How long does an office fit out take?

If you’re considering an office fit out, you might be wondering how long it will take. After all, you’ll need to plan your daily business operations around the work.

The amount of time it will take to complete your office fit out depends on several factors and could range from a couple of days to a few months. It will all depend on the size of the office and complexity of the refit, as well as any issues with supplies and permissions.

Office Fit Out Article

We’ve created a helpful guide outlining how long an office fit out could take to complete.

Factors influencing an office fit out duration

Many different factors will impact the duration of your office fit out. The main factors include:

Size of the office

This is one of the key considerations when it comes to determining how long it will take to complete your office fit out. A small office will generally speaking, be far quicker to fit out than a much larger space.

Condition of the office

The condition of the space will influence how long the fit out takes. If the space is already empty and ready to be occupied, it will be a quicker process than if old fixtures and furnishings need ripping out. If structural or repair work needs completing, this will take longer again.

The complexity of the fit out

The complexity of the work will influence how many people need to be involved and how long it will take. For example, if you’re changing the internal office structure, adding floors, or remodelling walls, this will take longer and require more work than if you’re simply changing the finish of the existing space.

Space Planning

Lead times

Lead times for fixtures and furnishings will impact the overall completion time. If, for example, you’re having bespoke furniture made, this can also delay completion, particularly if it’s being manufactured overseas. Likewise, surfaces, materials, and fixtures that are out of stock or have to be manufactured to order will take longer to be delivered.


If you’re looking to integrate new facilities into your new office fit out, this can also take a considerable amount of time too. Whether you’re fitting toilets, showers, or a new office kitchen, this should all be factored into the planning process and completion timelines.

Approvals process

Different stages of the fit out will likely need to be signed off by different parties, such as the landlord or the council. If you’re changing the use of the building or how it looks externally, you might need planning permission before you can start work which will make the process longer.

Employee privacy

Will your workforce still be able to work in privacy during the fit out? If not, work might need to be completed out of office hours. Find more information about open vs closed plan offices.

Cat A vs Cat B fitouts

Before completing any office fit out, it’s important that you understand the differences between a Cat A and a Cat B fit out as this will help manage your expectations around completion dates.

In simple terms, a Cat A fit out works towards a space that is a fully functional shell, usually finished with a suspended ceiling, lighting, heating, and raised flooring.

A Cat B fit out, on the other hand, results in a space that your business can simply move into and start working. With a Cat B fit out you can incorporate branded finishes, bespoke furniture, and tailored working areas to enhance your business operations.

The importance of planning

When it comes to completing any office fit out, planning is key, and this means looking at the viability of all aspects of the project.

Planning the return to the office

There are a whole host of factors that you will need to consider to complete a successful office fit out. To begin with, feasibility planning, researching relevant compliance aspects, and looking into permissions are initial steps that require careful consideration. After this, assessing design possibilities, analysing costs and completing a risk assessment all add time to the process.

At BT Office, our in-house office space planning and design team can help you plan your office space, ensuring you make the most of your space. To find out more, please get in touch.