team working in a new refurbished office

Office Refurbishment Costs Guide

Office refurbishments can transform a workspace, allowing it to reflect the values, culture, and vision for the future. More than just aesthetics, an office refurbishment is about creating a dynamic space that invites collaboration, creativity and productivity. 

There are many things to consider before starting this journey. In this article, we help break down office refurbishment costs so you can make informed decisions as you embark on this exciting endeavour.

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Typical Office Refurbishment Costs

Estimated office fit out costs can vary, but here are some things to keep in mind when creating your budget. These key factors will provide you with a clear understanding of typical office fit out costs before you get started on your project.

  1. 1. Office refurbishment budgets tend to be around $900 to $1,500 per square meter

Those on the lower end of this range can expect more simple finishes such as a basic ceiling design with simple lighting or furniture. Meanwhile, those on the higher end of this range can enjoy more premium additions across lighting, furniture, materials and joinery. 

Those who are fitting out a large commercial space, can break down costs into smaller steps to ensure they can afford better quality touches. 

Construction costs such as walls, ceilings, flooring, electrical and plumbing are around 30%-50% of the total workplace fit-out costs.

Office furniture and fixtures tend to be around 20-40%

Technology devices and infrastructure are around 10-20%

Design and project management costs do vary. However, we recommend allowing 10-20% of the total project costs

2. Consider older building and spaces

For properties that are more than 30 years old, we recommend adding an additional 15% to your office refurbishment budget. Older spaces can result in blown out office refurbishment costs due to plumbing or electrical networks that have been maintained less frequently.

3. Cost of rooms

Shared spaces can help foster creativity, collaboration and encourage discussion. However, each of these individual rooms can be quite costly to make with it also requiring the reorganisation of office space. 

The minimum spend for the physical build of a standalone room is $5,000, with office fit out costs equating to over $2,000 for things like mechanical, permits and fire safety checks. It’s also important to note that glass walls can also double the price, when compared to plaster.

Board room with glass doors (

4. Costs per workstation

Your office fit out costs can vary based on the number of staff you have. So you must account for the quantity of workstations and associated furniture your office will need. However, on top of that, you will also have to factor in the costs required to install these materials. For instance, a workstation and chair may total $1,500, but the power and data cabling can exceed $500 per workstation. 

To Invest Or Not Invest: Are Office Refurbishments Worth It?

An office refurbishment is a significant yet necessary step for any business. Many business managers have seen the direct correlation between a healthy workspace, staff motivation and productivity. Scientific research has shown that positive and well-designed offices can lead to 33% happier employees, decrease employee turnover by 58% and increase productivity by by 12%. 

Happier staff can increase retention, with some companies even seeing it increase revenue by sales by up to 33%. This can further help with brand image, attracting and retaining talent and boost morale in the office. 

Overall, this would make an office refurbishment an important investment for any company. The impact it can have on the business would definitely outweigh the costs as it can lead to more engaged employees and even an increased bottom line. 

Kickstarting your Office Refurbishment Budget

An office refurbishment is a big task, that’s why it’s important to think about all the steps involved before getting started, and especially as you begin to develop your budget.

  1. 1. Budget

Establish a realistic budget based on your financial capabilities and project requirements, taking into account both upfront and long-term expenses.

  1. 2. Timeline 

Set clear timeline and deadlines to ensure that the project stays on track and to help minimise disruptions to the daily operations. If you’re working on the weekends, and on a tight timeline, increased costs will need to be taken into account. 

  1. 3. Compliance 

Familiarise yourself with the local building codes, zoning regulations and environmental standards. This is especially important if structural changes are required and if the property is deemed a heritage site.

Furthermore, if the building is currently in use, your landlord may require that all changes are done outside of business hours. This may also add additional costs to your budget.

  1. 4. Legal Space Considerations 

It is important to confirm the legal space considerations per person based on the Building Code of Australia before you start your outfitting project. In Australia, according to the National Construction Code, all businesses must meet the minimum requirements of at least 10 square metres of space within offices per person.

  1. 5. Future growth

Businesses need to anticipate future changes and expansion. That’s why we recommend creating a flexible workspace that adapts to the evolving needs of your team and business. 

  1. 6. Employee input 

We always recommend getting feedback from your team and reviewing ways we can improve your office to help boost productivity and morale. This can help foster a sense of ownership and involvement in the refurbishment process. 

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Common Mistakes: Office Refurbishment Budgets

The following mistakes can completely derail an office refurbishment project. Each of the following are common errors that can easily be avoided when setting your office refurbishment budgets. 

  1. 1. Overbudgeting 

One of the most common pitfalls that we see in any office refurbishment project is overbudgeting. This impacts the way that the business views the state of their office refurbishment, and may result in unrealistic expectations. This often occurs as the business overestimates costs, looks to safeguard the project, or aims to create a higher end fit out. However, in doing so they may miss out on opportunities elsewhere or receive a lower return on their office refurbishment. 

  1. 2. Underbudgeting 

On the other end of the spectrum is underbudgeting. This can happen for a variety of reasons including failure to account for hidden costs, underestimating the pricing of contractors or materials or overlooking the complexity of the projects. In turn, this can impact the outcome of the project, result in delays, or require your business to abandon the project halfway through. To prevent this, it’s crucial to research, obtain quotes or to work with experts like Integrity Office. 

  1. 3. Overlooking hidden costs 

In line with their underbudgeting, this mistake often occurs when businesses neglect to include the various hidden costs that are not immediately apparent during the planning stages. This can include permit fees, consultant charges, taxes and the unforeseen structural issues that may arise during construction. Ignoring these fees can lead to budget overruns or delays. To prevent this, we recommend conducting a comprehensive cost analysis, consulting with experts and factoring in allowances for unexpected expenses when creating your office refurbishment budget.

  1. 4. Ignoring long-term maintenance issues 

While it’s crucial to prioritise and create a budget for your office fit out now, we also recommend thinking about your longer term maintenance costs. Failing to think about how the impacts of the material you’ve chosen can increase operational costs over time, can impact your end result. That’s why we recommend you invest in higher quality, durable and low-maintenance material that offers you long-term value. 

  • 5. Disregarding employee input 

It is important to put your employees first throughout any office refurbishment process. Employees who feel disconnected from the process may resist change, leading to dissatisfaction post the renovation. However, by incorporating surveys, asking for feedback and encouraging communication on their preferences, you will find that you would have created a workspace that fosters engagement, creativity and collaboration.

Request Our Services: Integrity Office

Integrity Office can serve you as a well trusted partner in the office refurbishment process. Having served over 3,500 businesses for over 30 years, we as an organisation feel ready to provide you with the input required to help you with the office refurbishment support you need. 

When it comes to your office refurbishment budget, we can help by getting a better understanding of your goals, preferences and priorities. Most importantly, we work with you and your budget throughout the process, but especially during the design and planning stage.

Expert consultation: our team of experienced professionals will work closely with you to understand your goals and develop a solution and refurbishment plan that aligns with your vision and budgetary constraints.

Design and planning: we can work with you to create a workstation that inspires creativity and productivity – from concept development to space planning and furniture selection.

Cost Estimates: we’ll help you prioritise expenditures and allocate resources efficiently to achieve optimal results. Our team can also leverage our extensive network of suppliers, contractors and vendors to obtain competitve quotes and negotiate pricing on your behalf. We can ensure that all expenses are accounted for upfront, minimising the risk of budget overruns and unforeseen costs down the line.

Project Management: our team of project managers will oversee every aspect of the refurbishment project, ensuring its completed on time, to budget and at the highest of standards

Post-Implementation Support: your satisfaction doesn’t end at the completion of the project – we’ll provide you ongoing support and assistance to address any issues or concerns that may arise, ensuring your refurbished workspace continues to exceed expectations.

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