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How does the existing office condition affect office fit out cost?

Looking for a new office space?  This article explores how the existing condition, finish and structure of the office and building will affect the office fit out cost.  This advice may prove pivotal if you are negotiating on a new office space, or if you are undecided on which office space to rent.

Key factors that affect office fit out costs

The existing condition of an office can significantly affect the cost of an office fit out due to various factors:

Infrastructure and Services

If the existing office space has well-maintained infrastructure such as electrical systems, plumbing, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), the cost of fit-out can be lower. However, if these systems are outdated, haven’t been maintained well or require significant upgrades, the fit-out cost will increase to accommodate repairs or replacements.  

Another factor to consider is how the existing power and data infrastructure.  Some offices may have a raised access floor and movable floor boxes and grommets, other offices may have more traditional option of surface mounted trunking to contain the power and data cabling.  If the office space has no apparent power and data cabling system in place then this could raise the fit out cost considerably, as its likely you will need to pay for a new system to be installed.

Layout and Configuration

The existing layout and configuration of the office space can impact the fit-out cost. For example, if the layout requires minimal changes to accommodate the desired design and functionality, the cost may be lower compared to a space that requires extensive demolition and restructuring.

Structural Considerations

Structural issues such as load-bearing walls, ceiling heights, and floor conditions can affect the fit-out cost. Modifying or reinforcing structural elements to support design changes or additional amenities can increase the overall cost.   In some circumstances these costs can be significant not only affecting the office fit out cost but also can have a impact on the project time frame.

Interior Finishes and Fixtures

The condition of existing interior finishes and fixtures (e.g., flooring, wall finishes, lighting fixtures) can influence the fit-out cost. Reusing or refurbishing existing finishes may be more cost-effective than installing entirely new materials. For example, some office spaces available to rent already have floor finishes in place.

Compliance and Regulations

Compliance with building codes, accessibility standards, and environmental regulations may require modifications or upgrades during the fit-out process, impacting the overall cost.   Its important that your local authority or a building control consultant is involved in your office design and fit out to ensure compliance throughout the process.

Site Accessibility and Logistics

The ease of access to the site and logistical challenges such as parking, loading/unloading facilities, provisions for skips and proximity to suppliers can affect the cost of materials and labour.

In summary, the existing condition of an office plays a crucial role in determining the cost of fit-out. Understanding the specific requirements and challenges posed by the existing space can help stakeholders develop realistic budget estimates and project timelines.  

The existing building condition is an important consideration as the tendency can be for companies looking to rent office space may choose for a space that may cost less to rent in comparison to other spaces available, only to find that after a detailed survey the cost to get the office fit out so it will function to the way they require and to be compliant exceeds their office fit out budget.

We have a useful tool that will provide you with a budget cost for your office fit out, click this link to find out more. 

Written on the 23rd May 2024 by

Working behind the scenes, Carlie assists with the purchasing and setting up of new projects and looks after day-to-day tasks within the office.

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