There are many trades involved in pulling together a fit out. Below is a list of common trades. 


The easiest and best way to fit out your space is to engage a main contractor. This is typically a builder or building company who directly engages all the sub trades required to complete your project. They manage your build program, instruct sub trades when to complete work (and remedy any errors), manage all council inspections and ensure all compliance documentation is collected and collated to ensure you receive your final CCC (code compliance certificate - issued by your council - it states that your building work complies with the building code - you will need this for insurance purposes).

A fit out is a multi-faceted, fast moving, complicated process that is almost always riddled with problems, delays and frustrations. Using a main contractor means you have one point of contact, one company you can lean on to ensure that all work is completed to satisfaction. This naturally comes at a cost. In our experience this cost is worth it. However often on smaller projects, the cost is prohibitive and the owner ends up managing the sub trades directly. This can lead to a very stressful experience for the owner trying to manage hundreds of unfamiliar questions and decisions (and consequences). But if you've got a taste for it and can accept the inevitable mistakes and difficulties of construction, there is a lot to learn.


Plumbing will add up to a significant cost for your project. If you're installing toilets (quantities are determined by the building code), these can add a fair amount of cost. Thereafter you'll need to connect all your sinks, coffee machines, dishwashers, ice machine's etc. If you have a concrete floor, you may ned to cut and trench this to get the required fall to the sewer line, or if you're lucky you can reticulate your waste pipes within timber framed walls. If you have gas equipment, often your plumber will do this work too. They'll need to provide PS3's (producer statements) and gas certificates on completion of the work for compliance purposes. 


Your electrician will install all your electrical and data wiring, sockets and lighting. They will also install your emergency exit signage and emergency lighting. If you're installing CCTV or AV systems, they can install these too (or you can use specialist companies for this work). The electrician will also make up a significant cost of your project.


Your joiner will produce your counters, banquettes, booths, retail shelving etc. This is detailed workmanship that is manufactured offsite in a factory, then dropped to site when required, installed and connected to other services such as electricity and plumbing as needed. Depending on your design, joinery can up to a significant cost. 


Depending on your project, you may have significant flooring requirements. Hospitality projects will require vinyl or tile floors in kitchen areas with coving to all walls. Most projects will have decorative flooring requirements, whether polished concrete floors, laying new timber floors or carpets, flooring can add up to a considerable expense. 


Ceilings are another project dependent element. You may be able to get away with no ceilings or you may have an existing ceiling that just needs a paint job. If you are installing a commercial kitchen you will need to have a light, smooth cleanable, accessible ceilings with no areas that dust, dirt or grease can collect. You may install a grid and tile ceiling, or painted plasterboard on timber framing with panels for access to services. Your other consideration with ceilings is acoustics. If you have hard surfaces everywhere, sound will reverberate and make it difficult to hold a conversation. Ceilings and decorative panels or divisions/baffles etc can break sound waves and create a more enjoyable environment. If you have a whole lot of unsightly services above (waste pipes, mechanical ducting etc) you can often make it all disappear by spraying with black paint. If you are installing a ceiling you may need to have it engineered to comply with seismic (earthquake) legislation. Your options and compliance requirements are endless and will be project and budget dependent. 


These will usually be installed by your builder. Whether it is plasterboard or timber, seratone or tiles, wall linings and finishes can make up a significant part of the project budget. Wet areas will require impervious surfaces, kitchen hotlines will require fire resistant linings & stainless steel. Timber wall linings will often require intumescent paint to fire rate them (your fire report will dictate this). There are a lot of design, compliance and budgetary decisions when it comes to wall linings & finishes.


Your mechanical contractor will install any fresh air & extraction ducts and fans. They may also install your heating and air conditioning. If you are installing a commercial kitchen, these costs can be huge, due to the size of ducting and fans and the need to bring ducting and exhaust points to the roof and away from openable windows and doors. If your landlord has specified the requirement for UV hoods in your lease, be cautious as these can cost many tens of thousands of dollars. 


The building code requires significant fire protection for spaces used by the public. Your fire report will dictate these requirements and can be as simple as a basic fire alarm and as complicated as sprinklers and smoke curtains. If you need to add/move sprinklers, these can add up to significant costs. 

These are an over view of the  main trades generally involved in a fit out. If you have any queries or want any clarifications, feel free to reach out and send us an email. We're happy to help. Also, check out the budget worksheet download available in our guides.