Times are exciting.

Business is picking up and you’re finally in the position to move into a new office.

Whether you’re looking at moving into your very first office or relocating to a new one, confronting the reality of construction costs can become overwhelming. From endless viewing to negotiating a lease, hiring contractors or purchasing furniture – the total expense of an office space build-out can be extremely costly and time-consuming.

If you’re a founder on the search for a new office space, it’s crucial that you identify the needs of your new workspace. Without answering some of the following questions, many entrepreneurs fail to estimate the time and cost required of an office build-out:

  • What’s the ideal location (i.e. is the office easily accessible for staff via public transit)?
  • Does the space need a lot of renovation?
  • What are the needs of the business (i.e. large conference room, open workstations, etc)?
  • What is the budget?

A great office build-out means all the difference for a modern business. Having to choose between a traditional, uninspiring office and a fun, dynamic workspace that highlights your company’s brand is a no-brainer. But, at what price tag?

Whatever your budget, tastes, and needs, here are some things to consider when building a new office space:

Permitting, Designing, and Engineering

You’d be surprised to find out that the actual work begins BEFORE you start construction or renovation of an office space.

This is easily the most overlooked part. Many people underestimate how much time and money is required for drawings, designs, and acquiring permits for building a new office space. Not only do they forget to budget appropriately for this phase, but they also fail to understand how long it might take to complete it.

Depending on the complexity of the project, you may be looking at a couple of months before you can actually start construction or renovation of your new office space. This means that you’re paying for an empty space until all necessary permits and designs are approved.

Keep in mind, businesses that build an office space from the ground up may also require an additional budget for installations of common utilities and safety elements (such as fire protection).

Actual Cost to Build an Office

This commercial real estate search engine estimates that the average cost of a basic office build-out in a new building can start at $50 per square foot. This includes carpeting, paint, lighting, and some office equipment.

If you’re looking to go all out and create a modern looking space, construction costs can run as high as $120 per square feet.

It’s hard to stay on budget when you’re trying to build your dream office. While it may be tempting to add a stone reception desk or glass walls throughout the workspace for a more aesthetic appeal, the upgrades will definitely inflate your overall construction costs.

Instead, opt for budget-friendly options that are easier on the wallet but give you the look and feel of a flashy new startup. You may have to opt out of hiring an architect or interior designer and take on most of the designing and planning yourself. There’s also the matter of hunting for affordable fixtures and hunting for the most reliable and budget-friendly contractor.


Office furniture is expensive.

If you’re just starting to shop for your new workplace, you’ve learned by now that an average stand up desk will cost anywhere from $180 to $800. Because it’s important to invest in durable furniture that will last longer, you really have no option but to fish out money for it.

Because most small businesses purchase office furniture from retail stores or suppliers, they generally tend to be more expensive. And if you’re slightly into creating a cool flashy look for your office, you can expect to spend more on desks, chairs, and fixtures. This doesn’t even take into account meeting room furniture or common space such as the kitchen and lounge space furniture.  

Now add 20 percent for ancillary and multiply it by your headcount. Your furniture bill is surely going to rack up high!

ClearSpace: The Clear Solution to an Expensive Office Build-Out

If you’re not so keen on spending endless hours and money on building-out a new office, a turnkey solution is the best alternative.

ClearSpace offers small businesses a custom office that is ready to move in a month, not half a year. Depending on your business needs, each office is customized for you.

Want to learn more? Head on over to our discover page and we’ll let you know exactly how easy it is to move into a new office space!