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How to use a commercial renovation calculator

A worker sitting on machinery using a laptop and smiling.

If you’re working on a commercial renovation project, you know how crucial it is to consider its total cost. 

But it isn’t as simple as it sounds.

You need to account for multiple factors to get an accurate estimate. That’s why using a reliable commercial renovation calculator is the best way. 

In this blog, you’ll learn about:

  • The benefits of a commercial renovation calculator.
  • The factors to consider in your renovation costs calculation. 
  • The average costs of the various factors.

By the end of the blog, you’ll be ready to start your project with confidence. Let’s get started!

What is a commercial renovation calculator?

A commercial renovation cost calculator is an online tool or software that estimates renovation expenses for commercial projects based on factors such as:

  • Square footage.
  • Construction material.
  • Labor costs.

It provides cost breakdowns for commercial renovations, working as a financial blueprint that helps forecast renovation costs for commercial properties.

Benefits of using a commercial renovation cost calculator

Using software to calculate your commercial renovation cost has many advantages. Below are some of its main benefits.

Time-saving: Using a tool that assesses the cost of commercial renovation reduces the time you spend gathering quotes and estimates so you can focus on your renovation project.

Informed budgeting: With a tool that calculates commercial renovation costs, you create a more informed budget to allocate funds realistically.

Customization: Tailor the calculator inputs to match your project’s specificities as it generates cost projections for commercial renovation. 

Comparison tool: Easily compare different renovation options and their costs to make decisions that suit your budget and objectives.

Optimize communication: An accurate cost estimate facilitates communication with contractors and employees involved in the renovation.

Average costs and factors involved in calculating commercial renovation costs

An accurate cost calculation analyzes cost factors for commercial renovation projects. Here are some factors that influence renovation costs, including their average cost in US dollars. 

Construction costs

Commercial renovation involves more than a fresh coat of paint and a modern sign. Your clients may ask for stone or laminate floors for a new office space in a warehouse. They may even request changes such as replacing old bathroom fixtures or making room for kitchen appliances. 

The unique style and structural choices can incur additional costs in the end. That’s where having a knowledgeable contractor pays off. 

For example, they can arrange deals for you or buy bulk office materials. Keep in mind that those costs don’t include labor. 

Here are some ideas of average construction costs:

  • Drywall panels: around $10 each for a 4’x8’ panel.
  • Doors: between $100 to $300.
  • Walls: between $12 to $180 per square foot.
  • Flooring: between $2 per square foot for concrete to $12 per square foot for wood laminate.
  • Bathroom: between $18,000 to $24,200 per square foot.
  • Kitchenette: around $4,000.
  • HVAC: between $15 to 30 per square foot.
  • Custom woodwork: $50 to 90 per square foot.

Square footage

Using square footage calculations for commercial renovation is popular, as it’s a straightforward and easily understandable metric. 

But the average cost of commercial renovations can vary greatly per square foot. It ranges from less than $35 per square foot to over $250 per square foot, based on factors such as the building’s use or location. 

It’s good practice to call a design-build construction firm that:

  • Considers various factors to determine commercial renovation costs. 
  • Promptly answers any doubts or questions you may have.
  • Supports cost management during commercial renovation projects.

Project type (commercial renovation vs. construction)

Land, materials, and labor costs have increased over the past several years. Due to that, constructing a new commercial building costs more money than buying and renovating an existing one.

The average renovation cost per square foot typically starts at $200. For a 1,200-square-foot commercial space, you can expect the renovation to cost around $240,000. 

Then, you need to multiply that number by the number of offices that will be part of the renovation project to update your total cost.

Commercial construction costs range from $20 to $40 per square foot. Although that seems low compared, remember that the renovation costs above are for one office space in an established building. 

On the other hand, the commercial construction costs are for the whole building. You can expect the costs to add up into the high six-figure range.

Labor costs

Your renovation projects may require professionals, including an architect, an interior designer, or a structural engineer. If so, they’ll have unique hourly fees based on the size and type of project. 

Moreover, all projects require a contractor to coordinate your vision for the remodel. Your contractor also hires the right people to execute jobs like hanging drywall or installing lighting. 

On average, contractors cost about $30 per hour. The rate varies according to the place and contractor’s experience.

Ensure you also regularly track the current market conditions. 

For example, if you assess costs three months in advance, your research offers cost estimations based on industry standards for commercial renovation at that time. But those prices could inflate when you start building.

Save hard costs and real time with automation.

Commercial construction cost per square foot that should be included in the calculation

Various other factors can influence the cost of a commercial renovation project. Analyze every factor that determines the budget for commercial renovation projects thoroughly.

Code regulations

Complying with building codes is essential for businesses undertaking commercial construction projects. 

Hiring a professional to review plans to comply with building code regulations ranges anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for a medium-sized renovation project.

To meet current codes in many cities, you must also upgrade your electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. These can range from $10 to $25 per square foot.

Also, ensure that the building is accessible according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires ramps, elevators, and restroom adjustments. Accessibility costs can range from $5,000 to over $100,000.

High-rise buildings vs. remodeling projects or smaller spaces

Building a high-rise generally costs more than smaller spaces or remodeling projects. The main reasons for this include:

  • The complexity of high-rise buildings.
  • Materials.
  • Specialized labor. 

The average cost of constructing a high-rise building ranges from $250 to $350 per square foot. In prime locations, it can go up to over $400. 

Commercial remodeling costs range from $50 to $200 per square foot. For a smaller space, such as a retail shop or restaurant, the costs range from $150 to $250 per square foot.

Office space and other business spaces

Construction costs for office spaces depend on location, size, and amenities included. These range between $150 and $250 per square foot for basic office space construction with standard finishes. 

The costs range between $200 and $350 per square foot for projects that involve:

  • High-end finishes. 
  • Custom workspaces.
  • Advanced technology.

For a specialized space like a restaurant or a retail store, costs can range from $100 to $300 per square foot, depending on the customization level and materials’ quality.

Fresh coat and soft costs

Painting a commercial space averages between $2 to $6 per square foot. A few things that can affect the cost include: 

  • Paint color and quality.
  • Complexity of the project.
  • Local labor rates.

Soft costs are not directly associated with the physical construction process but are still essential. For example, architectural design and engineering fees typically range from 8% to 15% of the total construction cost.

Additionally, before beginning construction, your business will need various permits. The costs vary based on the location and scale of the project but usually range from $1,000 to over $20,000.

You can also expect legal costs associated with:

  • Contracts.
  • Insurance.
  • Potential disputes.

These costs typically range from $5,000 to $15,000 for a medium-scale commercial project.

Regardless of which city you live in, builder’s risk and general liability insurance are necessary. These costs can range from 1% to 4% of your budget.

Finally, hiring a project manager to oversee the construction can cost between 5% and 15% of the total construction cost.

Cost of materials and labor for medical offices

Materials for medical offices can range from $100 to $200 per square foot. The higher cost is due to unique requirements like:

  • Specialized surfaces.
  • Casework.
  • Equipment. 

Medical office construction requires a skilled team, which can be expensive. On average, labor costs can range from $50 to $100 per square foot.

Contractors for professional workmanship on a project

Hiring professional contractors is crucial for high-quality work on commercial construction projects. You can expect your general contractor’s fees to range from 10% to 20% of the project’s total cost.

Specialized contractors are experts in specific areas, such as:

  • Plumbing.
  • Electrical.
  • HVAC. 

Their costs vary widely depending on the scope but usually range from $50 to $150 per hour or a fixed price based on the work.

Ensuring quality work also involves third-party inspections, ranging from $300 to $1,000 or more per inspection.

Software like Method helps you monitor your projected costs and simplify your estimates and business processes. With Method, all your data syncs to QuickBooks so you eliminate double data entry and win back time to focus on running your business better.

Do what you do best, let Method handle the rest.

Key takeaways

A commercial renovation cost calculator is indispensable before you beginning a new project. 

It lets you:

  • Create an accurate budget.
  • Save time.
  • Compare your options. 

By using software to consider factors such as code compliance and professional services, you ensure smooth project planning without the risks of budget overruns.

Commercial renovation costs per square foot calculator FAQs

How can I use a commercial renovation cost calculator?

A commercial renovation cost calculator offers a comprehensive analysis of commercial renovation expenses. To use it, follow these steps:

1. To set the foundation, select the type of space and input the total square footage.

2. Include the scope of the renovation.

3. Input local material and labor costs.

4. Consider adding soft costs, such as permits and architectural fees.

Inputting these details into the calculator provides a detailed cost assessment for commercial renovation and helps optimize budget allocation for commercial renovation endeavors. 

What factors should I consider while analyzing commercial or office renovation costs?

An accurate estimate of renovation costs calculates labor and material costs for commercial renovations. Additionally, consider the following variables in your formula:

  • Scope of the project.
  • Size of the spaces. 
  • Code compliance.
  • Necessary permits and fees.
  • Contingencies and unforeseen expenses.

What are the benefits of using a commercial renovation cost per square foot calculator?

Using a commercial renovation cost per square foot calculator has several benefits, such as:

  • Assists in budget planning for commercial renovation projects. 
  • Saves you time and energy from manually calculating data.
  • Helps make informed decisions regarding commercial renovation budgets.
  • Compares and contrasts renovation costs for commercial properties.
  • Allows for cost adjustments based on specific commercial renovation requirements. 
  • Evaluates the financial impact of commercial renovations to mitigate the risk of budget overruns.

Save hard costs and real-time on your renovation calculations.

Start your free trial with Method:Field Services. 

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