CATEGORY: Sussex Showcase

Expert Advice on Planning an Office Fit Out


Expert Advice on Planning an Office Fit Out



This blog investigates some key aspects of planning a fit out to help you avoid unnecessary obstacles. With additional words of wisdom from our experts, you’ll find plenty of advice that you can refer to during your project.


If you’re considering an office fit out, careful planning is key. By failing to plan, you could encounter project delays, overspend, or find the space doesn’t adhere to important building regulations.


To help you avoid these consequences, we’re going to investigate some key aspects of fit out planning in this blog. With additional words of wisdom from our experts, you’ll find plenty of advice that you can refer to during your project.


  • Defining Key Objectives

At the start of your fit out journey, the first step is to define your key objectives. This helps to inform decisions later down the line when working with office designers to develop a visual concept.


Often, the overarching goal is a result of a change occurring in the company. Beyond this, companies refine their objectives by conducting a needs assessment. Some common assessment methods include space auditing, benchmarking and stakeholder surveys


Expert Tip:


“Consulting staff extensively on projects can be a double-edged sword. If too many people are involved, the design risks being watered-down. If too few people are involved, the client may not end up with the result that benefits its users.”


Alice Carr, Designer


  • Setting a Budget


Setting a budget is important because it ensures the options and solutions proposed are within your means. The question for many, however, is how do you set a budget?


Here are some tips:


  • Research project values – Looking at similar projects is a great place to start when budgeting. Some office fit out companies will happily share cost breakdowns of past projects like yours, so don’t be afraid to ask.
  • Identify “must haves” – Before you get carried away with the wanted list, prioritise elements that support functionality and wellbeing.
  • Consider a phased approach – Recently, we helped World of Books to refurbish its office in Sussex by carrying out the work in phases, allowing them to budget for essential works first.


  • Timescale Considerations


At the start of your project, it’s important to give your fit out contractor an idea of your target moving in deadline. Combined with your brief, this helps the contractor to determine if the works are achievable.


If you’re unfamiliar with fit out works, this can be a little tricky. For this reason, we recommend you start planning your office fit out as early as possible to cover all aspects of the work.


Read more about the contributing factors impacting on your time scale in the full blog here.


  • Choosing a Suitable Fit Out Contractor


Determining which company to choose to carry out the work is key to the success of the project. Therefore, it’s important to identify key questions to ask when sourcing proposals.


This is not an exhaustive list, but here are some important considerations:


  • Experience – Experience should be high on your agenda, so ask if the company has carried out similar works.
  • Timescale management – To prevent project delays, ask about their process for devising a project programme.
  • Value engineering – Good companies will help you to stay within budget by exploring alternative materials, finishes, and furniture.


Expert Tip:


“Cost shouldn’t be the only thing that determines a company’s choice of contractor. Trust, knowledge, and integrity should also be factors. For example, new building control regulations came into action in October last year, so it’s important for contractors to understand these to provide a safe, compliant, and well-designed workspace.”


Jim Buddin, Project Manager


  • Designing the Space

This is where your project objectives come in handy. If you know what you want to achieve, you can communicate this to your office designers, who will develop a visual representation of the space.


By experimenting with different concepts, you will reduce the chances of changes occurring later down the line which could delay the project. You will also ensure the space plan is functional and complements your working practices.


Here are some other considerations before you sign off the design:


  • Think about the future headcount – If you anticipate growth, the designers may need to consider creating a flexible layout that’s easily adaptable.
  • Ask for a furniture review – Some design and build companies offer the chance of a furniture review to explore different finishes and colours.
  • Don’t forget Sustainability – If you’re passionate about reducing your environmental impact, consult your designers on eco-friendly office solutions.





While planning an office fit out may seem like a challenging task, organising it into key phases can help the process. Working closely with project professionals is also very important, so ensure you communicate regularly during the early stages. This will give you peace of mind knowing you’ve done everything you can to prevent issues arising during works.


Ultimately, if you plan well, you will succeed in creating a stunning office and more. With a practical and impressive new design, you will help your employees to thrive and set yourself up for future business success.


Read the full office fit out blog here.