What’s the difference between a hard fit out and soft fit out?

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You may have heard of a hard fit out or soft fit out, but what do they mean in the context of office design? Today we’ll look at each one, and discuss the benefits of both.

Construction: hard fit out

Assuming you’re new to the world of office fit out, ‘fit out’ is a term that describes the development of an interior space from beginning to end, in order to make it suitable for occupation by a business. A hard fit out is the process of altering or refurbishing the base building that will play host to the designed space. It could be useful to think of it as the construction of the framework that an office space will inhabit, as it could include anything from reflooring, to knocking out unnecessary or unwanted walls, to electrical work.

The best interior design firms should commonly offer a range of services that include such specialised labour. This makes it easy for the consumer – they are able to partner with a design team that will handle their whole office fit out from beginning to end, with a consistent level of quality and agile work space strategy.

Most things that fall under the scope of a hard fit out follow a common logic: wall treatments, painting, window glazing, etc. There are other elements that are worth considering which you might not initially expect to fall under construction. These include landscaping, phone installation, and installation of air conditioning (HVAC) systems. It makes sense that a hard fit out covers these too, but they’re probably not your first thought when it comes to construction work.

Furnishing: soft fit out

Once the groundwork is done, it’s time to look into furnishings, and that’s where a soft fit out comes in. Having the ideal floorplan is one thing, making it a comfortable, stylish place for your team and your clients is another. Filling your office space with furniture is an opportunity to express the character of your brand, and reflect your business’ culture through aesthetics. A high-quality soft fit out can make a substantial difference in the message a space sends, and how inviting it can be.

Just as a hard fit out covers more than just basic construction work, a soft fit out goes beyond office chairs and boardroom tables – depending on your needs, it could include breakout area couches, reception area furniture, artwork, and more.

Furnishing is also a great opportunity to make your space ergonomic and health-conscious – utilising creative standing spaces or adjustable workstations can go a long way for the physical health and comfort of your staff.

Need an experienced fit out team?

If you’re looking for new office hard fit-outs, or existing office soft fit outs, DB Interiors can help. We have the experience and proven track record to deliver a finished product of first-class calibre. Talk to us today about how we can help you through every step of the interior design process, and leave you with a commercial space you can be proud of.

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