wiring, furnishings and many more. You may recognise these activities to be part of a fitout construction where the tenant would undertake the necessary steps to make the space appropriate from the developer or landlord. 

What is an office renovation?

The term renovation alone may seem vague and general. Oftentimes, most would think of it to be a huge change that involves breaking down or building up a wall or even completely changing up the interior to a whole new style. While that may be right to a certain extent, what most refer to is actually called office conversion where you would be turning a space that is not an office into an office space.

Office renovation talks about the process of redesigning your existing office space into one that is up to date while remaining an aesthetically pleasing outlook. This newly renovated space should be longstanding and durable that boosts employee productivity and fits all of your company needs. 

Through renovations, you will be able to add new or more space into your existing one, improve or change up the aesthetics of your space, update any electrical or mechanical aspects around the office and many more. Generally, office renovations give you the freedom to repurpose or redesign your space however you like. 

What’s the difference between an office fitout and office renovation?

  • Office Fitout

An office fitout is a process of making interior spaces suitable as an office. In other words, turning a space that fits the requirements of an office. The average cost per square metre for office fitouts are about $500-$2100.


Pros Cons
Depending on the fitout chosen, necessary amenities would already be available to use Depending on the fitout chosen, it can be costly 
Up to date on the latest office interior trends such as open spaces, recreational spaces and many others May need to return the space to its original state when you first rented it 
Work closely with your landlord when having to make changes to the space

  • Office Renovation

An office renovation is redesigning the space, be it a big or small change, to update your office space. Oftentimes, you would need to hire a designer to help plan and suggest the right decisions on modernising the office space.  The average cost per square metre for office renovations are about $850 to $1,200.


Pros Cons
Fix any underlying issues and update your aesthetics  Time consuming 
Increase value of your space  Depending on the nature of the space, you may run into environmental or mechanical issues such as moulding, busted pipes and more
May get costly as you would need to hire professional help

Which is better?

Usually, a fitout is better if you do not wish to stay in a place for a long time. Hence, you are only renting the space for a certain amount of time. At the end of the day, even if you do renovate or refurbish, chances are you would need to return the space as to how it was when you first saw it. With the readily available amenities that already fit the office requirements, you do not need to hassle yourself with finding new equipment or renovations. Of course, this very much depends on the type of fitout you opt to settle on too.

Renovations, on the other hand, are best for spaces that have already been bought. Whether it is to upkeep your space by having the latest equipment and aesthetics or improving the space to boost employee productivity, office renovations allow you the freedom on how you wish your space to look like. 

Where you should go to find out more

If you wish to find out more about the differences between a fitout and renovation, or wish to hear an expert opinion, Office Fitout Professionals is your way to go. We are experts in office renovation and design, and have been providing our services in Perth for many years. Hence, we are more than capable to consult you on your office needs. Contact us today and we can get you one step closer to your dream office space.