A Detailed Comparison between Fit-Out and Renovation

23 July 2021

Commercial and retail businesses may work differently, but they often operate towards the same goal, and that is to generate revenue. Without revenue, the entire business operations may be compromised. And as time passes, owners of these businesses might be forced to shut down.

To keep their performance sustainable for a very long time, business owners must prioritise the condition of their workplace. The workplace of both types of businesses should be attuned to their main objectives, as well as cater to the needs of their clients or customers. After all, the overall appearance and layout of the commercial and retail spaces might help them enhance their business performance significantly.

Two processes can improve the appearance, layout, and function of these spaces. These processes are fit-out and renovation. They may effectively provide the same workplace improvement, but they are conducted in different ways.


Fit-out is a process that entails the modification of a workplace or retail space to suit their intended purpose. It is often conducted in places that still have a blank canvas and are waiting to be designed and altered. This specific process is ideal for businesses that relocated to other places or have recently acquired a new property.

The fit-out process can be categorised into three types.

  1. Shell and Core: This type of fit-out caters to a building structure that is already constructed by a contractor. A shell and core fit-out prepares the constructed structure for the addition of power, lighting, and heating fittings so that it can be ready for its proposed usage.
  2. Category A: The next step to shell and core fit-out is the Category A fit-out. This specific type of fit-out involves the integration of more complex electrical and mechanical work. It customises and adds suspended ceilings, raised access floors, toilets, fire detection systems, air conditioning units. All these processes make the property ready for final furnishing.
  3. Category B: The last type of fit-out is the Category B fit-out. All the final and appealing details on the workplace or retail space are added during this type of fit-out. Furniture pieces, equipment, tools, devices, and other necessary things are typically integrated with Category B fit-out. The final interior design of the places is often completed during this type of fit-out.


Renovation, alternatively, is a process that involves the redesigning of an existing functional office or retail space. This specific process does not have to modify the basic structure of the building. Instead, in some ways, the processes involved in renovations can be similar to the Category B fit-out. The core difference, however, lies in the initial state of a structure or building that are being modified.

This specific process is perfect for business owners who want to simply update the overall appearance, style, or layout of their existing workplace or retail space. This can also be done if some areas or elements of the existing space have already deteriorated or have sustained some damages. With a renovation, the painting and finishing of surfaces can be modified. The addition of furniture pieces, devices, and other elements can also be done during renovation.

For more information about these processes, you can call us at BRL Contracting.

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