Office renovations are a sound business move. Updating a workspace can have a profound influence on how both employees and clients perceive your business. But how much does such an undertaking cost? In this blog post, H.W. Holmes, Inc. – a Los Angeles area commercial construction contractor specializing in office remodels – looks at several factors that can influence the cost of an office buildout.


The average cost of an interior office renovation in Southern California can vary considerably depending on the size or scope of the project. According to Design Cost Data (DCD) magazine, the average cost of an office buildout can be anywhere from $50 to $300 per square foot based on a number of factors. Here are a few.

The Size of the Space Being Renovated

The natural assumption would be the more square footage, the more money your renovation will be. This could be true once labor costs are factored in but not necessarily. Yes, you’ll need more materials to cover more square footage. However, in most cases, more square footage also means a better bargain on bulk materials. Buying materials for an office remodel at wholesale or bulk pricing can significantly lower costs.

The Number of Walls in the Space

The number of walls in your office space influences the amount of work involved. Think of it this way. Walls cost money whether they’re going up or coming down.

Is It a New or Older Building?

One would think that a renovation in a newer building would be more cost-efficient but that’s another popular misconception. A newer building has fewer resources that can be used to save money. Generally, when retrofitting an older building, it’s possible to repurpose a few things here and there to reduce overall expenses.

Most “office remodels” are going to be part of an existing space. Costs will vary depending on whether a few small changes are being made or if the existing space is being completely gutted. An “office tenant improvement” may involve a tenant moving into a new building – also referred to as a “raw space” or a “grey box” – that’s never been built out before. These types of office buildouts can get very expensive as they’ll often require the installation of electrical, plumbing, and HVAC components.

What Type of Finishes Will Be Used?

There are typically three ranges of finishes to choose from. The most affordable are standard building finishes – a basic type and grade of carpeting, standard baseboards, lighting, etc. Moderately above standard finishes are a middle ground between standard and the more expensive high-end finishes. Think laminate vs. stylish hardwood flooring.

One way to make a bold statement with an office remodel without breaking the bank is mixing and matching high-end finishes with standard finishes.

What Kind of Build Out Is It?

Transforming a standard “cubicle farm” into an open floorplan and more communal workspace will be less expensive than updating say a chiropractor’s office or an office buildout where a conference or break room is being added.

Need an interior office buildout specialist in the Los Angeles area? H.W. Holmes, Inc. has a proven track record of building out both big and small office renovations on time and on budget. Contact us today at (805) 383-9929 for a free quote.