How to plan and budget for a successful commercial refurbishment

09 March 2018

Office refurbishments, especially those that involve any sort of structural change, come with a whole-host of intrinsic risk. Planning and budgeting is a critical component of these sorts of projects, as they are the two fundamental processes that can help you limit your spend and prevent unnecessary disruption.

Truthfully, delivering an office refurbishment that meets your budget and makes a hugely positive impact can be tricky, even for the most experienced among us. Yet, with the right planning, support and resources in place, there is a huge opportunity to make the most from your workplace. In this article, we’ll take you through some steps to help you achieve your objectives.


How best to plan a commercial refurbishment

Behind every successful refurb is a strong planning and budgeting process. To start, try and whittle down your brief (no matter how ambiguous it is) into a set of achievable objectives. For example: if you need to fit in more staff, how many? If you want to reduce your energy consumption – by how much? What are the critical requirements, what can you do to measure impact and progress?

With objectives in place, you can creatively look at problems. Look to outside sources for inspiration, or even consult a workplace services provider for ideas – they should all be very happy to give you suggestions. You can even review office refurbishment case studies for inspiration. And we’ve also (helpfully!) written a review of the latest commercial interior trends to give you some ideas.

Always focus on the why whilst planning, so you don’t restrict your options. Consult with your colleagues and internal stakeholders to review their goals which can help you set objectives, measure attainment and monitor progress.


Who should you involve in your office refurbishment?

The more stakeholders you consult, the more insights you’ll have to plan your project. Talk through plans with key stakeholders; this should include those working in the affected areas, procurement influencers, those responsible for health and safety and environmental considerations, as this may highlight opportunities and challenges for your project. These discussions could highlight any potential pitfalls and can help reduce disruption throughout planned refurbishments.

Consulting different stakeholders can help you:

  • Identify specific and future needs.
  • Minimise disruption by scheduling works for minimum impact.
  • Reduce ongoing maintenance and repair costs.
  • Maximise the positive impact of refurbishment works.
  • Highlight ways to reduce your spend.
  • Identify operational and access considerations
  • Ensure compliance with key policy areas

It is best at this stage to begin talking to vendors, who can help you find solutions and also aid in the overall management of your projects. Some workplace services providers offer complete project management solutions, which frees up your time for business-critical tasks.

At Premier, we provide our clients with refurbishment project managers – they get involved in the finer details of refurbishments to help increase your team’s flexibility and carry out works efficiently. We can even manage these changes over weekends, so disruption is kept to an absolute minimum.


The sums: financial planning for commercial refurbishments

Throughout your refurbishment, there may be some clever ways that you can reduce your expenditure but retain a high quality of finish. We help our clients reduce their expenditure by minimising waste, disruption and expense on new equipment – achieving this by:

  • Reupholstering furniture to look as good as new, at The Renew Centre
  • Work through the weekends to limit disruption with our weekend refresh programme
  • Donate unwanted equipment to local nonprofits, schools and charities with The Giving Back Project, saving money on disposal and recycling – scoring a quick CSR win and saving cash
  • Marketing and selling your office assets to recoup your initial outlay on furniture or even reduce the cost of buying additional furniture and equipment through Office Resale


Calculating office refurbishment payback period

Payback is an investment appraisal technique long used in business to assess a project’s benefit and cost. It measures the length of time it takes for the benefits to outweigh the costs, and can be a great way to present a project to senior managers.

If there are several solutions for the same brief, then you can use the technique to conduct a cost-benefit analysis then pick the project with the biggest impact. For many of our clients, a simple payback calculation shows that switching to LED lighting solutions provides payback in a relatively short space of time.

Using techniques such as payback allows you to build a stronger case for refurbishments, and prioritise works based on their impact. For larger projects, you may be surprised with how quickly they take to return the initial investment, as they’re more likely to make an immediate impact on productivity.


Finding the right provider

Selecting the right provider is another key part of the budgeting process. With a mix of providers available, finding a provider who understands your brief, deadlines and overall goals is critical to the success of your project. Take the time to ask questions and review their capabilities, and previous work – you want to find a provider meets all of your requirements and has the client-base to give you peace of mind. It is worthwhile to speak to past clients and gain recent references, digging below just a website can help gain a better understanding of a service providers credentials.

Single-source workplace services providers can offer you a range of benefits, including full project management to ensure all opportunities to limit expenditure and meet working requirements are met. At Premier, we support clients such as Tesco with their long-term workplace strategy, helping them revamp working areas as and when they need it – meaning their workplace is as flexible as the company’s strategy and culture itself is.


Workplace change? Talk to the experts

For more information about Premier’s range of interior services, get in touch with our team or download our interior refurbishments service sheet – and start making the most of your office space.



Service sheet: Business class office refurbishment services