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Ideas on How to Renovate an Office Space

Ideas on How to Renovate an Office Space

Commercial renovationIdeas on How to Renovate an Office Space

An office space requires many competing elements to keep things fresh and fun while making sure your staff remains productive. If you’re running an office and want to change up the layout or structure, or your company is potentially growing and you're interested in expanding, then you may be thinking about a commercial renovation. Office space renovations will allow for long-term goals to unfold and come to fruition.

Some office renovation projects can be simple, an aesthetic refresh on a budget. In contrast, you may be considering large-scale renovations that include altering the structure or layout of the space itself. In that case, the costs involved will be significantly higher. In this article, we’re going to go over all the costs involved in an office space renovation, no matter the square footage, as well as some aspects to consider.

How to Plan an Office Remodel in Canada

Initial Considerations

The overall cost of your office renovation will come down to the specifics of what you’re looking to do. With this in mind, it’s important to determine what exactly you’re hoping for by taking on this renovation. Before jumpstarting this project, answer these vital questions:

  • Are you moving to a new location or renovating an existing one?

  • Is the location you’re renovating changing functions? (i.e. was it always an office?)

  • What are the needs and requirements of your business?

  • What's the main purpose of the renovation? (facelift, size, spatial configuration, etc.)

  • Are you the building owner or a tenant?

The last question on our list is especially significant, as certain renovation costs may be covered by your landlord, including aesthetic fixes, new walls or fixtures, and so forth. If you’re moving into a new space, these costs are generally worked out before you sign the lease. Another note to think about is the age of your building.

If you’re renovating an office space in an older building, it’s likely to end up costing more. Not to mention you may uncover unexpected factors, such as mould or mildew growth, hidden behind walls. Although this may be quite a headache upfront, it’s best to deal with these things as soon as possible.

Cost Estimator: Outsourcing Construction to Contractors and Architects

Cost: 20-25% of your overall budget

If you’re taking on a large-scale renovation, you’re likely considering hiring an architect or contractor. Outsourcing work will cost between 20-25% of your budget.

For example, if you have a $100,000 budget for your office space renovation, set aside at least $25,000 to pay your architect or contractor fees. Working with a professional is always recommended, as this will prevent missteps or major renovation issues. And, keep in mind that most renovation projects do require a permit of some sort. In the majority of cases, note that architects and contractors can help you apply for permits, they're also knowledgeable about local and municipal building codes and can prevent any law-breaking outcomes.

Electricity and Lighting

Cost: $150-$300

New wiring and efficient lighting in your office space are essential to a smooth running operation. However, any project requiring moving or rearranging of electrical wiring will need to be completed by a contractor. In most cities and municipalities, it's illegal to perform any electrical wiring work without a permit. To stay on the right side of the law, all electrical wiring must be outsourced. Therefore, consider the costs of hiring an electrician.

Another aspect to consider is lighting. If the lighting in your office space has a weird vibe and you're more than happy to change it, consider the costs in your budget beforehand. Keep in mind that decent lighting should be considered to create a comfortable and inviting environment as well as impress potential clients.

Basic lighting will likely cost between $120-$180, though this is per lighting point or fixture. More expensive designs or fixtures will come in on the higher end of the scale.


Cost: $2-$15 per square foot

The cost of flooring varies greatly and depends on several factors including the size of your office as well as the material you choose to work with. There are plenty of flooring materials suitable for offices that won’t break the bank, including vinyl tile, concrete, as well as certain types of wood. Lower-end materials will run you between $2 and $7 per square foot. If you’re considering an option that’s environmentally friendly or on the higher end of the price point, such as hardwood, cork, ceramic, or bamboo, these materials might end up costing you up to $10-15 per square foot.

For more information on all of the available flooring materials or more specific costs involved, we’d suggest checking out our Flooring Renovation Guide.


Cost: $12-$180 per square foot

As with flooring, renovating or adding walls to your commercial office space will vary greatly in cost depending on what you’re looking for, what’s currently found in the space, as well as the materials you choose to work with. A basic partition will cost around $12 per square foot, whereas walls which use exclusive design elements, such as glass, will cost quite a lot to install.

In this case, you could be looking at prices ranging around $180 per square foot. This may be far too costly for some to consider, so do bear in mind when thinking about the types of walls you want to install in your office.

Cost Calculator: Kitchen and Bathroom Space Remodel Per Square Foot

The average cost of an office space kitchen and bathroom renovation is:

  • Kitchen: $6,000 - $31,200

  • Bathroom: $18,000 - $24,200

Nowadays, having a kitchen in or adjacent to your office space is common. It helps your employees feel cared for and appreciated. The size of your kitchen will depend on the size of your company as well as their needs. For smaller office spaces, a kitchenette can work wonderfully, complete with a fridge and sink. For others, you may require countertop space, a stovetop, or other amenities seen in a home kitchen. Determine your needs and budget based on the square footage and desired renovations.

In some office spaces, there's a public restroom so this may not be pertinent to your renovation budget. However, for those working with or hoping to build a bathroom within their office space, determining the overall cost will likely come down to plumbing. Keep in mind that plumbing costs can be rather steep. If you're considering installing a shower because your office hours are rigorous or there's a gym in the building, costs will be higher. Installing a shower can run between $6,000 and $8,400.

How to Renovate a Small Office Space on a Low Budget

Is your renovation budget as scarce as your office space? It's all good! There are still ways to complete an aesthetic small office renovation on a tight budget. 

Revamping a small office space can be quite an adventure, especially if you're at the head of a startup or starting from scratch with little to no renovation budget. Picture this: transforming your workspace into a buzzing hub of creativity and productivity without burning a hole in your wallet. Doing so entails strategic planning to make every square foot count, finding budget-friendly ways to spruce up the layout, and throwing in some eco-friendly flair, because, why not? 

We're talking DIY projects, energy-efficient LED light bulbs, affordable décor, and a few plants thrown into the mix. And this is where upcycling comes in handy. Why spend the money if you don't need to? Scavenge your local second-hand retailers for clean, eclectic-looking furniture to add personality to your formerly dull-looking office space. Or raid your parents' basement!

Got a few pieces of leftover wood from your last DIY project? Perfect! Put it to good use. Whether it's to make shelves, a table, storage crates, etc., upcycling is your best ally here.

Last tidbit of trade secrets: peruse all the interior design websites! There's a plethora of ideas and hacks out there specifically for budget-friendly renovation projects. The world is your oyster!

Get 3 renovation quotes for your commercial office renovation project can help you get quotes for your office renovation project. By submitting your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will get estimates from trusted professionals.

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Last modified 2023-12-15

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