Office Fit-outs

There are a vast array of options available when it comes to Office Fit-outs all of which impact the cost, timing and quality of fitting out a newly-leased office or commercial premises.


In major Central Business District (CBD) locations, the average cost of a fit-out (per square metre) may range from:

  • Open plan $400 /m²
  • Basic fit-out with offices $500-$800 /m²
  • High grade fit-out $850-$1,000 /m²
  • Prestige $1,000-$2,000 /m²

Costs are usually quoted excluding Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Fit-out considerations and costs include furniture & workstations, air conditioning, partitions, joinery, flooring finishes, power & data services, doors and ceilings, design and project management fees, site costs & fees, fire protection, plumbing, blinds, painting, security systems, audio visual & signage and, finally, the builders profit margin.


As a guide, the per-person space in a standard commercial office in the CBD would be between 12–15 m² total Net Lettable Area (NLA).


On average it may take between four to six weeks for a medium sized (500m²) fit-out and up to 10 weeks for a larger (2,000m²) fit-out. Depending on what is ordered, office furniture and workstations may require lead time ranging from one to six weeks.

Reducing Costs

There are a number of ways to reduce the costs associated with office fit-outs.

  • Utilising a cost effective fit-out firm or directly undertaking some project management functions.
  • Utilising or adapting existing fit-outs however, most leases include a make good clause.

  • Lease incentives that minimise fit-out costs.
  • Reused office furniture and fittings.

Net lettable area (NLA) and usable office space

It is important to differentiate between NLA and actual “usable office space”. NLA includes space that may not be useable such as window sills, pillars and columns, wall space between adjoining tenancies etc. Large differences between NLA and usable office space results in wasted space that is being rented but not usable.

Make Good Clause

Such standard clauses require tenants to return the premises to a base building condition at the end of the lease. This includes the removal of any offices, interior walls, cabling, fixtures and fittings.

Useful Links

The Australian Shop & Office Fitting Industry Association