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Commercial Renovation Costs

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Maintaining a neat and organized office is important for optimizing employee efficiency and for making a great impression on your customers and clients.  If you have determined it’s time to upgrade your office space, you’re probably asking yourself, “How much will this cost?”  While commercial renovation costs can vary significantly depending on the scope of your project, there are some ways you can at least estimate your overall budget.  But remember, depending on the amount of space being renovated, the extent of demolition and construction, and your ultimate decorating goals, these guidelines can vary in accuracy.

Commercial Renovation Cost Per Square Foot

Most experts estimate the average office renovation will cost between $180 and $200 per square foot.  Included in these estimates are the costs for new cabinets and countertops, improved storage space, updated flooring, new drywall, and improved electrical.  To calculate your square footage, you should multiply the length of your office by the width.  You do not need to account for internal walls in this calculation, but remember that if you need to move or remove walls, the commercial renovation cost per square foot will likely be higher.

Commercial Renovation Cost Breakdown

Ultimately, your overall commercial renovation costs are impacted by three factors: the rate for contractors, the price of materials, and which upgrades are required.  Let’s take a closer look.

Contractor Rates

Whether you’re working with carpenters, electricians, plumbers, or painters, you’ll need to pay them according to their own rates.  Typically, carpenters charge between $70 and $80 per hour, electricians will run between $60 and $90 hourly, plumbers from $40 to $70, and painters between $20 and $40 per hour.  It can be very difficult to estimate the amount of time each contractor will spend on the job, so it’s the professional’s responsibility to make this estimate before you sign a contract.  Many business owners will with a project manager who will coordinate the entire office renovation so that they don’t have to contact individual contractors and arrange multiple estimates.  Regardless, once you have spoken to each contractor you need, you’ll have a better idea of the overall cost of the job.

Material Costs

The main way that you can keep your commercial renovation project on budget is through material costs.  You may choose to the highest quality materials for your new office, or you can choose more affordable materials.  When working with a project manager or contractor, you need to be clear about your design ideals but also your budget so you can choose materials that work for you.


Finally, if it has been 50 years since your last office renovation, you’ll likely need to spend a lot on upgrades.  When we’re talking about upgrades, we may be referring to introducing more modern storage fixtures or improving lighting, but we may also be talking about rezoning issues, seismic upgrading, installation of new HVAC systems, or even achieving code for disabled washrooms and access.  If you already know these upgrades are required, you should expect your commercial renovation costs per square foot to exceed $200.

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