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Office Design Costs 2022

Updated: Nov 17

Office Design Costs

Are you considering redesigning your office? Perhaps your company has decided to implement hybrid working long-term, and your office is not suited to it. Maybe your staff count has grown over the last few months, and you to make space for more staff. Perhaps you’ve renewed your office lease, but you know the existing design won’t last another 5 years.

There are many different reasons why you may be considering redesigning your office. One of the biggest questions in your head will likely be: how much will this cost? Finding an accurate cost online will be almost impossible because every project is different. However, there are some general guidelines that will help to give you an initial idea of cost before you start speaking to office fit out companies.

When working with a design and build company, you can generally expect to spend around 2-4% of your overall project costs on the design. Of course, this raises the question, how much will my office fit out cost? Again, it depends, but most office fit outs will range from £40 to £85 per square foot. This means that for a 5,000sq/ft space, a basic fit out would cost around £200,000, and a mid-spec about £300,000. A cutting-edge space of the same size could cost £425,000 or more.

This means that for a 5,000 sq/ft mid-spec office design, you can expect to pay £6,000 - £12,000. While this may seem like a big number, it’s important to keep everything in context. Research has shown that a well-designed office can increase staff productivity levels by 20%. This quickly filters through to improved company financial performance. Over the course of several years, a well-designed office can pay for itself several times over.

There are 4 major factors that will affect the cost of your office design. In this article, we’ll explain each of the 4, and how they can drive the cost of your office design up or keep it down. Finally, we’ll finish up with how much you should spend on your office design.

What Affects the Cost of Your Office Design?

Office Design Model

The first factor that will affect how much you have to pay for your office design (and when) is the design model you decide to use. The traditional office fit out process involves having several design&build companies visit your office. They then go away, create a design, and then pitch to win your project.

With the paid design model, the design and delivery contracts are completely separate. You work with one design and build company to create your office design. Having finalised your package, you can then ask several contractors to quote on the same design. To learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of each, and which is right for you, check out this {link} article.

However, working with a design and build company is not your only option for office design. For larger companies, working with an architectural practice is also worth considering. This is especially true for very large projects (over 100,000 sq/ft) or if your project involves structural adaptions to your office. However, this is much more expensive – around 10-12% of the total project value.

Project Scope

Unsurprisingly, the size and scope of your office fit out or refurbishment will have the biggest impact on the cost of your office design. Simply put, the larger the office, the longer it takes to design, which increases the design costs. Larger offices also tend to have a bigger variety of environments, which increases the time required to develop the design.

Complexity is another element of your project that will affect the cost. Refurbishments tend to be more difficult to design, as the designers do not have the luxury of a blank canvas. They are blending their design concept with what is already there.

If your project involves non-standard or structural works, like creating an extra staircase, this will also increase the cost of your design. For these specialist design features, consultants are often required.

Design Scope

As well as the scope of the project, the scope of the design will have implications on the cost of your office design package. If your office design is working well, but you are running out of space and need more desks or meeting rooms, this is relatively simple from a design standpoint. The design concept is already there and little analysis is needed, so space planning is “all” that is required.

If on the other hand, you are having serious collaboration or productivity issues with your workspace, then workplace consultancy may be appropriate. Using a combination of space monitoring, surveys, and other techniques, a specialist workspace consultant can pinpoint exactly what is wrong with your office, and how to fix it. While this will increase the cost of your design by 50% or more, the return on investment can be huge.

As well as the integral elements of your design scope, the extras can also cause the costs to mount up. Computer-generated visuals are often an important part of your design because they help you to envisage the finished space, but they are complex to create and can cost from £300-£800 each. Video walkthroughs of your space are even more expensive, costing from £4,000 to £8,000.

Specification Level

The final major factor that will affect how much you pay for your office fit out is the specification level you choose. Workspace design depends heavily on the experience and ability of the designer. As a result, the costs of each designer, as well as their support staff will vary wildly depending on their portfolio and reputation. More important than their ability, however, is their relevance. No matter how stunning a design looks, it's only a good design if it delivers on the brief and your business needs.

Lower-specification projects, by their very nature, have fewer product/ finishes choices available because of budget constraints. This makes them simpler, and therefore cheaper, to design. High-quality specifications, on the other hand, take more time. There are a lot more options to consider, not only for design features but for more standard elements like upholstery.

How Much Should You Invest In Your Office Design?

At this point, you may be thinking: OK, that’s all useful information, but it doesn’t answer my question – how much should I spend on my office design? Unfortunately, we can’t answer that question for you. Only you have the knowledge of your company’s situation necessary to make the decision on the best investment for your staff and company.

However, this article has given you a more in-depth understanding of what you can expect to pay for your office design package, as well as what will affect that cost. For more information on how much your entire project will cost, download our office fit out costs guide. If you want more design inspiration, check out some of our recent projects, or our article on how to choose your office design.

At Zentura, we have decades of experience designing culture-driven workspaces focused on improving staff and company performance. We’re ready to help guide you through your next office design, fit out, or refurbishment. If you’re ready to get started with your office design, you can fill in this form to book a quick call with one of our workspace experts, who can get you started on your office design journey!

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