Are you tired of working in your living room? Do you want to better focus on your business? To solve these issues, you can easily imagine working from a dedicated office and dream about having a place where you can focus on your work without the usual distractions. When you’re thinking it through, the question will inevitably pop up: how much does it cost to build a small office?
Building a 12 x 12 square foot small office from scratch costs around $19,300, including high-end furniture. And if you’re going to convert a room into a small office, the average cost is $2,700-$4,200. A remodel could cost up to $2,200 with upgraded furniture and lighting.
The amount you spend on building a small office depends on the scope of the project, for example, whether it’s a remodel, conversion, or a fresh build. The costs will also change based on your strategy. For instance, you can choose to upgrade an existing small office, convert your garage into a small office, or create a fresh small office.
Each path has its pros and cons, and the costs will follow accordingly. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the costs of building a small office.
Which Is Best: Remodel, Conversion, or Fresh Build?
It’s a question of scope, budget, and time. When you already have a small office, an upgrade will cost less time and money. You can expect to pay a little over $2,000 for a small office remodel.
Next, you could create a small office by redesigning your bedroom, attic, or shipping container. A conversion will cost a little more and take longer than a remodel. The converting project also means a new paint job and flooring upgrades, which will add up to $3,900.
Building a brand new small office is the most expensive option as the cost can climb to $40,000, for example, if you acquire the building materials for a garden office. Meanwhile, a pre-fabricated garden office can cost up to $25,000.
Building your small office from scratch will cost more, but you can have it your way. Usually, you can participate in the design and planning process with the builder. Plus, it adds value to your property, expands your home space, and gives you a workstation for small spaces.
Nowadays, working from home has become a trend in several industries, not only for business purposes but also to ensure employees’ safety during the pandemic. If you do not have enough space for an office in your house, why not build one in your yard instead? Read our article to know how much it costs to build an office shed.
What Is the Labor Cost to Build a Small Office?
Expect to pay around $320 for each square of your new small office. This cost includes the materials and work involved. Indeed, you’ll need to hire roofers, electricians, and HVAC installers. The available rates in your state may differ.
Furthermore, you might need to hire an architectural designer depending on what you want. So, this is an additional expense that you need to consider when building your new small office.
Sometimes, you’ll also need building permits from your local authorities if you’re going to make fundamental changes to your property. Hiring professionals to do the work will be more cost-effective in the long run and reduce the problems that might arise throughout the process.
With all that in mind, it’s a good time to start budgeting your small office. Think about the foundation, roofing, and insulation. Also, consider whether you’ll need a bookshelf, desk, electric fixtures, flooring, and paint colors.
Thinking ahead will help the building process run smoothly and with fewer modifications along the way.
The planning phase is the longest part of building a small office. But once you have a working blueprint, it will speed up. Although it might vary depending on the weather conditions in your area, it shouldn’t take more than three months for your small office to be ready to use.
The Costs of Building a Small Office
The size of your office is the primary factor that affects the total costs of the project. Later, space will determine your use and work experience. At this stage, you’ll need to determine how small or large your small office will be.
It all depends on how many square feet you have available or can acquire. The smaller the area, the lower the costs. When you’re going for a larger office, you’ll need to lay the foundations and take more space out of your property—a 250-square-foot office requires less materials and time to build.
Meanwhile, a small or medium-sized office, between 300 and 600 square feet, takes more resources, time, and money to install. Finally, a large-sized office is more than 700 square feet and is essentially a small outbuilding. You can add more luxury and use it for more than work.
Your small office is an extension of your house. Thus, ask your contractor whether the current foundations of your home will do or if you’ll need to lay new ones.
If you’re going to have new foundations, concrete slabs are budget-friendly and standard for new small offices. But, concrete and soil don’t work well together. Overall, the costs of the foundations can be between $7,000 and $25,000, depending on what you use for it.
The walls of your small office are up to your preferences. Luckily, you have a few options.
Most commonly, drywalls cost $15 per 4′ x 8′ panel. On average, they range from $12 to $20 per panel. For a 200-square-foot office, it will amount to about $300-500.
Alternatively, you may opt for bricks, which cost $250-800 per pallet, or for paneling, which is priced at $5-12 per square foot.
Insulation isn’t only vital for temperature control but also for soundproofing your small office. The standard insulation materials are fiberglass, foam, and blown-in insulation. Typically, you’ll find several sub-categories for each material.
To choose the proper insulation, you will have to consider the type of foundations and walls you install. A professional insulation job will cost around $2,000.
Wiring And HVAC
How will you cool down your small office during the summer and heat it up in the winter? You will have to use an HVAC ($7,000). A solid HVAC system will increase your comfort and put you in the mood to work. For that purpose, an HVAC professional will help you get up to speed.
Connecting your small office is another cost to consider. Since you’ll use multiple electronics, in-wall cables will be a must to avoid getting wires everywhere. Therefore, think about the devices you want in your small office, including a computer, printer, screen, etc.
Contrary to other factors, office supplies come at a cost that you can control. When you’re running a small office, you won’t need many of them as everything is digital today. However, if you plan to print, scan, or host video conferences, you might need a few things. You can use your current cabinets and other supplies for that end.
Ultimately, an uncluttered small office is the way to go. The neater and the more organized it is, the more productive you can be. Too many things to care for will only distract you from doing your job.
Consider whether you’ll set up a dedicated internet connection or use your home internet connection. If you’re going for a separate network, add the additional expenses for a router, cables, and electric outlet.
Also, think about syncing your devices and backing up your data.
You could rely on sunlight, but a lighting system will help you work whenever you want, even on cloudy days.
Therefore, consider installing lamps and other lighting sources. When it comes to lighting, it’s best to stick to the tried and true, instead of going with the trends.
Positioning the furniture will also help minimize shadows and allow the best lighting.
You have a few options for the flooring. The more foot traffic you get, the more durable the material should be.
Therefore, if the small office is for your own use and you don’t plan on having many visitors, you may go with more luxurious materials.
Typical flooring materials for a small office include laminate, hardwood, carpet, ceramic tiles, and vinyl ($1,486-4,479).
Furniture should be minimal to let you focus on work, but you do have to keep the essentials in mind. Will you get a standing desk or a grander, traditional desk ($500-$2,700)? Will you need storage units ($500-$2,700)?
Also, think about all the other furniture that is necessary for you to do your job. Will you need a whiteboard, drawing table, extra chairs?
This furniture will cost you money and should have its place in your budget.
If you get visitors, you might need to install a bathroom, especially if your primary bathroom is far away, in the house.
It doesn’t have to be a full bathroom with a shower; a functional one with basic features will be enough. Still, you can make it as luxurious as you see fit.
Building a small office is similar to opening a business. You may treat it as you treat a regular shop. Thus, you may want to consider installing and activating alarm monitoring.
You may also want to consider installing CCTV to protect your investment. A security system requires hardware, installation, and activation costs, which together may add up to $3,000 or more.
Consider hiring an interior designer for mapping out your small office. The average rate of an interior designer falls between $50 and $200 per hour. Know that there may be additional costs if you let them shop for furniture as well.
They’ll give you trendy ideas for your small office and will also design it to your liking.
Building a brand new home office is costly, especially when you’ve just moved to a new house. So, it makes a lot of sense to turn your yard shed into an office instead. If you have decided to do this project, read our article to learn how to turn your yard shed into an office.
Is a Small Office Worth It?
A small office isn’t a small investment. It’s a somewhat long-term home improvement project that comes with unexpected twists and turns. It’ll transform your property, especially if you’re building it from scratch.
While the average cost for building a small office is around $19,300, it can easily climb up to $40,000. Furthermore, it takes lots of planning and budgeting to complete the project within a specific timeframe. It’ll keep you busy for a while!
And once you finally complete it, it may not turn out the way you envisioned it.
On the bright side, a dedicated space to do your work will serve you for years and you’ll get to work in a controlled environment, away from any distractions. It’ll boost your creativity, productivity, and peace of mind.
At its core, working from a small office is a lifestyle. It helps you balance your work and personal lives.
Besides, maintaining a small office will decrease the costs over time. Even renovations will be cheaper in the future.
Once you’re working from your small office, you’ll forget all the pain you went through to build it. The benefits far outweigh the hassle!
Finally, it’ll add more value to your property as you won’t be able to take it with you if you sell your property.
How to Prepare for Building a Small Office?
You have a lot of preparation to do before building your small office. Although your contractors will help you with some of these points, you will still have to figure out some of them by yourself. So, it’s your responsibility to cover your grounds. Here’s where to start:
- Start by defining the size of your office. It can be as small as 9×9 feet and as big as 28×28 feet, and anything in between. Also, sketch where the door and windows will be.
- Create a budget plan including all your required amenities. Then, sit down with your contractor to refine it.
- Mark the construction site with tape to separate it from the house. Remove any objects that may obstruct the construction.
- Cover your house to protect it from debris. It is usually better to live in a hotel or family house while the construction is underway.
- Cover the furniture inside the house, shut the windows tightly, and remove any valuable items from the construction site.
- Keep children and pets away as noise and dust might hurt them.
- Prepare for digging and removing soil for concrete pouring. You might also remove old walls and construction, which may be a little costly.
Always take all the precautions you can and follow the construction safety procedures.
Having a dedicated office is a game changer, especially for those who are working at home. An office space will allow you to focus on your job and be productive and it also allows you to easily separate your home and work life. But before you can have this space, you will need to build it first and it’s going to cost you some money.
Depending on the situation that you are starting with, building a small office can be cheap and easy or expensive and complicated. Remodeling an existing room won’t cost you too much because the structure is already there, unlike when you have to start from nothing.
If you want to build an office on a budget, the most important thing that you need to do is planning for everything. By doing this, you will be able to assess how and where you will spend your money. This will also prevent you from making impulse decisions which usually increases the cost of a project. Also, make sure to remember the details that we shared in this article to make sure that you will get the bang for your buck.