[BLOG] Published: 2021-08-03 - Updated: 2023-04-01



Commercial Remodeling Houston Commercial Remodeling Houston Texas Commercial Remodeling Company Commercial Remodeling Services Commercial Remodeling Contractor Commercial Renovation Contractors Commercial Construction & Renovation COMMERCIAL RENOVATION COSTS


There’s no simple formula to calculate the cost of a commercial renovation. However, taking time to understand the variables that affect commercial renovation costs can help you make accurate estimates and make a renovation process less stressful.


At Smart Remodeling LLC, we understand you have many needs when it comes to commercial renovation, and for this reason, our highly trained and experienced team of professionals will work closely with you to ensure that your budgetary requirements meet your renovation needs.


On average, the cost of renovating a commercial building range between $16 and $20 per square foot. These renovation costs include foundation, building, and delivery packages. In the event of additional finishing like insulation, the average costs of a commercial building could increase to $30, or even to $40 per square foot.

Building Quality

Commercial buildings can be classified into three main categories depending on various factors that influence their renovation cost: The three classes include:

  • Class A— These are high-quality premises and offices that are installed with top-tier fixtures and well-furnished interiors and exteriors. Most Class A commercial buildings are situated where land prices are steep.
  • Class B— Commercial buildings with average details and fixtures that are not as quality as the previous class. Most buildings less than four stories tall, fall under this category.
  • Class C— These types of buildings boast the least number of modern fixtures and amenities. They are commonly located in lower-income areas.

ProTip Takeaway: Establish the building quality class of the project to understand much your commercial renovation project will cost.

Building Codes

The overall cost of commercial renovation will greatly be affected by the architectural design of your building (Winkel, 2016). For instance, handicap accessibility, complex energy, and environmental building codes can increase the construction cost per square meter.

Similarly, the simple architectural design of your office would translate to less renovation cost. A complex architectural design will force you to hire more general contractors and materials to bring the project to completion.


Choice of Renovation Contractor or Architect

You need to hire an interior designer, an architect, or a professional contractor to make sure your commercial building is renovated according to the specified plans. All these professionals have hourly fees that you must consider when calculating the cost of commercial renovation.

The Location of The Site

Due to differences in building code regulations, labor, and materials, it’s less expensive to renovate a commercial building in urban areas as compared to rural areas.

The weather condition of a place can greatly affect the renovation cost. For instance, adverse weather conditions such as floods, storms, or heatwaves can temporarily increase types of commercial renovation costs up to 50%. That’s because most renovation contractors charge a premium on their services in these conditions.

ProTip Takeaway: Conducting a thorough site survey to determine site conditions helps to provide realistic cost estimates.

Building Use

The intended use of the commercial building determines the type of material, equipment, and structural changes involved in the renovation. For example, a non-temperature-controlled storage facility will cost less when renovating, compared to a laboratory with specialized equipment, electrical appliances, and plumbing fixtures. The table below shows the renovation cost ranges of various commercial buildings.

Building Type

Cost Per Square Foot ($)

High-rise Office


Mid-Rise Office


Single story office


Medical Office Buildings


Government Buildings






Approvals from relevant regulatory bodies can sometimes be costly. Calculations for the overall cost of commercial renovation should consider permit fees. Permits fees depend mostly on the location of the project and the kind of renovation work being undertaken on site.


ProTip Takeaway: While calculating the cost of commercial renovation, it’s advisable to consider the costs of the consultants needed to complete both the design and engineering for the renovation plans.

Renovation Materials

When trying to decide what kind of materials to use for a commercial renovation, it is important to take into account the cost of materials, shipping charges, and taxes. In most cases, larger commercial buildings like skyscrapers will have high commercial renovation costs per square foot due to the bulk materials needed to complete the project (Joseph, 2009).

Electrical and Mechanical systems

Every property owner wants enhanced comfort and efficiency in their commercial properties. Mechanical/electrical systems such as air conditioning, heating, cooling, and plumbing fixtures are must-have fixtures and appliances for any commercial building. HVAC installation costs in commercial spaces average $2.61 per square foot.

ProTip Takeaway: Involving mechanical and electrical contractors in the early design stage of your project can help reduce commercial renovation costs.

Floors and Walls

Your flooring cost will depend on the type of material you choose and the size of your commercial building. Some of the materials that are ideal for office flooring include concrete, vinyl tile, ceramic, and other types of wood.

If you choose to renovate using lower-end materials like wood, expect to pay between $2 and $ 7 per square foot. Environmentally friendly materials like hardwood, bamboo, cork, and ceramic, will cost you between $10 and $12 per square foot.

Like flooring, the cost of partitioning your commercial office space will vary greatly depending on the type of materials you intend to use. Common materials for office partitions include wood, aluminum, and glass.

ProTip Takeaway: Expect to pay anywhere around $10 per square foot on a basic partition. 


Number of Disciplines Needed

The cost of a commercial renovation will be higher if your project requires more than one discipline. Therefore, it’s important to add the costs of hiring architectural, environmental, structural, civil, and mechanical engineering, and construction management professionals, when calculating your overall renovation cost.

Renovation Schedule

Large renovation projects usually take longer to complete. Unpredicted delays in the project can have an impact on your renovation budget. Therefore, when calculating your renovation cost, you should take into consideration factors that can delay your project and increase your renovation costs.


ProTip Takeaway: Plan for your materials and take time to understand how they will affect your project schedule.

Delivery Costs

When it comes to calculating the renovation costs for your commercial building, you must take into consideration the delivery costs of different types of materials. For instance, bulk materials such as sand and building stones entail more delivery costs compared to off-the-shelf materials like piping and valves.

On the other hand, the cost of fabricated materials can drive up the overall cost of renovation, especially when they’re assembled before shipping.

Prevailing Market Conditions

During the renovation period, the cost of materials, labor, tools, and equipment may sometimes vary on a daily or weekly basis. Therefore, an accurate cost estimate must consider the prevailing market factors as well as the inflation factor.

Kitchen and Bathroom

Adding a kitchen to your commercial office space can make your employees feel cared for and appreciated (Fixr, 2021).

If your building is having a gym, consider adding a shower or bathroom to allow your employees to take a shower after their rigorous work hours. The cost of installing a single bathroom can range between $10,000 to $20,000. of installation. Installing a shower, on the other hand, can cost between $5,000 to $7,000.

Read Also: Can you change a commercial property to residential?

How to Control Renovation Costs

After understanding how various factors affect the cost estimates of commercial renovation, it’s important to learn how to control renovation costs.

  • Plan for Unforeseen Issues – Unforeseen issues or hidden costs are every homeowner’s worst nightmare. They can burst your budget for renovation, derailing the entire project.

To avoid extra costs, inconveniences, and other hiccups during your renovation project, make sure you allocate an allowance of about 15% of the total renovation cost.

  • Collect Accurate Information About Your Project – Gathering in-depth project needs is critical to a realistic cost estimate.
  •  Follow As-Built Drawings – As-built drawings are crucial for planning and estimating the renovation process. They offer a clear view of how the commercial building was constructed –something that gives your renovation contractor an easy time to plan renovation activities.
  • Select the Right Materials – The cost of renovation only represents only a fraction of your overall building lifecycle cost. Understanding what materials to use may sometimes lower down total cost, both commercial renovation, and the lifetime maintenance of your property.

Are you ready for You Commercial remodeling Project?

If you are ready to start planning your commercial renovation Houston project and have been searching for the best contractor, we would love to show you why we are a top commercial project renovation company in Houston! Schedule your free commercial building renovation consultation today via our website here or give us a call.



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