Top Tips on Choosing The Right Cat A and Fitted Space

Hi everyone, my name’s Daniel Leese and I’m the Head of Business Development for KOJ Interiors.

For those of you that don’t know KOJI, we are the leading self-delivery interior fit out company in the GCC!

I hope everyone is keeping safe and staying at home! We find ourselves in unfamiliar territory so I myself and the KOJ interiors team wanted to offer a helping hand to businesses for when this time passes!

Today’s blog is to tell you how to make sure you choose the right fitted space! So, for those who don’t know what a “Category A fit-out” is, it is the basic finishing of an interior space.

Generally carried out by landlords, this type of fit-out includes the installation of a mechanical and electrical service, closed ceilings and flooring or it could just be the old tenant has left the space as it was fitted out.

With the current crisis we see ourselves in, it really does force the hand of most businesses to look at ways to cost save on those yearly outgoings, If I’m honest though, it’s not just the current times that spark the trend of taking a Cat A or already fitted out space, I hear it all the time, I get approached by landlords asking to fit their shell and core space to CAT A as it’s more sellable to businesses and end users.

If you’re reading this and thinking “yeah that’s me, I need to downsize, relocate etc.” don’t panic, I’m just here to help you make the right choice!

Can it be cheaper option?

Well, yes it can be, but it all depends on how old the unit is. When did the previous tenant have their fit-out complete? Will the current fit out pass all of the landlord, local or  Civil Defense requirement. The most recent change in regulation was in January 2020. So who knows, but guess what, if it doesn’t, you’ll need to get your wallet out!

Can I save time on the approval process?

This depends on what you want to do.

The only way this can be applicable is if you don’t change the layout and give it a lick of paint, a few partitions but they cannot be ceiling height.

That will pass on a minor décor permit which shouldn’t take any more than a week otherwise if you want an office or meeting room to close your potential clients in then it’s exactly the same approvals as it would be for a fully fitted out space!

Is it ready for us to move in straight away!

In this day and age, we know the importance of WIFI and data.

Do you want to have your power and data through a floor box? If that’s the case does the space have a raised access floor or screed?

Have you checked the power load for the unit?

Can the space facilitate your requirements as a business?

To the people reading it, I’m not trying to scare you, I’m just making sure you make the right decision!

There will be no MEP modifications..

I hear this all the time but I’ve also had clients ask me before what MEP is, MEP stands for Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing.

So basically, Wi-Fi, electricity, water, AC, anything related to this! It’s probably the most important element to a successfully functional office.

How many times have you gone to plug your laptop power in and the socket is under the desk and some, you have to get on your hands and knees and crawl,

or you’re sweating in your office and you don’t have a thermostat in your office to turn on the AC!

Well that’s because your boss most likely took as space fitted or as it was and didn’t make any modifications!

Maintenance

How many people here have a 2nd hand car? When you buy one, you check how often it was serviced, any major faults, accidents and so?

Yet the number of clients I meet taking fitted space that don’t know how the current fit out performs, is the AC working, do all the floor boxes work and so on!

Expect the unexpected

On the occasion with some older fitted spaces, what is behind closed doors (or ceilings) isn’t a discovery worth making!

On my earlier days with KOJI we fitted out a restaurant where there was a waste pipe hidden above the ceiling going directly across their seating area, the designer then proposed an open ceiling and little did we know what we were about to discover.

These of course are horror stories but the reason I’m telling you these is so you do your due diligence, don’t be afraid to poke your head above that closed ceiling, or better still give me a call and one the KOJI team can do it for you!

So that’s a its for my best advice on choosing the fitted space! If you’d like to speak to me or one of my amazing team, please feel free to call or email us at info@kojinteriors.com

I hope most importantly you find this information useful!

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