How Much Does an Office Fit Out Cost in 2024?

Discover what affects the cost of your office fit-out. Get personalised insights based on your project’s size, location, and needs to make informed decision

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For businesses thinking about renovations in 2024, it is vital to understand the financial implications of an office fit-out. A successful fit out project requires careful budget management and a thorough cost analysis. The cost of an office fit out in 2024 may be higher than previous years due to the impact of economic instability on the cost of materials and services. Some of the main factors to consider are:

  • Economic Influences: Careful budget planning is crucial since fluctuations in the economy can have a substantial impact on labour and material expenses.
  • Budgeting For Office Fit Out Projects: A well-considered budget serves as a guide for what installations and changes are practical.
  • Cost Analysis: To ensure the office fit out improves your business without putting you under financial strain, it is a critical step to do a thorough fit out cost study.

In this blog, Vanguard Contracts will explain the parameters for office fit out costs and key tips to getting the best services for your money.

factors influencing office fit out costs

There are several factors influencing office renovation expenses, that can increase the cost, and, with most things in life, the more you want, the higher the cost.

Size, location and specific requirements

Each office is different, having a unique size and location, meaning there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The size of your office has the most significant impact on average office fit out costs, with many fit out contractors operating on a price per square foot. Indeed, larger offices must understand they will be paying more for their fit out than smaller ones.

  • Basic fit outs mostly consist of necessary installations and finishes; ideal for companies seeking a simple and efficient office.
  • Mid-level fit outs provide updated finishes and potentially some custom work while striking a balance between functionality and aesthetics.
  • High-end fit outs feature premium finishes, specially made furniture and elegant design components suited to particular company requirements.

Cost Estimations Per Square Foot

We have collected data on office fit out costs per square foot to provide you with an estimate of each type of fit out.

Cost per sq. ft. Basic Mid High
Construction costs £30-£45 £50-£65 £70+
Furniture costs per person £12+ £25+ £40+

These are rough estimates, and with every fit out contractor, prices will vary. Location significantly affects costs, with urban areas such as London commanding higher labour rates. Additionally, challenges such as accessing higher floors can increase fees.

The location of your office will also impact the office fit out costs, as labour costs in more urban areas, such as London, will be much higher. Additionally, if your office is on a hard-to-reach floor level, then contractor costs will most likely be affected.

Office Fit Out Categories Explained

The terms ‘basic’, ‘mid’ and ‘high’ correspond to the work involved:

  • Shell and Core (Basic): Shell and core fit outs Consists of the main structure of the building, along with necessary services and basic furnishes.
  • Category A (Mid-Level): Suitable for tenants to further customise and includes basic finishes, mechanical and electrical utilities and raised floors and ceilings.
  • Category B (High-End): Contains completely furnished areas with a thorough design and fit out customised to the tenant’s unique needs.

Some offices may already have systems in working order, such as HVAC and lighting which won’t need to be installed by a contractor, therefore decreasing the overall office fit out costs.

Cosmetic vs. structural changes

Accurate budgeting for office fit out projects depends on the ability to discern between structural and cosmetic improvements or changes. Cosmetic modifications are typically surface-level additions that don’t affect the basic design or layout of the business. On the other hand, structural modifications include considerable adjustments to the physical design or infrastructure of the office.  

Cosmetic changes are primarily aesthetic and can include:

  • Painting and Decorating: With relatively small expenditures, changing the colours of the walls or adding ornamental accents can improve the overall atmosphere of the business.
  • Flooring Updates: The appearance and feel of the office can be greatly affected by replacing worn-out carpets or putting in new flooring options like hardwood or vinyl.
  • Upgrades to Furniture: Purchasing new lounge, desk and chair pieces can improve appearance and usability without requiring structural changes, as well as enhance the comfort and productivity of your employees.

Cosmetic upgrades for an office fit out are a reasonably priced option to revitalise an office because they can be finished faster and for less money than structural changes.

Structural modifications require more extensive planning, permits and construction work, including:

  • Wall Adjustments: Changing the layout of your workplace by building or tearing down walls is more expensive and frequently necessitates taking water and electrical issues into account.
  • Ceiling and Lighting Overhauls: Upgrades to ceiling finishes and lighting fixtures can enhance the aesthetics of your office but will also mean extensive electrical work will take place.
  • HVAC and Electrical Updates: Installing or improving electrical wiring and HVAC systems to accommodate new designs or technological requirements can influence costs in a major way.

Because of the complexity of the labour involved, structural alterations tend to have a longer schedule for completion and a greater financial impact. Set yourself a realistic budget when considering cosmetic and structural change. Cosmetic improvements can refresh your space quickly and cheaply while structural upgrades can increase functionality and employee satisfaction but will cost more and take longer.

Technology integration

Integrating the right technology has a host of advantages, including increased productivity and security, and can help with budgeting for office fit out projects. For efficient planning, consider this breakdown:

  • Technology Integration Impact: Incorporating new technology into an office fit out can raise expenses, and costs can go beyond IT and computer systems to include energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems, which are vital for a modern, sustainable office environment.
  • Planning Considerations: Preventing cost overruns and project delays can be achieved by addressing technology requirements in the early planning stages. This kind of forethought guarantees the infrastructure can accommodate the intended technology without necessitating expensive, last-minute changes. Also, by taking scalability into account while designing the technology, the workplace can be future-proofed and avoid major expenses and interruptions down the road.

Furniture requirements

Furniture offers both comfort and functionality for your employees and office as a whole. Choosing trending, ergonomic furniture is worth the initial investment as studies have shown that the more comfortable your employees are, the higher the output of productivity.

Project timeline

The cost of an office fit out depends on its timeline.

We’ve got several factors to consider and some cost-saving tips for office fit out schedules, including:

  • Longer project timelines result in higher labour expenses due to increased hours.
  • Long-term rentals of equipment and temporary facilities will eat into your budget.
  • Tight timelines may require more expensive, in-demand professionals.
  • Extended fit outs may force people to operate in temporary workplaces, which will add costs to your budget.

Here’s how you can optimise your project timeline:

  • Early preparation helps streamline the process and reduce delays.
  • Fitting out the office in phases allows parts of it to stay operational, minimising disturbances.
  • Regular updates between you and your contractors can help detect and handle difficulties quickly, keeping the project on schedule.
  • Allowing for unexpected delays without affecting the schedule can help. The project timeline can be carefully managed to reduce costs and ensure the fit out fulfils quality and safety standards.

traditional vs. design and build (d&b) approach

Choosing between traditional and Design and Build (D&B) methods can affect the timeline, success and average office fit out costs.

Traditional methods involve many different people, including designers, builders, workspace planners and furniture suppliers. Structural changes require surveyors, engineers and interior architects. All these different parties will require a project manager to ensure they all work in unison. Separate parties can be difficult to manage and will all come with different prices.

A D&B approach with a specialist office fit out company, like Vanguard, can organise everything for you all under one roof, cutting office fit out costs significantly. A design and build approach is the most popular choice for most projects, as the company will carry out detailed designs to maximise your space for contemporary means and for future expansion.

Traditional Approach Advantages

You’ll have access to a wide range of specialists, each expert in their field, from designers to engineers.

You’ll have more control over each stage of the project, as you select and manage each contractor.

Traditional Approach Disadvantages

A traditional approach requires managing multiple contracts and schedules, increasing the complexity of project management.

Having separate contracts for each party can lead to unpredictable overall costs for your fit out budget.

Coordinating multiple teams and schedules can extend the project timeline.

D&B Approach Advantages

A single business – Vanguard – handles all fit out details, facilitating communication and coordination.

Integrated services and reduced administrative overhead can lower office fit out costs.

Design and construction teams working together can create new ideas, maximise space and speed up project completion.

D&B Approach Disadvantages

You, the client, may have less direct control over each stage of the project.

You may be tied to the D&B firm’s preferred suppliers and subcontractors, which might not align with your preferences.

Planning Your 2024 Office Fit Out With Vanguard

Vanguard is the go-to office fit out company and will aid you in a fit out cost analysis, detailing all aspects of your budget. From the costs of materials, installation, furnishings and more, Vanguard’s team are the experts to help you stick to your budgetary constrains and offer solutions that won’t break the bank.

Get started on your 2024 office fit out with a free, no-obligation quote by getting in touch with Vanguard on 01905 759 700 or send us your enquiry to


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