How Much Does an Office Refurbishment Cost
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How Much Does an Office Refurbishment Cost in 2024?

Dr. Greg Dooley - Design and Build Specialist

Dr Greg Dooley

Digital Marketing Manager

Content Specialist in Office Design & Build

Office Refurbishment Costs

Refurbishing existing spaces is often seen as more cost-effective and logistically feasible compared to moving to new offices. However, often refurbishment carries a premium due to the complex logistics involved and the need to accommodate ongoing business operations. Such undertakings usually demand longer timeframes, exacerbated by challenges like health and safety considerations, managing ingress and egress, and scheduled power outages for re-wiring. Furthermore, accurate cost estimations typically necessitate an on-site assessment, given the unique complexities each refurbishment project presents.

As an office design and build company with extensive experience in London, the UK and Europe, we’ve noticed a marked increase in clients looking to refurbish their offices. This aligns with a growing emphasis on sustainability and adapting to hybrid working models. Additionally, refurbishments involve complex logistics, especially in occupied buildings, where maintaining business operations is crucial.

Factors like the age of the building, the complexity of its systems, and specific corporate needs significantly influence the costs. Enhanced ventilation systems, once a luxury, have become essential for health reasons, adding to the complexity and cost of refurbishments. For a detailed understanding of office refurbishment costs, it’s important to consider these factors and conduct on-site assessments due to the unique nature of each project.


Office Refurbishment Costs 2023
Costs per sq. ft.LowMidHighPremium
Construction Costs£40-60£61-80£81-100£100+
Furniture Costs£11-15£15-20£20-35£35+

It’s crucial to note that these are ballpark figures. The actual costs can vary based on the project’s intricacies, specific requirements, and unforeseen challenges. As always, we recommend consulting with a fit-out professional to get a tailored estimate for your unique needs.

How Much Does an Office Refurbishment Cost

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1. Why Refurbish Your Office?

As people’s tastes and preferences change as they age, so do the spatial needs and aesthetic inclinations of companies. But what drives businesses to take the leap and invest in office refurbishments? Let’s delve into the compelling reasons:

Addressing Outdated or Dysfunctional Designs

An office layout that might have been functional a decade ago may not align with today’s dynamic work culture. Outdated designs can hamper productivity, restrict smooth communication, and even impact employee well-being. Refurbishing becomes essential to replace old-fashioned, dysfunctional designs with modern, efficient ones that resonate with contemporary work practices.

Adapting to New Business Needs After Relocating

A change in location often brings with it a change in requirements. The new space might need modifications to fit the brand’s identity or to cater to specific operational needs. Refurbishing ensures that the new office aligns seamlessly with the company’s ethos and functional demands.

Addressing Outdated or Dysfunctional Designs

In a world where brand image is paramount, having an office that reflects a company’s commitment to excellence can set it apart. If competitors have modern, state-of-the-art workspaces, refurbishing becomes a strategic move to level the playing field and project a forward-thinking image.

Accommodating Team Growth and Ensuring Employee Satisfaction

As businesses grow, so do their teams. A cramped workspace can lead to decreased morale and productivity. Refurbishing can optimize space, ensuring that every team member has a conducive environment to work in. Moreover, a well-designed office can boost employee satisfaction, retention, and overall well-being.

Sustainable office design

2. Benefits of Office Refurbishment

In the competitive corporate landscape, the physical environment in which employees work plays a pivotal role in shaping a company’s success. Undertaking an office refurbishment, while requiring an initial investment, can yield multiple long-term benefits for businesses. Let’s explore some of the key advantages:

  • Boosting Employee Morale and Productivity: A well-designed, updated workspace serves as a rejuvenating backdrop for employees. By offering a pleasant and efficient environment, businesses can notice a surge in employee morale. When team members take pride in their workspace, it translates into heightened motivation and productivity. The ripple effect? Enhanced job satisfaction and a more vibrant work culture.
  • Enhancing Brand Image: An office isn’t just a functional space; it’s a testament to a company’s values, vision, and commitment to excellence. A refurbished office, infused with modern aesthetics and innovative design, becomes a powerful tool in projecting a positive brand image. Whether it’s clients, partners, or potential hires walking through the doors, a revamped workspace speaks volumes about the brand’s forward-thinking approach.
  • Improving Functionality and Space Utilisation: One of the primary drivers for refurbishment is the optimal use of space. As businesses evolve, so do their spatial needs. A well-executed refurbishment ensures that every square foot of the office is utilized effectively, catering to the diverse needs of employees, from collaboration zones to quiet nooks.


3. Factors Influencing Office Refurbishment Costs

Understanding the intricacies of office refurbishment costs requires examining several determining factors. These factors can significantly influence the overall price, and their impacts vary based on individual circumstances:

  1. Scope of Work – Refurbishments can range from straightforward redecorations to extensive overhauls. While some projects may only necessitate cosmetic changes, others could demand structural alterations and significant renovations.
  2. Age and Condition of the Building – The age and condition of the building play a pivotal role. Older buildings or those with historical significance may present unforeseen challenges, necessitating additional paperwork and cost considerations. Furthermore, the state of mechanical and electrical (M&E) systems, particularly heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HAVC), can incur significant costs if they are outdated or non-functional.
  3. Size of Workspace: The scale of your refurbishment – whether it’s specific sections or the entire office – can drastically alter costs. Larger spaces, especially those exceeding 10,000 sq. ft, provide more accurate cost predictions when estimated on spec. Smaller refurbishments will always tend to be more expensive due to economies of scale.
  4. Existing Conditions: The age and condition of the building play pivotal roles. Older buildings or those with historical significance may present unforeseen challenges, necessitating additional paperwork and cost considerations. Furthermore, the state of mechanical and electrical (M&E) systems, particularly heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HAVC), can incur significant costs if they are outdated or non-functional.
  5. Specific Requirements: Some refurbishments demand bespoke design elements or advanced technological integrations. The level of specification, from basic to high-end finishes, can vastly influence the budget. For instance, a space that desires top-quality furniture, state-of-the-art smart office infrastructure, and advanced HVAC systems will naturally see a higher cost.

Office Refurbishment Costs


Instinctif Partners Breakout Sofas

5. Types of Office Refurbishments

In the dynamic world of workspace design, understanding the various types of office refurbishments can provide clarity and direction for businesses seeking an upgrade. Whether you’re looking to revamp your existing space or adapt to new business needs, there’s a refurbishment type tailored to your requirements:

Strip Out & Refit: This comprehensive approach is akin to hitting the reset button on your office space. It involves a complete overhaul of the current workspace, stripping it down to its bare essentials and rebuilding from scratch. Ideal for businesses that have outgrown their current design or those in need of a modern aesthetic, a strip-out and refit ensures every nook and cranny aligns with the company’s vision. From state-of-the-art tech integrations to ergonomic design principles, this method offers a fresh start, breathing new life into dated or inefficient spaces.

Mid-Touch Refurb: The perfect balance between a full-scale overhaul and minor tweaks, the mid-touch refurbishment is all about fusion. It seamlessly merges the existing office components with new elements, enhancing functionality without a total redesign. Whether it’s integrating modern workstations into a traditional setup or updating communal spaces to foster collaboration, the mid-touch approach is both cost-effective and transformative. It’s especially suited for businesses that wish to retain certain elements of their current design while infusing fresh, innovative features.

Reconfiguration: Sometimes, the most impactful changes are the subtle ones. Reconfiguration focuses on addressing specific issues within the workspace without extensive alterations. By rearranging layouts, optimizing space utilization, or updating select fixtures, businesses can achieve improved workflow and aesthetics. It’s the go-to choice for companies content with their office’s overall look and feel but recognize areas ripe for enhancement.

It’s pivotal to find a workspace that truly resonates with a company’s ethos and meets its operational needs, and understanding these refurbishment types is pivotal. By aligning the refurbishment approach with organizational goals, businesses can cultivate environments that foster productivity, creativity, and well-being.

6. Office Refurbishment Cost Categories

While the idea of a revamped workspace is very appealing, the associated expenses can vary significantly based on the type and scope of refurbishment. To provide a clearer budgetary roadmap, here are some general cost indicators:

Office Refurbishment – Low Budget

For businesses operating with budget constraints, a basic or standard office refurbishment in London can start from around £45+ per sq. ft. Additionally, office furniture can contribute £500-600 per person. To put this in perspective, a 2,000 sq. ft space in a modern building, requiring minimal fit-out, can hover between £90-120k, including furniture.

Office Refurbishment – Mid Budget

Elevating the spec level can see costs rise. A quality office fit-out with durable furniture and some innovative features might push costs to upwards of £65 per sq. ft, with furniture expenses around £800-£900 per person.

Office Refurbishment – High and Premium Budget

For companies aspiring for a standout workspace, costs start at a ballpark of £95 per sq. ft and can escalate based on specific requirements. High-end finishes, bespoke joinery, top-tier furniture, and advanced technology integrations can substantially influence the final tally.

While these figures offer a preliminary insight, it’s paramount to remember that they’re rough estimates. The intricacies of each space, the unique requirements of businesses, and unforeseen challenges can influence the final costs. This is where professional expertise becomes invaluable. Consulting with office fit out experts and design professionals can provide tailored, precise quotes. Their on-ground experience and in-depth understanding of the industry ensure that businesses receive a transparent and accurate financial picture, eliminating surprises and ensuring optimal value for every pound spent.

Platinum Equity CAT B Office Fit Out – Mayfair, London

4. Site Visits are Essential for Accurate Costing of a Refurbishment

Site visits are essential in a refurbishment. We can only give accurate costs once we visit the site.

Every site has its unique characteristics, challenges, and surprises. These intricacies often play a significant role in cost determinations. Without an on-site inspection, it’s easy to overlook these factors, leading to potential budget variances down the line. By visiting the site, we can identify potential challenges early on and incorporate them into our cost estimates, ensuring that there are no unexpected expenditures during the refurbishment process.

Every project is different but some of the things a site visit can determine along with your list of requirements are:

  1. Health & Safety Concerns: Some sites may have hazardous areas or conditions requiring special attention.
  2. Legal or Zoning Issues: There may be restrictions or codes specific to the location that weren’t previously considered.
  3. Structural Issues: Undetected damages, foundational weaknesses, or previous shoddy construction work can be discovered.
  4. Outdated Systems: Electrical, plumbing, or HVAC systems might be outdated or non-compliant with current codes.
  5. Neighbouring Structures: The proximity or condition of neighbouring buildings might pose challenges for construction or design.
  6. Mechanical and Electrical Systems: Condition of HVAC, electrical outlets, lighting, and data cabling.
  7. Wall Conditions: Existing wall finishes, potential for wall removal, or the need for additional partitions.
  8. Soundproofing Needs: Identifying areas where additional soundproofing may be essential, such as conference rooms.
  9. Access and Logistics: Evaluating building access for the delivery of materials, storage space for tools, and working hours restrictions.
  10. Flooring Issues: Uneven floors, underlying cabling, or damaged subfloors


Office Fit Out Experts

Need help estimating the cost of your office fit out?

We understand that planning and budgeting for an office refurbishment project can be a complex and overwhelming task. Use our expertise and experience to help you navigate through the process and provide you with accurate cost estimates.

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