It is important to agree what the budget is and what success looks like at the beginning of an office fit-out project. Depending on these outcomes, a decision can be made on whether the budget is likely to be enough. It is important at this stage to remember that there may be a need to adjust the budget, or reduce the scope of works required to better align the two!
Using an office fit-out calculator is an effective way of determining a general budget for your needs, and should help you determine if your budget is enough. If you have any doubts, getting in touch with fit-out companies should give you the re-assurance you need or help to re-adjust your budget if necessary.
Remember around a third of the budget will be allocated to things that you may not see such as M&E (mechanical and electrical) but will have the biggest impact on the failure/success long term.
Particularly on refurbishments, allowing 10% for contingency lets you be in the best position if any unknown events occur.
Deciding what success looks like can be defined through our Define stage as we work with the project stakeholders to identify what the drivers are for the company undertaking this project.
Using the Define tool
At Officeinsight, we believe in finding true solutions to the problems you face in the office – whether these be poor lighting, lack of heating, low mental wellbeing, the need for a boost in the culture or maybe just an updated office space. By using the Define tool, we can create a brief that defines employee’s needs, working patterns and office space requirements and brings your vision to life. Doing this can save money in the future, as through the Define workshop we make sure that any problems are rooted out and we gain real data which we then use to come up with a design.
By identifying your problems and putting solutions in place, your office fit-out will become a lot more valuable, and you’ll get a greater return on investment.
How to save costs when budgeting
Making these few small changes could help you save a few extra costs, and help your budget go a bit further.
Avoid making last minute changes
Ensuring that your fit-out is planned effectively will help to capture most of the costs, however making last minute changes will not only change the plan but also increase costs. Whilst employing an office fit-out company or a turn-key company will require your sign-off on the plans before the project goes ahead, making it difficult to make those last-minute changes, they should be able to help you think of everything before you start. Their years of experience have helped them understand how to deal with those last-minute changes, and can advise you as to whether it is worth it in the long term. Thinking of the bigger picture will help save money in the long-term, so it is not worth limiting all of your ideas to save a little now, because later on, this could mean a lot more cost.
Go open plan
Going open plan requires less maintenance and building works being done on your buildings. It may sound obvious, but reducing the amount of time and resources needed significantly helps save costs. There are cost-effective solutions such as department dividers which help give staff a bit of privacy in an open plan office, and these also can be useful storage compartments and can add a bit of character to your office space.
Make the most of what is already there
If you simply want to update your office space, then this is possible without incurring the extra costs of moving. By refurbishing your space, you can give it the uplift that’s needed and re-utilise the valuable space. Working in an old building, or something with special features or existing period details such as timeless coving or a ceiling rose is a blessing in disguise. Save the money of tearing them out, and add a bit of character to your design – an expert office designer should be able to incorporate the unique elements of the existing building into your vision whilst catering for the needs of the brand and the office.
Opting for the ‘industrial look’ can also help reduce costs, whilst making the most of any structural elements such as by exposing bricks, concrete and pipes. This reduces the cost of having to paint walls, or cover up pipes and flooring whilst remaining on-trend and having a sustainable space as resources are easily up-cycled.
Choose economic furniture, floor and wall treatments.
Even some budget furniture comes with handy extras such as height adjustable desks or ‘ergonomic’ chairs. Choosing budget-friendly furniture will help lower the costs whilst remaining fully functional and with a few extra comforts.
Expensive flooring can be very tempting and obviously, it is up to you whether it is worth the long-term investment, however it is important to remember that cheaper flooring is just as functional and can look as spectacular with a carefully selected, on brand, mix of colours for example. There are also cost-effective wall treatments that look professional whilst creating a bespoke finish – get in contact with us as one of our skilled designers will be able to advise you on the best finishes for your company and your budget: https://www.officeinsight.co.uk/contact
At Officeinsight, we value the importance of honesty and will tell you if your budget is realistic, if it’s too low and also too high.
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This glossary has been created and will be regularly updated to include and explain the meaning of any new and emerging keywords that we use regularly so that you can talk to us with the confidence you deserve.
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