Office Fit Outs – FAQs

stylish office spaces

Undergoing a workspace refurbishment, office relocation or an office fit out can be an exciting prospect, after all, who doesn’t love working in a fresh and modern office? But knowing where to start can be daunting too, so it’s natural to have a lot of questions and queries that need answering before you make your final decision. That’s why we’ve put all of the questions we are most commonly asked by our clients into one handy blog.

Do I need planning permission for an office fit out?

Planning permission is not usually required for an interior office fit out, however if you are thinking of making any major changes, particularly structural alterations, you will probably need to obtain building regulations approval and permission from your landlord if you are renting your workspace.

When a commercial property lease comes to an end, most leases require you to return the premises to the landlord in its original condition in order to retain your deposit. This is called an office dilapidation, something you can find out more about in our recent office dilapidation blog.

How long will my office fit out take?

Timescales differ depending on the size of your project and whether there are any complications involved. Before the works commence we always agree timings and deadlines with our clients and our projects are carefully planned to ensure minimal disruption to yourself and your employees.

We are proud of our track record for delivering projects on time and to budget, however, if there is a need for a change in timescales, our continuous communication throughout each project ensures our clients are always up to date and satisfied with our service.

Will I need to manage the project myself?

Great news! There is no need for you to worry about managing your office refurbishment or fit out yourself.McFeggan Brown is made up of an experienced team of designers, consultants, coordinators and project managers that’ll deal with every detail on your behalf.

You can find out more about the team who will be in charge of your next workspace project here.

Is it possible to finance an office fit out?

Financing your office fit out can give your organisation the opportunity to expand and improve its workspace without having to pay the full cost upfront.

At McFeggan Brown, many of our clients make use of our leasing service, allowing you to spread the cost of your project over a period of time.

Will my office need a fresh air supply?

In one word, yes. A fresh air supply is a must for building regulations. Every workspace requires an adequate supply of outside air to dilute pollutants that are released by equipment, building materials, furnishings, products and of course office employees.

Our experienced designers and technicians will incorporate a suitable ventilation and airflow system, suitable for your office needs and in keeping with building regulation requirements.

What is a Cat A fit out?

A Cat A office fit out will provide a basic level of finish above that provided in a shell and core. This may include raised floors, suspended ceilings and internal surfaces, along with basic mechanical and electrical services. While Cat A spaces will have a floor and walls, they’ll be quite basic and often finished to an industrial standard.

What is a Cat B fit out?

A Cat B office fit out provides you with a workplace that’s ready to move into. During your Cat B fit out, this is where you design your floor plan, finish and ultimately design your office.

Your Cat B fit out will cover everything from interior partitions to ceiling design, staircase installation and choosing your furniture if needed. You’ll also choose the final finish for the floors, walls and doors to reflect your corporate culture and branding. Cat B fit outs also cover the planning and installation of your new IT infrastructure – from power outlets and height-adjustable desks, to connected meeting rooms.

It can be an exciting and transformational time for your business.

What are the key benefits of a fit out?

There are many benefits of an office fit out, from improving employee wellbeing and boosting productivity to making a great impression to current and potential clients.

Investing in your workspace demonstrates your commitment to your team and staff members are much more likely to work hard for a business that tends to their wellbeing.

If you’re relocating to new offices, or would like to refresh your current working space, please get in touch and organise a consultation with one of our experts to further explore the interior design and social distancing solutions available to you.

What Makes A Good Office Fit-Out?

Office design

Whether you’re aiming to enhance team-working, realign your interior with your company culture or simply refresh an old layout, an office fit-out is a worthwhile investment for the new year. There are plenty of advantages on offer, but what makes a good office fit-out and how do you ensure yours is up to par?

What’s the formula behind a good office fit-out?

At McFeggan Brown, we know that in order to create an office space that works for you, it’s vital for us to understand your objectives. If you’re looking for a workspace that can support hybrid working with an active social space, or you’d prefer a quiet haven to concentrate, it’s vital information for us to know. The real purpose of your office is the key to identifying the formula for your perfect office fit-out.

What Makes for a Good Office Fit Out

As part of our consultation, we prioritise speaking to staff and key members of your company to discover the true requirements and create interiors to support those needs. After all, having a beautiful workspace that you enjoy being in, that also makes your work-life easier, is the essence of a good office fit-out.

What should you avoid?

You might start your office project with a clear idea of what you want based on another office you’ve seen, but it’s important to note that despite inspiration being welcomed, what works for other companies may not work for you.

Part of our process involves testing out features and layouts and evaluating whether they are best for you. Picking an entirely new layout or style without testing it first is something you should avoid. We ensure your new space works for you with rigorous testing through 3D renders and walkthroughs so you can experience your new office before any work is started. Once you’ve committed to a layout and you realise it isn’t working for you, it can be very difficult to reverse it without significant cost and disruption.

Following the latest trends is another thing we encourage you to be mindful about. There are a number of interior design trends that last the test of time and can still look great in years to come. However, there are also many trends that do not age as well. Ensuring whatever you choose, trend or not will work for you in the future just as well as it does now is something we advise. Picking anything for your office that has not been thoughtfully considered is definitely something to avoid.

It’s important to understand the type of office fit-out you desire to avoid any disappointment. We’ve broken down the difference between Cat A and Cat B fit-outs so you can choose what works best for you. There are also plenty of frequently asked questions we come across, so we’ve also included the questions and their answers on our FAQ’s page to help you on your journey.

How do you ensure your fit-out is successful?

Ultimately, a good office fit-out is only successful if it enhances your workspace and supports your company. There’s a plethora of research that shows how workspace design directly affects the productivity and wellbeing of your employees, which is a measurable way to assess how good your workspace is. Are your employees happy? Do they feel invigorated by their workspace? Has your office fit-out met the goals and expectations you set out to meet?

At McFeggan Brown, we believe a good office-fit out is achieved when our clients are excited to return to work each day because of how their environment makes them feel. There are a number of ways a fit-out can be defined as ‘good’ but for us, it’s all about creating an office that is enjoyable to be in.

Interested in an office fit-out or refurbishment? Take a look at our case studies to see the fit-out projects we have completed or get in touch with us today.

Biophilic Design: How To Incorporate Plants Into Your Office Interior

Office design


Biophilic design is a popular concept in the building industry that focuses on connecting building occupants to nature. To create a true biophilia-inspired workspace, it takes a bit more than placing potted plants on the odd desk—there’s so much more you can do to incorporate plants into your workspace design.

Having plants in an office is more than just a trend and can in fact have many benefits, from improving employee mental health and productivity to cleaner air and even reducing noise levels. Some of the biggest names in business swear by biophilic design, including Amazon, who built their own rainforest-inspired office.

Incorporating greenery into your office design is an important step for any company looking to create a positive and welcoming environment.

In this blog we’ll be taking you through our favourite ideas to help bring the outside in.

Living Walls

While living walls tend to be larger-scale pieces, they can certainly make a lasting impression no matter how big or small. A living wall is a statement trend that has gained popularity in recent years and continues to impress both designers and employees alike.

The living wall can give your office or reception the ‘wow’ factor to create a lasting impression on clients, visitors and employees. Serving as both an aesthetically pleasing feature and a talking point, it can help attract potential employees who view it as a sign that you care about your workplace.

There are plenty of options and styles for those looking to create their own statement wall. Whether you prefer larger jungle plants, alpines, a floral look or even a simple moss moment, this feature is extremely versatile and can be adapted to your personal taste.

Living walls can also double up as partitions to help separate areas in your office. Incorporating plants into your office design can serve as both beautiful and practical. If you’d like to know what this could look like, take a look at the design and fit-out project we completed for Quint Events’ work space.

biophilic office design


Floating Baskets

If you’re worried about losing floor space, why not get creative?

Take your plants to a whole new level with hanging or ‘floating’ baskets. Much like living walls,  green ceilings make the most of your vertical space and are a great alternative for those concerned about clutter.

Using baskets to display greenery is an emerging trend in interior design and makes a great office focal point. They can fill empty space and are perfect for making the most of high ceilings.

Our top tip for hanging your plants is to suspend them at different heights to create a relaxed and more natural impression.

Unsure about watering? If committing to the maintenance of plants is a concern for you, opting for replica plants can create the same look with minimal care.

plant accents for the office

Kitchen Herb Planters

Small but effective, kitchen herb planters encourage your employees to engage with the plants around them and can help promote a sense of achievement when herbs flourish.

Not only does it  give your staff the option to season their food with fresh herbs on their lunch break, nurturing the plants can also help staff strike up conversations and inspire new hobbies.

A herb garden can be easily installed as a wall feature or on a stand of its own and can make a great addition to your interior design. There are lots of options to choose from but we’d recommend including herbs commonly used in salads and on classic lunch dishes such as chives, basil and parsley.

A herb planter is a quirky office perk that’ll set you apart from other employers and get current employees involved with office life.

benefits of plants for the office

Rooftop Gardens

Don’t forget, it’s not all about your internal workspace!

If you’re fortunate enough to have your own outdoor area, don’t neglect it.

Outdoor areas where your staff take a break or you take clients for meetings are the perfect opportunity to add some colour and make a great impression.

Creating an area of lush greenery can help people relax and make the most of good weather.

With outdoor space you can get even more creative – some of our favourite ideas include wisteria growing up around a pergola seating area, vegetable gardens for staff to tend to in their free time or perhaps as part of a club and rockeries as an outdoor focalpoint.

Getting some fresh air and natural light can also boost performance and mental wellbeing so why not make it an enjoyable space?

plants on office terrace

Potted Plants

Our final favourite is something we’re all accustomed to, the classic potted floor or desk plant.

This option is arguably the simplest option of the bunch, but is nevertheless, just as effective.

If the choice of plants and placements are both carefully considered, even a small change can have a huge positive effect. Even placing a variety of small potted plants on a table or desk can add some colour to your employees’ workspaces.

We recommend a combination of larger floor plants to fill those bare spaces. You could even utilise pots that match your wall or company colours to create a cohesive style that matches your overall office design.

If you’re worried about maintaining them while staff are away or the office is closed for the holidays, you might want to consider some of the more durable options. We’ve previously discussed our top plants for offices if you’d like our recommendations.

office plants


Or if this still sounds intimidating, you could opt for an artificial plant – but be careful, we’ve all accidentally watered a plastic plant before!

Office design is much more than picking colours for carpets and furniture. Even the smallest of details can have priceless benefits on employee mental health and productivity.

Investing in your office design demonstrates your commitment to your team and staff members are much more likely to work hard for a business that tends to their wellbeing.

If you’d like more information about how smart office design can improve your business, why not explore more of our blogs?

Whether you’re relocating to new offices, or would like to refresh your current working space, McFeggan Brown can help you achieve your business goals with expert design knowledge and years of experience in delivering beautiful, innovative designs.

You can get in touch to book a consultation or take a look at our previous work.