What Is A Commercial Design & Fit Out?

A popular term in UK construction, fit out, refers to the work of building an interior space, usually to meet the requirements of a business client. Commercial design & fit outs can include anything from facility redesigns to complete relocations.

Combining the design and fit out stages, through a single contractor, provides businesses or brands in need of this type of work with a complete turnkey process which they are guided through from conception to completion.

From small satellite offices to multi-storey office buildings, these projects can vary greatly in scope, size, and complexity.

But what goes into a commercial design and fit out? Let’s talk you through how Resolution Interiors defines the commercial design and fit out process, following decades of industry experience.


Combining Design & Build For Commercial Projects

As we touched on above, modern day commercial design and fit out projects encompass anything from the refurbishment of an existing space to a full relocation or new fit out.

Whilst the design and build stages can sometimes be treated as two individual pieces of work, to be carried out by separate contractors or companies; combining the design and build elements of your project will result in a more seamless process.

Using one contractor that provides a handshake to handover experience, including the planning, design and fit out processes, will result in less risk and complications.

Partnering with a design and build contractor ensures that the project is planned, designed, installed and managed through one collaborative one-stop-shop team.

Here’s what’s involved in each stage at a high-level:


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The Design & Planning Stage

The most successful projects are formed through months of dedicated planning. By working alongside your chosen design and fit out contractor early, you gain access to invaluable advice that will help shape the upcoming projects design, budget and timelines.

Category B (CAT B) fit outs traditionally include the internal elements that affect your businesses layout and image. For an office development this could include workspaces, furniture, lighting and branding. It also could include larger elements such as flooring, ceilings, partitioning and even systems such as air conditioning and climate control.

The key takeaway here is that no two projects are the same.

Depending on site location, restrictions, intended use, and team’s needs, every commercial design and fit out project will vary in complexity.

During the design and planning stages there are a few things you should consider to avoid complications later in the project’s timeline.

Develop A Comprehensive Budget

Without this, scoping the project becomes almost impossible. Engaging your design and fit out contractor early will enable them to assist you with the best way to allocate budgets, ascertain a realistic look at costs, and manage stakeholder expectations.


Maintain An Efficient Design

Keep company and staff needs in mind throughout the early stages. Every design choice should be carefully considered to ensure it is necessary and improves the quality of the space. Consider workspace layouts, acoustics and important systems such as air conditioning and ventilation.


Consider Regulations & Compliance Early

One of the most important factors of choosing your design and fit out contractor early is the advice and experience they can offer regarding local regulations and legislations. Remaining compliant can often feel like a minefield, that’s why it’s crucial for it to be considered from day-one of planning.

During the design stages, consider fire regulations, electrical hazards, health and hygiene systems, and the suitability of the working environment for your staff.


Understanding The Scope Of The Project

Often commercial fit out programmes include more than one site. In truth, your renovation or refurbishment project could range from a one-off project to a whole portfolio of properties owned by one business.

For complex multi-site projects, your design and fit out contractor can accurately plan project timelines and budgets concurrently, speeding up project timelines and ensuring that minimum disruption is caused to the wider business.

For these larger scoped projects, having one contractor that provides a turnkey solution encompassing the planning, design and fit out is essential to achieve work efficiency, consistency and maintain a single point of communication during the planning and development stages.


Concept to completion in a commercial design and fit out

Initial conceptual designs – Resolution Interiors Project


The Project & Build Stage

Once planning and design has been completed and the scope of work has been agreed with you, the project build stage can begin. This includes the physical construction and installation of the space, including elements such as flooring, lighting, plumbing, electrical work, and the installation of fixtures and fittings.

With a design and fit out partner like Resolution Interiors, projects are overseen and evaluated by one Project Manager (PM). This PM is responsible for the logistics, inspection and sign-offs on-site, whilst also being an open line of communication to keep you updated and informed at every stage of the project.

The success of the build process relies heavily on the considered planning that came before it. For example, proper planning in the previous stage ensures that there is minimum disruption on-site, with materials and equipment being delivered as and when they are required – avoiding the risk of damage or accidents.

Once work has been completed, the commercial space is pre-snagged by the Project Manager, ensuring a smooth final walkthrough with the client.

During the final handover you receive a full walkthrough, with guidance and explanations given on any new systems, the details of which are also included in an Operations & Maintenance Manual.


Concept to completion in a commercial design and fit out

Finished project – Resolution Interiors Project

Types Of Commercial Design & Fit Out Projects

The size and scope of a commercial design and fit out project varies greatly from client to client. A common misconception is that a fit out only pertains to a fresh installation in a ‘shell building’. These days, the term fit out is used interchangeably to describe new installations, refurbishments, estate upgrades, renovation and/or complete relocations.

The complexity of the project will determine the overall split between planning and building work, with some projects requiring less design and planning input.

Regardless of your project scope, it is always advised to seek out your chosen design and fit out contractor early.

Their involvement in the early stages on the project will be pivotal in avoiding common pitfalls and ensures that the project is designed with a realistic budget, clear project goals and regulatory requirements in mind.

At Resolution Interiors, we specialise in bringing your vision to life through interior fit-outs and refurbishments of new and existing sites, as well as relocations. We work with you to create a bespoke environment that impresses customers, employees and shareholders alike.

If you have an office building or workspace project which requires expert design and build skills, reach out to one of our team today. We’re always on hand to help and offer any advice!

Alternatively, why not give us a ring on +44 (0)1935 422 700. We look forward to hearing from you.


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