Mastering office fit out costs: A comprehensive guide to effective budgeting

Mastering office fit out costs: A comprehensive guide to effective budgeting



Crafting an office space that meets your business needs and aspirations can require a strategic blend of creative vision and careful budgeting. At Select Interiors, we understand the role of meticulous budgeting and cost analysis in an office fit out. Our mission is to guide clients in achieving their dream office while adhering to any budgetary constraints. This post explores office fit out costs, offering insights and strategies to get the best value for money possible. 

office fit out manchester and office refurbishment
office fit out manchester and office refurbishment

Understanding levels of office fit out

The level of office fit out required lays the foundation for cost considerations. There are typically four primary levels:

  1. Shell & Core: This encompasses the primary building structure, including core services and amenities, with the interior left as a blank canvas.
  2. Category A: Adds core services to make the space habitable, such as flooring, ceilings, and basic finishes.
  3. Category A Plus: Offers a ‘ready to move into’ space, incorporating enhanced amenities beyond Category A.
  4. Category B: Involves a fully personalised, operational workplace with customised design features.

The chosen level of fit out is influenced by the building’s condition and the business’s specific needs.

Define your office fit out requirements

Understanding the intricacies of your office space needs lays the groundwork for a successful office fit out. Consider factors such as office dimensions, layout preferences, staffing requirements, and any distinctive design elements that embody your brand identity. By tailoring each aspect to your specific needs, the final space becomes a reflection of your company’s values and aspirations.

office fit out manchester and office refurbishment
office fit out manchester and office refurbishment


The complexity of design and level of customisation significantly impact fit out costs. Basic fit-outs typically entail standard design features and furnishings, while high-end office fit outs demand bespoke design elements and premium materials. Customised features, such as furniture and intricate design details, substantially elevate fit-out expenses.

Calculate costs per square foot

The size of the workspace directly correlates with office fit out costs. Larger spaces entail more materials, labour, and time for completion, leading to increased project expenditures. However, economies of scale may come into play for larger projects, enabling negotiable pricing on materials and labour and potentially reducing costs per square foot.

Consider furniture and technology in your office fit out

Furniture and technology constitute essential elements of any fit out project, typically accounting for 15-20% of the budget. Considerations include desks, chairs, storage solutions, breakout furniture, and meeting room technology. Technological integration, such as AV systems and specialised equipment, adds another layer of complexity and cost to the office fit out.

Establish a realistic budget

Setting a budget that aligns with your financial capacity and long-term objectives is paramount. We provide a transparent breakdown of cost elements, including design fees, construction expenses, furniture procurement, IT infrastructure investments, permit acquisitions, and contingency reserves. We aim to empower you with the information needed to make informed decisions.

office fit out manchester and office refurbishment
office fit out manchester and office refurbishment

Prioritise important costs

Identify your project’s key priorities and allocate resources accordingly. We help you decide which aspects of the fit out are most significant to your office environment and organisational culture. By aligning budget allocations with your strategic priorities, we ensure that your investment yields maximum value.

Account for hidden costs

Hidden expenses can derail even the most meticulously planned projects if left unaddressed. Our holistic approach thoroughly examines potential ancillary costs, such as regulatory compliance fees, relocation expenses, and overtime charges. We guide proactively allocating funds to mitigate these hidden expenditures.

Embarking on an office fit out journey requires careful planning and budgeting to ensure a successful outcome. Businesses can make informed decisions and create inspiring workspaces that reflect their brand identity and values by considering the myriad factors that influence fit-out costs. Let us be your partner in achieving excellence within budgetary constraints. We’ll create a workspace that inspires productivity, innovation, and success.

Drop us a line to start your dream office journey today

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Studio 31a, Tib Street, Manchester, M4 1LX