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What is an Office Build-Out?

October 8, 2018 / by Tommy Twardowski

If you are or will be in the market for new office space, you’ve probably got a laundry list of criteria. You probably have a general idea of where the office space will be located, how large it will need to be, and how much you’re willing and able to pay for it. Beyond that, your criteria will depend on your specific business, your corporate culture, and the image you’re trying to uphold.

You may or may not require offices with doors, a built-in reception area, cabinets, shelving, conference room, a break room, etc. You may want your office space to have carpeting, tile, stained concrete flooring, or a combination. You may want your office to have a neutral color scheme or an array of complementary bright, eye-catching colors.

The builders who are constructing spec office space (space that will be built before it has been leased or purchased by a company), have no idea what would appeal to future tenants. So they construct the shell of a space (usually four walls and a door) and when it’s leased or purchased, that shell undergoes an office build-out specific to the tenant’s wants and needs.

What You Should Expect During Your Next Office Build-Out

How Much Does an Office Build Out Cost?

Just as the price you’ll pay per square foot for office space varies according to the city you’re in, so will the cost of your office build out. Where exactly the building is located within that city, if the building is new or not, and the class of the building, if it’s not new, all play a role in what your cost will end up being. (Class A office space represents the newest, highest quality spaces in a market. Class B office space is a bit older but still have high-quality tenants and management teams. Class C office space is older, often in need of repair, and usually located in less-desirable areas.)

According to one estimate generated by Houston commercial real-estate firm Colliers International, average build-out costs per square foot for projects incorporating standard, moderately above average, and high-end materials, respectively are:

  • $43.20, $54.40, or $70 to build out a new building
  • $30.80, $40.20, or $56.40 to build out an A/B+ class existing building
  • $25.40, $33.20, or $48 to build out a B-/C class existing building

If you’ve ever purchased wallpaper, fabric, or carpeting you may have noticed these items are priced according to quality. The price of an office buildout will vary tremendously depending on the finishes you choose. If your business hosts clients regularly, you will probably spend more on the design of your space. If your business manufactures a product, you’ll probably be far less concerned about the aesthetics of your space. New Call-to-action

Don’t Begin Until You’ve Got A Clear Understand of What You’ll Need

The flooring, wall color, light fixtures, and other finishes will play a big role in how much your office buildout will cost. However, before you get to those details, you’ve got to know exactly how your office needs to be configured to meet your goals. What workstations will you use and how will those affect your buildout? Where will you need electrical outlets? What can you do to ensure your space is finished as quickly as possible?

A skilled and experienced office furniture installer can help you assess your raw space and create a build-out plan that will be functional and affordable. Houston Installation Services has more than 30 years of experience in office space planning and complete office furniture moving and installation. If you’re contemplating an office buildout in the Houston area, call us!

Topics: Office Move, Managers

About The Author

Tommy Twardowski

Tommy Twardowski

Tommy began his career in the office furniture installation business in 1978 and started his full-time career in 1981 with Houston Installation Services. Starting as a furniture installer, he developed a passion for the process of installation and learned to install all major manufacturers’ lines.