What is the Difference Between a CAT A and CAT B Fit Out?
Office fit outs are usually required either by landlords who are preparing a space for lease, or by tenants looking to transform a new office into a bespoke interior. Depending on the requirements, there are two fundamental types of fit out, known as CAT A and CAT B fit outs.
Although these terms are commonplace in our realm of commercial interiors, we understand that it can be somewhat confusing for those not working in the industry. To help you understand the difference between a CAT A and CAT B fit out, we’ve broken down the features to help you to decipher between the two and decide on the right fit out for your circumstance.
Understanding the Difference Between a CAT A and CAT B Fit Out:
CAT A Fit Out
Usually organised by landlords to make a commercial space suitable for occupation, this type of fit out typically doesn’t include the design-led features you would expect to see in a finished interior. CAT A fit outs provide electrical and mechanical installations for general office use, and sometimes air conditioning, ventilation, suspended ceilings and raised floors. Decoration is usually incorporated too, but in the form of simple surface finishes on walls.
The completion of a CAT A fit out produces a blank canvas ready for potential tenants to come and put their own stamp on the space. Landlords often lease an office in this state to allow businesses to adapt the interior to their team and style it how they wish.
CAT B Fit Out
Once the CAT A fit out is complete and agreed to by the landlord, the CAT B fit out can commence. The CAT A offers a ‘line in the sand’ for all parties should the space need to be returned to its original state at the end of a lease.
The CAT B fit out allows tenants to go ahead and have the space developed with bespoke design elements, allowing businesses to have a say in the interior design of their office and adapt it to their team. In many cases, a licence to alter will need to be obtained to gain consent from the landlord before changes are made.
Included in a CAT B fit out are the likes of partitions, furniture and branded elements. Landlords usually leave tenant businesses to organise this type of fit out, but they might include the return of the space to its original state in the contract. In such cases, businesses will need to strip the office back to the state they found it in before vacating.
Which Fit Out is Right for You?
Finding the Right Fit Out Specialists
We perform both CAT A and CAT B fit outs here at Absolute Commercial Interiors and have a wealth of experience with landlords and end-user tenants looking to create their bespoke interior. We also carry out dilapidations for departing tenants who are required to return their premises back to its original condition.
Hopefully we’ve helped to bust the technical fit out jargon causing you confusion, but our friendly team are always on hand to help with any further enquiries too. Don’t hesitate to get in touch!