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What is a Fitout? The Difference Between Refurbishment and Fit out?

A question that often comes up is what is the difference between a refurbishment and a fit out? Understanding the difference is essential for ensuring that you end up hiring the right service. For example, if you have an existing office space and you hire a fitout service, you’re going to soon realize that you’ve made a mistake. When in fact, what you actually are looking for is a refurbishment. But why? Let’s determine the main differences between the two so that you can decide for yourself.

What is the meaning of fit out?

A fitout is quite simply the transformation of a concrete shell, into an inhabitable space. It’s taking an empty, untouched space—a blank canvass if you will—and creating a stunning, functional environment.

This service is better suited to those who are starting from scratch. Let’s say that you have just purchased a new property and there is empty unfurnished space for you to play with. That is going to be a fit-out job, because you’ll be taking an empty space and fitting it with fixtures, fittings, and furniture that will make it “fit” for a certain desired purpose.

For example, you might want the space fitted out for an office, or perhaps you need a shopfront building. In any case, the space will require a fit-out service, as opposed to a refurbishment.

What are fitout drawings?

Fitout drawings are similar to architectural plans. They are the interior designs specifications that will be used by the fit-out specialists and interior design team to transform a blank canvass into a fully functional space, whether that be an office or a shop.

Most reputable fitout specialists will be able to help you with the design process. They can provide quality fitout drawings that they will then be able to actualise themselves. You can certainly seek third-party assistance with fitout drawings, but it’s always worth checking if your fitout company are able to handle this in-house, or if indeed, they have a preferred designer that they work with.

What is an office fit out?

An office fitout is what is required when you are taking an empty space and transforming it into an office. You’re going to need to account for many things when planning an office fitout, including the optimisation of your desks, what type of soundproofing you will need, how much ventilation is required, whether or not you want a reception area for greeting guests, or if you’re going to keep it entirely private and for staff only.

The fitout specialists will then come in and entirely transform the blank canvass into an awesome new office space for you and your time to thrive in!

So, What Is the Difference Between Refurbishment and Fit out?

The key difference between a fit out and a refurbishment is the fact that one is starting from scratch, and the other is transforming an existing space.

Let’s say for example that you have a shopfront, but it’s grown tired and dated. In this case, you’re going to want to give it a lick of paint and breath a bit of life back into it, hence the refurbishment. Of course, if you are taking a shop front and turning it into an office, then it will be a combination of the two. You’re not starting from scratch with the refurbishment, but you are repurposing the space which is by definition a fit-out.

A fitout involves installing fixtures such as lights, where there weren’t any to begin with. A refurbishment could involve stripping back certain fixtures or repositioning them in order to serve a new purpose or to enhance the overall design and performance of the space.


In conclusion, if you are looking to start from scratch, then you’ll be better off seeking out commercial office fitouts specialists. However, if you have an existing space that you simply want bringing back to life, then a refurbishment is the service that you are looking for. Whatever the case, we hope that you have the very best of luck with your new project, that everything goes to plan, and you have every success in your new space!

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