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How to Budget for an Office Renovation

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Attracting new clientele, enhancing productivity and simply working in a pleasing, aesthetic environment are all legitimate reasons to renovate an office space. When given the opportunity, most business owners will jump at the chance to improve the look and design of their workplace. The big question property owners must ask themselves is, how much do renovations cost?

The location of an office plays a major role in determining the cost to renovate. An office in New York will require higher labor costs than a space in Arizona. Silicon Valley, California, has the highest office build out costs in the country, while Washington, DC, has the lowest.

Consider the Square Footage

Property owners should also consider the size of the office space that will undergo renovations. For instance, an office with a square footage of 5,100 will require far less upfront costs to renovate than one that takes up 110,00 square feet in a six-story building.

For comparison’s sake, a smaller office space, let’s say 5,100 square feet, can average $450,000 in renovation costs and include enhancements like new skylights. The larger 110,000 square feet building can cost around $9 million to renovate, which includes both interior and exterior renovations.

Given the potentially skyrocketing costs, how do property owners budget for a renovation? Factors that should be considered in any renovation include the professional services of architects and labor, plus lighting, finishes, walls, floors, bathrooms, kitchen, fire protection and HVAC.

Architects or Designers – 20 Percent

Bringing in a design professional, such as an architect to lay out the office space and ensure it will serve its dual purpose of functionality and comfort for employees and customers, will be the initial expense. Architects and designers consume about 20 percent of the total renovation budget.

Architects are instrumental to renovation projects. The benefit of hiring an architect is that the professional follows specifications that meet building codes. Plus, employees and customers who are handicapped will easily enter and exit the property when the space is designed to be handicap accessible.

Labor – 10 Percent

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Union labor is significantly more expensive than non-union labor. When hiring union labor in Chicago, a 20 percent premium is applied to contracted work. Cities like Chicago and New York City have long-standing practices where hiring union labor to work on union buildings is mandated.

Additionally, as mentioned earlier, the location of the building being renovated has a major impact on labor costs. Labor costs in New York City climb to 70 percent above the national average. Since Washington, DC, has a plethora of available spaces, renovating an office there is the least costly.

Kitchen – 25 Percent

Employees are likely to retreat to the office kitchen during coffee breaks. When an office kitchen renovation is planned, expect the task to take up about a quarter of the budget. A kitchenette may be simple, with just cabinetry, or elaborate, with a combination of a microwave, sink, and fridge.

The renovator’s job is easier when the kitchen and bathroom are in close proximity. The shared plumbing reduces the overall renovation price. Depending on how complex the kitchen and plumbing will be, business owners can expect an office kitchen renovation to be around $4000 of a $16,000 job.

Windows – $5,000

New sky lights, integrated windows with specialized low-e glass and minimizing UV radiation from windows are all options to consider when renovating the office. Energy saving windows are pricey upfront but saving on heating and cooling costs are recouped over the next several years.

Fire Sprinklers – $5,000 to $10,000

Installing a new fire sprinkler in a small- or medium-sized office averages $5,000 to $10,000. Each sprinkler head costs about $200. Costs for permits, inspections and plans soar to $2,000. If existing fire sprinklers are in place, scheduling an inspection costs a few hundred dollars.

Lighting – $250+

If the office space welcomes customers, investing in high-quality lighting is key to presenting an optimal environment. LED lights are the preferred choice when it comes to cost-efficient lighting in office spaces. Basic lighting costs start at $250 per point and increase with the various types of lighting options.

The type of office environment plays a big part in lighting. An open ceiling office, for example, requires suspended light fixtures. Drywall ceilings do well with linear wrap lighting fixtures. Commercial lighting options suitable for drop ceilings include recessed office lighting, which is both energy efficient and attractive.

Floors – $2 to $7 Per Square Foot

Depending on whether the renovation space is a warehouse or an upscale office, costs for flooring differ markedly. Concrete flooring is the least expensive, at $2 per square foot. Vinyl tile starts at $4 per square foot. In a 5,100 square foot office, wood flooring averages $7 per square foot.

Work with a Commercial MoverCommercial-Move-COM

If you are planning an office renovation, temporarily moving the existing desks, chairs, and equipment will be necessary to allow plenty of room for the exciting project to begin. Count on Chicago Office Movers to handle the task of moving all office property efficiently and carefully through decommissioning services.

Whether your office space is staffed by hundreds of employees or limited to just a couple, Chicago Office Movers is prepared to handle the moving job with skill and timeliness. We also offer short-term storage facilities to house office property until the renovations are complete.

Our team of union movers are licensed and background checked to give business owners maximum peace of mind. The skilled movers at Chicago Office Movers are experienced in successfully moving all types of office property, including lab equipment, major electronics, machinery (such as HVAC equipment and assembly lines), large inventory and even libraries.

Chicago Office Movers is headquartered in the Windy City, but we cater to businesses across the country. If you are renovating a commercial space or relocating an office to or from Chicago, make the best choice and contact Chicago Office Movers. Take the stress out of renovations or office relocation by giving Chicago Office Movers a call.

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To get a free estimate on your next commercial move, contact Chicago Office Movers at 312-244-2246.

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