A full design + build fit-out often includes the transformation from the shell of the building into a workable office space, this could include work to the ceilings, raised flooring, lighting + WC facilities and is referred to as the CAT A part of the project. The CAT B which follows, is the final design which includes, flooring, fixtures + fittings, furniture, breakout areas, meeting rooms + open plan workstations.

We understand that moving or refurbishing your office space can be a daunting prospect, so we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Keep reading for our step-by-step office fit-out guide which covers all the key things you need to think about to ensure your office fit-out is successful + fit for purpose for years to come.


Before you get started you need to think about your business – it’s values, it’s growth plans, it’s employees, it’s clients – everything. It’s so crucial to outline the bigger picture first, to ensure your fit-out progresses in the right direction from the word go + all the decisions you make are future proofed.

Next, clearly assess why you’re moving office. Perhaps you need more space? Or your lease has expired on your current premises + you feel your business will flourish better elsewhere? Whatever the reason its important to understand the drivers behind this to ensure your new space offers the right solutions.

The biggest dilemma often facing business owners is whether you should stay in your existing premises or relocate to a new office space. This is a huge decision to make, and the answer  often lies in whether your existing environment has the potential to be fit for purpose.

What is an office refurbishment and what are the benefits? An office refurbishment allows you to make the most of your existing workplace without the need to find new premises. If you feel your current space has potential to harness your business growth + potential this maybe the best option for you. Deciding to refurbish your space without relocating will save costs, causes less disruption to employees + help with retaining your current people.

When relocating there are number of factors to be considered but moving your business to a new space may well suit your business better + be an essential move in the growth of the company. While it may be more costly + trickier to negotiate in terms of finding the new premises etc, relocating does enables you to create the right environment from the very outset – you will be able to design a purpose built space where your business can breathe, grow, develop + adopt new, better ways of working.

Key questions to think about:

Does your existing office support your future growth plans?

Have you already outgrown the space + therefore require bigger premises?

Is your current space dated + not suitable for clients?

Could you find a better location at a better cost?

Is your location holding you back? Is it hard to attract the right clients + people?

Do you want to boost morale + productivity? Or change the whole culture of the business.?

Are your business values likely to change over the coming years?

When you’ve thought about whether to refurb or relocate, it’s important to think about creating the right environment for your team members to thrive.

One thing that underpins all modern workplaces is agile working – having a variety of environments  for employees to use suited to different tasks. More than ever wellbeing at work + flexibility are now key priorities to businesses, in the race to attract and retain the best talent in your industries.  It’s also a great opportunity to re-look at the way you currently work. Does your space promote flexibility? Is your technology working for you? Are there a mix of collaborative + focused working areas?

Areas to consider:

Collaboration Breakout – Spaces that allow collaboration between people in the workplace, enabling teamwork, engagement + social interaction.

Cellular Spaces – This could be individual desk, cellular booths or cubicle partitions, any area that allows people to complete more focused, complex, solo tasks.

Meeting Rooms – these can be enclosed, private or collaborative spaces (or, ideally, a mix) but must have all the relevant equipment + facilities.

Open Plan Office/Workstations – Open plan area where most workstations are situated.

Kitchens & Canteens – may include tea-points, canteens and kitchens, they are designed with the purpose to take people out of their normal working environment + are super important to the office culture + wellbeing in the workplace.

Just like any internal project, an office fit-out needs to have an internal team or project leader within your organisation. Without one, you risk the possibility of losing sight of the scope + a poor result with costly delays. It is also very important that somebody is responsible for the communication of change + the ongoing layout of the project to employees internally.

It’s important to set regular review action led meetings with your contractors which are outlined within a programme before work starts.

How long is a piece of string? Every project is different, and so no two fit-outs have ever had an identical cost. However, this guide should give you an idea of where to start when planning your budget for your new space.

Most contractors will provide costs per sq. ft, so it is crucial that you know the dimensions and size of your new space, while the per Sq. Ft cost will depend on several factors, including:

  • Mechanical and electrical (M&E) systems.
  • Current Condition of the building/Dilapidations
  • Does the space have a raised floor?
  • How old is the building and/or it a listed building?
  • Will the landlord be doing works to the building?
  • Do you need new furniture?
  • Costs are heavily influenced by the specification required by the company moving into the new space, whether they desire high spec finishes, fixtures and furniture

Standard office fit out costs:

A standard office fit out costs start at between £25-£35 per Sq. Ft.

You can budget for £250-£350 per person is required for new furniture for a standard finished space. This would include desk, chair + personal storage.

So based on the above, if your building was 2,000 Sq, the fit out would start from £50,000 – £70,000, with furniture costs ranging from £5,000 – £10,000.

Planning for the future is an important aspect when relocating or refurbishing your current space. You should consider where you plan your business to be in 5-10 years? How many people? Will you still be in the same location? Will you still be targeting the same clients? How will you be attracting new talents? Will you potentially go through a buy out or merger?

When planning your office re-fit its advised that you consider all of these factors and share them with your office designers as we can advise how future proof your space – a well designed office will work for you now + throughout the changes your business will face in the future.