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Step by Step: The Office Refurbishment Process

Updated: Jan 29

Workspace Renovation Process

If your office no longer meets the needs of your company and your people, then you might be considering an office refurbishment. However, an office refurbishment can be a big project. You’ve probably got a lot of office refurbishment questions – questions about costs, timeframes, what is involved… the list goes on.

In this article, we’ll help you understand all that is involved in renovating your office by walking you through the process step by step. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of what will be involved in your own office refurbishment, where you need to start, and where you need to learn more.

To learn more about preparing for your office refurbishment, download the How to Plan an Office Refurbishment E-book. It’s a 7-step guide to help you plan your office refurbishment from defining your brief right through to signing the contract. Download your refurbishment guide here.


A comprehensive plan is the crucial foundation of every successful office refurbishment. Many companies underestimate the amount of time and effort required for planning their project, so they only plan superficially. However, this is a huge mistake. The time and effort invested in planning will help ensure your refurbishment is the success you need it to be.

First, you need to create or review your workspace strategy. A workplace strategy details how your company's work environment will help the business achieve its goals. From that, you can define 2-3 specific and measurable project objectives that will solve your workspace problems while aligning with your overall workspace strategy. You should identify crucial deadlines for certain stages of your refurbishment to be completed.

Once you have done all this planning, you should do a feasibility analysis. This involves considering the expected benefits and comparing them against a budget cost, to see if you are getting a suitable ROI. While this level of planning may seem unnecessary, it will save a lot of time, money, and effort later on during the project.


There is a lot more to designing your office refurbishment than drawing up a layout and choosing the furniture. Your refurbishment design is a comprehensive package that sets out how your refurbished office will be used, how it will be laid out, and what it will look like. It will also include all the information your fit out company will need to deliver the project.

First, your design and build company will create a concept design. This involves creating initial layout options to understand what can be achieved within the space in line with your project requirements and objectives. They will also create 1-3 design concepts, to help define how the space will be used and what it might look like – including reference images, moodboards, and material palettes. Throughout this process, your feedback will be required to refine the design and make sure it aligns with your project objectives.

Once you are happy with the concept, your design & build company will proceed with the detailed design. This phase involves clarifying every detail and requirement so that they can turn the concept design into reality. The first part will be a full scope of work, listing out every item required for your project. Full drawing packs will be required, layout out where every line item of our scope will be installed in your office, from tables to air conditioning ducting.

The next stage will depend on whether you are using a paid design or pitch design project model. If you are using a pitch design, then you will have gone through all the previous stages with 1-3 fit out companies. They will now provide you with a quote and design package. You will have to compare all the different design, costs, and companies to decide which is the best option, you will then choose your preferred design & build company, and then sign the contract. If you are using a paid design project model you will have gone through all the previous stages with just one designer or design & build company, you can then request several companies to quote on the same package, choose your preferred contractor, and begin the project.

Licenses & Approvals

Before you can begin the works phase of your office refurbishment, you will need certain types of licenses and approvals. Exactly what you need will depend on your local council, your landlord, the building itself, and the scope of your refurbishment. These approvals are to ensure the safety and health of your staff and other building occupants, as well as ensuring your works comply with local authority and landlord requirements.

If you lease your office, you will need a license to alter (LTA) from your landlord. An LTA is a formal consent from your landlord to carry out the works in their building. You will almost certainly need building control regulations signoff, either from your local council or a qualified private inspector. If your building is listed, you will need listed building consent (LBC) from your local council. Getting these approvals can be time-consuming – especially if you need approvals from your local council. As a result, this phase should overlap with design as much as possible.


Finally, your dream office refurbishment can become a reality! Your design & build company have done the preparation, you’re happy with the package, the approvals have been granted, and the contract has been signed. This is the stage where your updated office comes to life. This stage will vary hugely depending on the scope of your project, but it will roughly follow these stages:

Site Preparation

Site setup involves protecting the parts of the office not being altered, and preparing the space for the works to begin.

Strip Out

Anything that won’t be remaining in your renovated office needs to be removed. This commonly includes partitions, flooring, ceilings, and lighting.

Build Out

Build out is the core construction and reconfiguration of the space, including partitions and ceilings. It also includes teapoints and joinery.

Mechanical & Electrical

Mechanical and electrical works involve adaptations to air conditioning, power & data, and lighting. It also includes changes to life systems such as fire alarms & sprinklers.


This phase involves the installation of all the visible finishes and design elements throughout your space. Flooring, decoration, signage, and design features are the main parts of this phase.


Furniture installation is the stage at which your renovated office comes to life. It includes all furniture, from task chairs and desks to pods and breakout seating.

Snagging & Handover

Before your people can and start using your refurbished office, there has to be a formal snagging and handover process.


The works themselves might be over, but your project isn’t done yet. There are a few key steps left that are very necessary to ensure that you get the most out of your new office and that your project is regarded as a success.

First, you need to make ensure all equipment, personal belongings, and retained furniture are installed in your new office before your people can start using it. IT equipment recommissioning is particularly important. Your refurbished office may look and feel quite different, so your people will need to be shown and supported how to use your new office to its maximum potential.

You should also arrange several visits from your fit out company over the coming months to ensure your office is performing as it should be and to resolve any minor issues. Finally, don’t forget to celebrate! This has been a big project for you and your company, so it’s important to recognise the significance of this moment. Your office refurbishment is now complete!

Your Office Refurbishment Journey

Your office plays a huge role in the performance of your people, and as a result, your company. An office refurbishment can bring huge benefits to your business. By changing your workspace to suit the needs of your people, you can attract staff back to the office, improve staff productivity, and improve talent attraction and retention, among many other benefits.

Now that you know what will happen throughout your office refurbishment, you’re in a much better position to get started. You can request a discovery call here to speak to one of our office refurbishment experts. Alternatively, you can explore our knowledge hub to learn more about office refurbishment.

To learn more about preparing for your office refurbishment, download the How to Plan an Office Refurbishment E-book. It’s a 7-step guide to help you plan your office refurbishment from defining your brief right through to signing the contract. Download your refurbishment guide here.



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