When considering which office space to select many companies focus too much on the monthly rental rate. What should also be considered is the cost to make the space ready for occupancy. In other words the cost to build out the office space. You see in most cases the office spaces you look at are going to need some sort of build out, and the cost depends on a number of factors such as the existing condition & size of the space, quality of finishes, and office layout.
You can typically negotiate a tenant improvement allowance in which the landlord would provide however the amount depends on the length of term you are willing to sign as well as other factors. If you can only do a short term or have really high finishes then you more than likely will end up coming out of pocket. It's important that you figure out how much out of pocket you may have to spend BEFORE signing the lease.
Below are 5 factors that can Affect the Cost of office finish outs
- Condition of Space – Is the space is shell condition or 2nd generation?
- Shell space has never been built out or occupied. It will be brand new, open, with concrete floors and exposed ceiling. Basically a blank canvas with no walls, plumbing, ceiling, etc. Cost to finish out this space will be at the higher end of your budget.
- 2nd generation office space has been leased, built out, and occupied before by a tenant. Some or all of the improvements may be reusable by the next tenant. If you are able to reuse or retweak the layout you will be able to save significant money.
Size of the Office Space – The more extensive your buildout the more you will spend. With a larger space you will typically have a lower cost per SF because of the economies of scale. Smaller spaces will have a higher cost per SF.
- Finish-out Quality – Do you want granite counter tops or will laminate do? What level of light fixtures or carpet (e.g. broad loom vs carpet tile) do you want. Law firms or financial firms may want really nice custom finish out as they typically like a lot of wood accents that they are willing to pay for. A startup or tech company may be fine with simple finishes such as concrete floors.
- Office Layout – Do you want an open layout or do you need a lot of hard-wall offices? Do you need multiple conference rooms or break out areas? The more walls you build the more cost you will incur because they will all require additional electrical, wiring, etc. Open plans require less materials and labor.
- Project Schedule – If you have more time to plan and design the project you will save money. If you are scrambling to get a space built out with little time you will end up incurring more costs.
There you have it. 5 things that will affect the cost of your office space build out. If you have any questions about leasing Austin office space or about office space finish-outs don't hesitate to give us a call.