Posted on March 02, 2017

The Category A fit-out has come of age. Gone are the days when a landlord or property agent can simply add a fresh lick of paint and be ready to rent or sell a commercial building.

These days, users are savvy and will pay close attention to the quality of a fit-out.  After all, they’re investing in the building, too – both financially and emotionally – so they need to be sure they are selecting the right space for their needs.

Getting the most from a Category A fit-out requires a degree of forethought and a little extra in terms of cost, but you’ll generate better yields for your buildings and happier tenants, too.

Every project is different, which is why ThreeHundredandSixtyDegrees offers full consultancy on Category A fit-outs.  That said, there are certain things in common that you should think about.

Cobalt_Before_11_1252xany_px.jpg#asset:1

Before You Start

Changes to a Category A fit-out can be costly once a project is already underway, so take the time to research the likely requirements of the building’s users before deciding on a specification.

  1. How will the local economy use the space?
  2. Who is looking to rent?
  3. What needs do they have that aren’t currently met by buildings in the area?

Where To Save

With typical costs for a Category A fit-out running between £200 and £500 /m² (depending on the scope of works, the location of the building and other factors), determine what is truly essential and where you can cut back.

  • Ceilings – Do you need to install them?  With the minimalist trend towards more skeletal buildings you may be able to create a more interesting space by leaving them out, with a potential saving of up to £40/m
  • Doors – This can often be an expensive part of a Category A fit out project but in some instances painting and applying graphics can breathe new life into old doors, saving around £600-1000 per set of doors.
  • Washrooms – They may need a makeover, but can you retain and re-use any of the existing fittings?

Cobalt_After_19_1252xany_px.jpg#asset:11

Where To Add Value

  • Lighting – daylight is a critical factor.  Don’t try and skimp on the artificial lighting, especially if you have limited daylight!
  • Air conditioning or comfort cooling –  temperature control is always a point of contention, and it will pay to do your research on what a prospective tenant will be expecting, including how they may want to subdivide your space.
  • Floor finishes – in circulation spaces, a poor choice on floor finishes will make your property look shabby and therefore less appealing.  Reckon on investing around £28-35/m² for better quality materials.

If you would like to discuss the options for your Category A fit-out, contact our design team on 0370 360 2470.