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How to set a budget for an office design project

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Whether you’re looking to do an office refurbishment on a budget or able to invest a significant amount of money into the project, it’s important to have a clear spending plan in place.

In this blog post, we share our advice on how to set a budget for an office design project, covering:

  • Key costs to consider
  • Why setting a budget is essential
  • A guide to how much an office refurbishment costs in 2024

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Costs to consider in your office design project budget

When it comes to setting a budget for any kind of workspace design project, whether it’s a refurbishment or a full office fit out, you need to be aware of all of the costs involved. Once you know this, you can go about defining and managing your budget most effectively.

If you aren’t aware of all the costs you’re likely to incur from the beginning, you run the risk of not having enough budget to cover them all or prioritising your spending poorly.

Costs will vary depending on your requirements for the space but here are the key areas you’ll need to legislate for when setting your budget:

Space planning and design fees

This includes the cost of hiring an architect, interior designer, workspace planner, or office fit out company to conceptualise and create the layout and design of the space.

Construction costs

This covers any expenses related to construction work, such as demolition, carpentry, flooring, electrical and plumbing work, painting, etc.

Bright modern office with plants

Professional services

Consider fees for project management, workspace consultants, and any other expert services required to oversee and execute the project effectively.

Working with professionals will prevent you from wasting budget on mistakes through inexperience and will help maintain minimal disruption for employees during the project.

Permits and approvals

Don’t forget to think about the necessary permits and approvals from local authorities you might need and the associated fees.

Furniture, lighting and storage

Budget carefully for new office furniture, as well as storage units, office lighting and other fixtures to be specified as part of your interior design scheme.

Workplace technology

This includes costs associated with things like setting up IT infrastructure, including wiring, networking, servers, computers, printers, and other hardware like video meeting technology and room booking systems.

Modern office welcome lounge area with floor plants and carpet

Fabrics, finishes and other decor

As well as structural elements, also consider what you want to spend on decorative features such as artwork, plants, signage, accessories, and other aesthetic finishes. This also includes looking at the types of fabrics and materials you’d like as costs can vary significantly.

Moving costs

If you’re relocating to a new office space, factor in expenses related to moving equipment, furniture, and supplies to the new location. This includes if you plan to move any existing furniture or fixtures from your old workspace to install in the new one.

Accessibility and compliance

Part of the project will be ensuring compliance with building codes, accessibility regulations, and safety standards, and budget for any modifications or upgrades required to meet these requirements.

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Depending on the scope of the project, you may need to increase your insurance coverage to protect against any potential risks or liabilities. Make sure to research this carefully and factor associated fees into your budget.


If you’re incorporating sustainable design features or seeking green building certifications, budget for additional expenses associated with eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient systems, and certification fees may apply.

Contingency funds

Of course, there may be unexpected costs along the way—and that’s perfectly normal—but that’s where a contingency budget comes in. It’s wise to allocate a portion of your budget for unexpected expenses or changes that may arise during the project.

Modular and collaborative space in modern biophilic office

Why it’s so important to set a budget

Now you know more about what kinds of costs you should be considering when setting your office design budget, let’s take a look at why setting a budget is so crucial.

It would be easier (and tempting) to dive straight into the project without preliminary budgeting but this very rarely leads to a great outcome.

To avoid overspending

If you don’t have clear priorities and a set sending plan from the start, you run the risk of your spending getting out of control. Setting a budget will help you balance your ambitions for the space with your financial parameters.

Have clear goals and aims for the scheme and take a strategic approach to budget allocation. This will help make sure every penny spent purposefully contributes to your objectives.

To better manage expectations

When you’re clear about what you can afford to spend or how much you’re looking to invest in the project, you can manage your expectations for the space more effectively. You’ll know what kinds of professional services, brands and products you can afford to specify with a defined budget in place.

To protect your cash flow

The principle of budgeting in any project or area is to preserve your cash and to ensure you don’t spend more money than you can comfortably afford. Budgeting strictly and efficiently for your office design project will therefore help protect your cash flow and reduce the risk of financial strain on your business.

Away from desk modular seating in modern office

How much does an office refurbishment cost?

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how much an office refurb costs but there are some average price ranges that can provide you with a better idea of what you might expect to spend.

On average, an office refurbishment is expected to cost around £15-£190 per square foot in 2024. In context, this means that a 10,000-square-foot workspace could cost between around £75,000 to £950,000 to redesign.

That said, it’s important to remember that three key factors will influence how much you pay for an office refurbishment:

  • Size of the space
  • Spec of the products
  • Scope of the project

Price also depends on the office refurbishment company you choose to work with—some will cost more than others but it’s important to balance cost-efficiency with quality and experience. Look for a partner that has a great reputation but that will still be respectful of your budget.

Looking for an office design company in Liverpool or Manchester? Get in touch to learn more about how our local, award-winning experts can help or to find out more about our financing payment options.

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