December 1, 2023

Fitout Costs Explained: How to Not Break Bank on Your Office Fitout

For most business managers, fitting out their office space can be seen as a costly but necessary investment. There is a direct link between staff productivity and their work environment. In fact, Forbes reported that 93% of survey respondents would stay longer at a company who would offer healthier workspace benefits such as wellness areas, ergonomic seating and sit-to-stand desks. So we often get asked, how much should businesses spend on an office fitout?  

Office fitouts can come in all shapes and sizes, and how much a business should spend is entirely dependent on their unique needs and requirements. Exact costs don’t enter the conversation until the final stages of the design.

So perhaps a better place to start is, 'how do I determine a budget for my office fitout? Below, we’ll share 6 key tips to help you get a  rough idea of how much your new office fitout might cost.  

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1. Setting Your Budget

When first budgeting for an office fitout, it's important to factor in the costs of all elements involved in delivering the fitout from start to finish. To help our clients understand where exactly their money is being spent, we've coined the 40/30/30 rule.  

Furniture, such as desks, workstations or chairs, will make up about 40% of your budget. The construction of enclosed rooms such as quiet rooms or meeting rooms will make up around 30% of your budget. And lastly, the remaining 30% will cover hidden services – such as heating and cooling, fire protection and data cabling.  

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2. Costing Per Square Meter

As a general rule of thumb, we suggest allocating ~$900-$1500 per square meter in determining the cost of your office fitout. On the lower end of this range, your fitout may consist of more moderate finishes – such as laminate surfaces, limited joinery as well as simple lighting and furniture. At the higher end of this range, you may expect more premium finishes across materials, lighting, furniture and joinery. 

Office fitout cost per square metre: ~$900-$1500

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3. Implications of Older Spaces

While older warehouses and heritage buildings are becoming a popular spot for commercial offices, they can consume a considerable chunk of your total budget. Things like plumbing or electrical systems can become outdated and cost a fortune to replace. To allow for this, we recommend allocating an extra 10% on top of your budget when building office fitouts into spaces older than 30 years. 

Spaces older than 30 years: +10-15% to your budget 

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4. Cost of rooms

For many businesses in 2024, private collaborative spaces have become a necessity in an office fitout. These can be costly, with the physical build of a standalone room costing at least $5000 and the costs of mechanical/permits/fire safety/data equating to ~$2000. 

Our recommendation? Construct multiple rooms side-by-side to lower the total cost. Also worth noting, glass walls can cost nearly double the price of plaster walls. 

Enclosed rooms (meeting rooms, quiet spaces etc.): ~$7000

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5. Floor and Ceiling Fitout Costs

While you're looking for your new office space, you may find that the existing flooring and ceiling are not in a desirable condition, and replacing these might not be included in your lease agreement. 

Since these can consume a large part of your budget—especially for large spaces—we suggest adding an extra $100 per square meter to cover new flooring and ceiling costs that may arise.  

New flooring and ceiling: + $100 per square metre to your budget 


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6. Workstations and Cost Per Person

Last and certainly not least; your staff. The cost of your office fitout can vary depending on how many staff members you have and therefore, the workstations and chairs you may need. But what most people overlook is the hidden costs required to install these. While a workstation and chair may total $1500, the power and data cabling can exceed $500 per workstation.  

Cost per person: $2000 (including: workstation, chair, power & data) 

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Keep Your Fitout Costs Under Control

There is a lot to consider when budgeting costs for your next office fitout. It's imperative to begin planning early and engage the right fitout company to help make the process easier and affordable. To help, we've put together a template for you to understand  and compare the basic scope of works that should included in a standard office fitout proposal. Download here

Speak with the Canopy Fitouts team for your next office fitout – we’re here to give you advice on cost, budgets, requirements, and timeframes. So give us a call on 1800 434 868 or email, and we'd be more than happy to chat with you about your business' needs!   

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Let our team bring your business to life. If you are ready to revolutionise your space and impress your clients and customers, enquire below or call us on 1800 434 868.

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