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3 Ways To Reduce The Cost Of Your Office Refurbishment

Updated: Feb 26

Value Engineer Your Office Refurbishment

If your office fit out has come in over budget, then you'll be looking for ways to bring down the cost of your project. However, there are so many different things to consider, it can be overwhelming. You don’t know where to start, or how to effectively reduce the cost of your office refurbishment.


You're not alone. Almost every company going through an office refurbishment needs to reduce the cost of the project. Even if your project isn't over budget, it's important to maximise the ROI of your workspace renovation.


However, getting the cost of your project down isn't always as simple as it seems. Your design & build company has created your quote based on your brief. If you aren’t careful when reducing the cost of your project, you could also reduce the quality of the completed workspace.


In this article, we'll walk you through 3 ways you can reduce the cost of your office refurbishment. By the end, you'll know how to apply these to your project, reducing your refurbishment costs and increasing the return on your real estate investment.


Minimise Build-Out

The biggest thing you can do to reduce your office fit out cost is to reduce the quantity of walls built. Building partitioning is labour and material-intensive, so it's costly. Building out partitions also requires a lot of supporting work. Services such as lighting, fire detection and floorboxes have to be reconfigured to suit the new layout. And if the new layout requires adaptations to HVAC or sprinkler systems, the cost increases even more.


The best way to reduce the amount of partitioning needed in your office furniture is to use zoning furniture and office pods. There are a wide variety of pods available, from stand-up call booths to 16-person meeting pods. These come in a range of designs and price points, so there is bound to be something that meets your requirements.


Partitions are also commonly used to create barriers between different areas of the office. Zoning furniture can serve this purpose, and help keep your space open and welcoming at the same time. Zoning furniture is also available in a wide variety of styles. These range from vertical acoustic panels to curtain systems to modular planter units.


Maximise Tax Relief

Tax relief can save you up to 25% of your office refurbishment costs. However, few companies fully understand how to maximise the available tax relief schemes. As a result, they miss out on huge potential savings. The first thing to establish is what works are classed as repairs and what works are classed as improvements. This matters because all repair works can be classed as an expense, making them automatically tax deductible. Redecoration and flooring are two areas generally accepted as repair works, as long as you are replacing like-for-like.


The most important tax relief scheme is the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA). This allows you to deduct the full value of an item that qualifies for AIA from your profits before tax. This is claimable on eligible on assets up to £1,000,000. Most assets purchased for business purposes can be claimed as qualifying expenses for AIA. The categories most relevant for office refurbishment are “Office equipment” (including office furniture), and “certain fixtures” (including air conditioning, fitted kitchens, and bathroom fittings). To learn more about maximising tax relief on your office refurbishment, read this article.


Value Engineer Nice-to-Haves

If your project quotation is significantly over budget, you can work with your fit out company to revise the specification of your project to bring the cost down with minimal impact on the quality of the finished design. You can opt for cheaper materials and finishes, or you could even revise the design to remove certain elements altogether.


This is where it is essential to have a well-defined project brief right at the start. If you need to reduce the cost of your office refurbishment, it's important you don’t eliminate essential parts of your office. Doing this could decrease the performance of your people. By reviewing your quote and brief together, you can reduce the cost of your overall project without reducing the success of your project.


Some elements in your workspace, such as lighting or ergonomic furniture should not be down-specified if at all possible. This is because cheaper options can cause your staff health and productivity issues. Other areas can provide cost savings that have little impact on the performance of your people. This includes furniture upholstery and design features. Another common way to reduce the cost is to reduce the quantity of partitioning, as this requires costly electrical and plumbing adaptions.


Reducing Your Office Refurbishment Costs

Minimising partition build-out will lower your costs by reducing materials and supporting works. Maximising tax relief through the AIA scheme will mean you pay as little tax on your project as possible. Value engineering the non-essentials in your design will reduce the investment you need to your office fit out without impacting the quality of the finished project. By following these steps, you can ensure your office renovation is as cost-effective as possible.

For more help preparing for your office refurbishment, download How to Plan an Office Refurbishment. It will take you through the entire process of planning a renovation, from the initial brief to signing the contract. To learn more about office refurbishment costs, this article.



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