Office Fit Out & Refurb Costs

Fit out cost per square foot  Fit out cost per person  Fit out costs per square metre  Office space per person  

How Much Will an Office Fit-Out or an Office Refurbishment Cost Me? 


Download an Office Refurbishment Costs and Office Fit-Out Costs Spreadsheet containing a detailed breakdown of costs per square foot (and per square metre) to fit out or refurbish a typical CAT B office interior. The spreadsheet also includes costs for refurbishment of individual areas such as receptions and boardrooms, and itemised office partitioning costs for various types of partitions. Figures are an average from completed office fit out projects.

To receive the itemised office fit out costs spreadsheet including partitioning costs CLICK HERE.

Our case study section shows cost information related to a specific design / fit out or contact Fusion on 020 8251 0692 for advice on developing a project budget that includes the distinct features of your building and business. Our office fit out case studies include a number of London office fit out projects as well as is Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.

office refurbishment examples

Typical 2013/2014 Office fit-out project costs are ranging from £42 per square foot (£450 per square metre) for an office refurb from CAT A standard to £75 per square foot (£800 per square metre) for a project that includes a significant upgrade to the building ventilation systems. A recently completed, high specification, project for example completed at £62.50 psf, which would have been at a higher cost, above £80 psf, but the project re-used a considerable amount of FF&E from an existing premises to achieve savings.

Certain office occupation projects involve a fit-out cost per square foot far higher than the typical range. Fusion has completed schemes with costs in the region of £180 - £200 per square foot. Interior fit-out projects with this level of office occupation fit-out costs differ from regular office interior refurbishment in that the fittings, materials and furniture will be specified to the very highest standard, rather than usual commercial levels.

All figures quoted by Fusion include Design, CDM & Building Regulation submissions, and project management...the figures in the office fit out costs spreadsheet are for complete start-to-finish projects as well as individual elements such as office partitioning costs. Get in touch with Fusion for a free office renovation quote or office refurbishment quote.

Office Fit Out Costs & Data quoted elsewhere.

Office Occupancy 

BCO, the British Council for Offices, quotes an office occupancy space of 107 sq ft per person average, whilst the Office for Government Commerce recommends an average figure of 110 sq ft per person.

These figures vary significantly from our average as they are likely to exclude offices with space for growth, whereas the Fusion Office Design figures are based upon ratios at first occupation.

Put a different way, office fit-out and office refurbishment projects for new or vacant office space typically allow 30% room for growth. BCO and OGC figures refer to a full occupancy ratio....just before the occupier had to think about future property strategy!

For a structured approach to assessing how much office space is required when relocating, see our Building Assessment page.

Office Fit Out Costs

Savills suggest a price range for CAT B office fit-out costs of £40 - £60 per square foot (£430 per square metre - £640 per square metre) for a basic specification, £60 - £80 psf for a mid-range scheme, £80 - £100 psf for a high quality project and £120 + for projects with outstanding design and quality. Typically these figures include separate professional fees for architects, external project management, QS and cost control that together account for the difference between Fusion design and build fit-out costs and the 'traditional' examples quoted by Savills.


Legal minimum office space per person.

There is no prescribed minimum occupancy level for an office. Within the uk Building Regulations the section dealing with Fire Hazards (Part B of the Building Regs.) advises a minimum area of 6 square metres (64 sq feet) for each person in an office premises. This figure can be achieved by equating the total headcount against the overall net internal area (NIA) and so doesn't necessarily limit the space for a single person with a desk.

In practice offices will have a number of factors, mostly relating to Fire Escape but also the provisions of WCs, amount of fresh air available through a ducted system, that have an impact on the legal maximum number of people accommodated within an office building. The Means of Escape is the key criteria for density of occupation. Once a workstation / office layout is defined the Building Control advisor can determine if there is sufficient Escape routes for the staff numbers.

What lies ahead for occupancy ratios?

As mobile technology improves; as home working becomes more viable with bandwidth increases, and as part-time working becomes more widespread, so the need for one desk per person diminishes. Increasingly offices are moving towards a ratio of 7 or 8 desks for every 10 staff. The next question is then about saving money by reducing the overall space leased, or to give some of the space over to social and team purposes? One of the leading adopters of flexible working and shared desk allocation, CISCO Systems, works on a ratio of 160 sq ft per person. Clearly they haven't used unallocated desks and mobile working as a cost-cutting measure. Instead they've used space to promote interaction, inspiration, and work zones to support teams, quiet working, noisy working...whatever is needed for the staff to be most effective.

For a more in-depth view on property strategy see our Property Strategy page.

Occasionally cost information is presented on a Square Metre basis. The ratio of square feet to square metres is approximately 10.7:1.


Office Fit Out Terminology - Cat A and Cat B

CAT A refers to the fit-out or refurbishment undertaken by a Landlord. Typically this will include suspended ceilings and lighting, a raised floor with carpet, air conditioning, sometimes a degree of local power within the open floor area, and sometimes a teapoint with plumbing. Showers and WCs are usually included within the base build. CAT A also describes the quality of the Landlords fit-out, with a level that is commensurate with a building at the upper end of the rental value for the location.

CAT B is the Tenants office fit-out, covering partitions, data, features and infrastructure unique to the occupier.