It’s important to note from the outset that there is no definitive answer to“how much does an office fit out cost”. There are, however, indicative price brackets based on the fit out spec, sometimes referred to as Bronze, Silver and Gold tiers; or Basic, Mid and High spec. These are rough indicators that can only be verified by visiting the building. See below:
|Costs per sq ft.||Low||Mid||High|
|Fit Out Costs||£35-40||£45-60||£65+|
Calculating fit out costs based on spec tends to be more accurate for large office floor plate (10,000 sq ft and above). It also makes the assumption that power distribution and mechanicals – heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HAVC) – are in good working order. In many instances, they are not, and this depends on the age and state of the building. A fit out expert is able to spot these issues when visiting a building with you.
HOW CAN SITE VISITS SAVE COSTS?
We strongly recommend site visits because every building throws up different challenges. A visit by one of our experts comes with no commitment and no cost. Yet it can result in significant cost savings by spotting issues with a building crucially before the new lease is signed. This often allows you to negotiate any potential costs with the landlord.
Ventilation in particular has become of huge importance since the start of the pandemic and will continue to be important going forward. The public is becoming increasingly savvy to the transmission of viruses in closed spaces and will continue to make employment and workplace decisions on that basis. Having compliant, future-proofed ventilation will very soon become a must-have, not a nice-to-have. In fact, a recent government publication on the role of ventilation in controlling viral transmission supports this:
“Assessing ventilation in many environments requires engineering expertise, […] taking into account the nature of the building and users, ventilation type, length of exposure and activity. Unlike distancing and hand washing, ventilation requirements cannot easily be distilled into one simple approach that everyone can follow”
To reiterate, before you sign any lease, you need to know that you have compliant ventilation in any building under consideration. Landlords know this well, but an expert can help evaluate the current status of your HVAC system.
FACTORS THAT AFFECT FIT OUT COSTS
Office design and build experts will generally provide estimated price per Sq. Ft, so it is useful to know the dimensions and rough size of your new space. The per Sq. Ft cost will depend on a number of factors, including:
- M&E Systems – The age and specification of the mechanical and electrical (M&E) systems servicing the space i.e. heating, ventilation, power supply etc. If the M&E is old or not in working order, it can be a costly exercise to install new systems, so it worth appraising the M&E of any shortlisted space
- Raised Floors – Raised floor allows for optimum power supply and distribution management, allowing all cabling to remain hidden underneath. If the space doesn’t have a raised floor it may need to be fitted, or an alternative solution applied. Both scenarios incur additional fit out costs.
- The Age of the Building – How old is the building and/or is it a listed building? There can tend to be complications with older buildings as normal wear and tear can take its toll. If the space is within a listed building, an increased level of paperwork may be required before any fit out can begin. This also incurs additional costs.
- The Specification – Ultimately, office fit out costs are heavily influenced by the specification required by the company moving into the new space. Some companies seek high spec finishes, fixtures and furniture, while others may only have basic spec requirements.
FIT OUT COST CATEGORIES
Basic Office Fit Out Costs
A basic or standard office fit out in London costs from £35-£40 per Sq. Ft, with office furniture, working out at £500-600 per person.
To put that into context, if a company with 20 staff is moving to a 2,000 Sq Ft space in a modern, new building that has been fitted out to a Cat A finish, and requires just a minor fit out, the baseline cost would be between £80-100k for fit out, and £10-20k for furniture, totalling between £90k – 120k. This option is really designed for companies on a tight budget. It focuses primarily on ensuring that the space is a comfortable work environment.
Mid Level Office Fit Out Costs
Office fit out costs rise as the spec level and size increase. For what we would term a good quality office fit out, where durable, ergonomic furniture is selected, the fit out costs would increase to between £45-£65 per Sq. Ft with office furniture costs coming in at £800-£900 per person approx.
This budget would allow the company to create a really beautiful work environment with some additional features and innovations that can really have a significant positive impact – check out our Office Design Matters eBook to find out how. It also allows for a greater level of structural changes, and improvements to existing services such as lighting, cabling, flooring and AV.
High Spec Office Fit Out Costs
If your organisation plans to make a real statement and create a truly amazing workplace, the office fit out costs don’t really tend to have a ceiling, but generally would start at £70 per Sq. Ft upwards.
It is worth noting that the most expensive fit outs on record go right up to £500 per Sq. Ft – read this article about the most expensive office fit out on record in London, a whopping £500 per Sq. Ft. Now, to put that in context, the space did have a marble staircase, gold toilets and a dedicated restaurant.
A high spec office fit out generally means that the space is completely revamped and that all feasible improvements are made and that top quality, even bespoke furniture and joinery is included within the design.
In summary, you can spend as much or as little as you like when it comes to office fit out costs, but our recommendation as fit out experts would be to define exactly what you want your new workplace to deliver, and to then set budgets accordingly. However, if you want more accurate cost estimates we suggest arranging a quick call with one of our office fit experts to discuss a site visit.
Speak To An Expert
We’re able to advise you, without obligation, on all the issues mentioned in this article. Talk to one of our experts today to see how we can assist you.