BlogRenovation Resources

How to Estimate Office Renovation Costs

By August 3, 2015 No Comments

One of the largest mistake building owners make is underestimating the renovation costs for their home, office, restaurant, or store. This can lead to very sticky situations, as once you’ve started a renovation project it’s difficult to stop, and it can be even more problematic to have decided to buy a house because you underestimated the renovation costs, only to get an accurate estimate and realize you’re in the hole for thousands of dollars.

If you’re planning on making renovations (or buying a building with the intention of renovating), make sure you can accurately estimate how much those renovations will cost. This includes both materials and labor, as well as intangibles such as not being able to use the room you’re renovating. If you’re doing renovations yourself, labor doesn’t cost you financially, but it still has the opportunity cost of taking up your time and energy. Additionally, doing renovations is a very physical process, and doing it yourself will make you fatigued and sore. Always have a 10-15% contingency to cover extra materials or additional variation work during the construction.

When estimating the cost of materials, make sure to account for things like missed items and breakage. And don’t just use the least expensive products in your calculations; figure out which materials you will actually use and price accordingly.

When estimating the cost of labor, get multiple quotes and check up on the contractors’ reputations. Some contractors will charge less but have a history of lower quality work, or billing for addition variation changes to cover the initial low cost. Hiring skilled, experienced contractors is essential to the success of your renovations. It is worth investing a little bit of extra money on reputable and experienced contractor teams, so you don’t need to stress out over the other items.

For example, an office renovation in Hong Kong can cost HK$510 per square feet and up. A 2,000 square feet space can range from HK$1,020,000 (at $510/sqft) to HK$1.92M (at $960/sqft).

Office Renovation Budget*


(in HK$)


(in HK$)


(in HK$)

General Construction
carpets, floor finishes, wall finishes, ceiling finishes, partitions, window blinds
180 240 300
System Furniture
desks, chairs, filing cabinets, conference tables
160 250 400
M&E Services
electrical, a/v equipment, fire protection, a/c, plumbing
140 170 210
management fees, security deposits
30 40 50
 Total cost per square foot 510 700 960+

This article is meant to provide a guide to what to watch out for if you are considering renovations. If you keep this advice in mind, you’re much less likely to run into unexpected costs and much more likely for your renovations to be successful.

Contact us for more information about renovation costs.

*The total budget may vary depending on requirements, such as the number of employees, conference rooms, manager rooms, etc.