OFFICE SPACE FITTING OUT COSTS
An office in Singapore usually comes with standard fittings of a cemented and raised floor system, suspended ceilings, standard fire sprinkler and protection systems, central air-conditioning distribution ducts and basic lighting and window fittings.
If the tenant have the need to customize the office to suit their preferences, they may do so in accordance with the terms and conditions as stipulated by the landlord (large office building typically maintain a standard fitting-out manual) with regard to all fitting-out works at the premises.
Any fitting-out works, either modifications to existing fittings or additions and alterations should be carried out with the approval of the landlord, and as in most cases, the tenant is responsible for the reinstatement of the office premises back to its original state at the end of the lease term.
Renovation deposit (ranges from S$1000 to S$5000) is paid to the Landlord before any works can be carried out. This is to defray the cost of rectifying damage to the building caused by tenant’s contractors. The renovation deposit is refunded upon completion of renovations, less any deductions.
There are many variables factors determine the costing. Unit size, layout complexity, and quality of materials used and technical requirements of different business types affect company’s budget. Fitting-out costs for all additions and alterations works, system furniture, materials, mechanical & electrical services, professional consultant’s fees (not including designer’s fees), may be grouped as follows:
- Budget range S$30 to S$60 per sq.ft. (S$320 to S$650 per sqm)
- Medium range S$70 to S$90 per sq.ft. (S$750 to S$970 per sqm)
- High range above S$100 per sq.ft. (above S$1,080 per sqm)
For more accurate cost evaluation, tenants are advised to seek expertise of office space interior designers and/or architects. They are responsible for submitting applications to relevant authorities for approval like URA, BCA, FSB, etc.
For Reference only:
- The unit price above is based on 1000sqft – 5000sqft and above in bare condition area & subject to the final design chosen.
- Measurement and prices to be confirmed on site.
- Estimate renovation cost is about $50-$ 60 (standard fit out) and could go up to $100-$150 (premium fit out) per sqft subject to the final design chosen and exclude fire sprinkler work.
- Submission to fire sprinkler work FSSD MAA, BP & FP Drawing, RI & FSSD fee – subject to unit plan compliance with SCDF regulations. The fee will be S$5000.00 to S$6000.00.
- The cost of fitting out does not include reinstatement cost at the end of the lease term.
For Reference only:
Your appointed interior designer/contractor need to apply for all the permits, for example, fire safety approval, before commencement of renovation works.
The time taken for fitting-out work depends on size of office space:
- Up to 1,000 sq.ft. (93 sqm) 2 to 4 weeks
- 2,000 to 5,000 sq.ft. (186 to 465 sqm) 6 to 8 weeks
- 6,000 to 10,000 sq.ft. (557 to 929 sqm) 10 to 12 weeks
Utilities and Telecommunications
Tenant is required to apply with Singapore Power (SP Services Ltd) and Singapore Telecoms (Singtel) to install a separate meter for utilities consumption and to lay telecommunication lines respectively within the premises. At times, certain Landlord has their very own power and telecommunication utilities, which they contract from the utility authorities. All charges for electrical utility and telecommunication services to the premises are borne by tenant on a monthly billing basis.
The following documents are usually required for the services:
- Completed and signed application form.
- Copy of business / company registration certificate.
- Copy of NRIC / Work Pass for the authorized signatory of company representative Or a letter of authorisation issued by the company indicating the company representative’s name and NRIC/ Work Pass FIN no.
- Proof of ownership or tenancy agreement.
- An initial security deposit is payable at the point of application.
- Copy of Licence Electrical Installation (LEI) from Energy Market Authority (EMA), if the electricity load is above 45 KVA. (may applicable for SP Services Ltd)
- For temporary water supply, an approval letter from the PUB is required.
Although most commercial buildings come with free water utility, certain office premises especially conservation/shophouses office requires tenant to apply their own water supply from Public Utilities Board (PUB).
The Fitting Out Process
From evaluation to buying of the furniture, there are primarily four steps process involved in redesigning your new office space that will largely determine your fitting out cost.
1. Preliminary evaluation
This involves an office renovation contractor offering his professional advice after assessing the work space as well as listened to your ideas on redesigning it. Based on preference, you can decide to pay a flat rate or pay per hourly for this service. Some top designers charge close to $100 hourly to offer this service.
2. Interior designing
This next process is having the designers use their knowledge to effect the ideas into a workable practical business. The building management is by right part of the interior designing and they ensure workability of the designs, they estimate the cost as well as the time needed to finish the project.
This process takes into consideration everything from interior to exterior features, countertops, storage walls, and the door way among other things. It includes the cost of getting materials as well as paying the technicians. It takes into cognizance also, all the mechanical and electrical installations like the lighting, air conditioning system, ceiling system among others.
4. Office furniture
Furnishing should be done with much consideration of the space available, budget at hand and preferred style. The furniture picked should meet both aesthetic and functionality needs.
Reliable and reputable office design companies are responsible for application submission to relevant authorities like the Building Construction Authority (BCA), Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Fire Safety & Security Bureau (FSSB), etc., for approval in Singapore. You will do well to get them involved from the very beginning in order to get accurate estimates.
Most office lease agreement requires a tenant, to reinstate the premise to the condition it was at the beginning by the end of the lease term. Reinstating the premise at the end of the lease term usually does not register at the point of entering a new lease or taking over an already existing one. This is particular with businesses in their early phases – it is easy for the business owner to get carried away by the excitement of a new venture. Their optimism and eagerness to get into the premise to start trading can cause an oversight in setting aside a budget for reinstating the premises at the commencement of the lease.
On the average, it costs approximately S$5 to S$15 per square feet (S$54 -S$161 per square metre) to reinstate the whole office premises back to its original condition. In a case where the tenant fails to meet this obligation, the landlord can get the job done while enforcing on the tenant to pay for the expenses.
At times, the landlord or an in-coming tenant may request for the fittings to remain, otherwise reinstatement work takes about 2 weeks.