If you’re preparing for an office move in the UK, we advise you to roll up your sleeves early on and start planning every phase of the project. Regardless of whether your company is big or small, moving offices is quite a demanding process. There is so much to think about – what to move, how to move it, when to move it. And let’s not forget about one of the most essential things to consider – how much will it cost to move it.
Unlike moving homes, office relocation includes the transportation of valuable company information and equipment, official office relocation announcements, certain procedures related to the safety of the property where employees will be working, and perfect organisation that a lot of people will be involved in. Following an office move checklist will certainly help you keep the chaos away. However, making adequate calculations is also a vital component of your move.
In this article, we’ll give you an idea of how much it costs to move offices in the UK by sharing precise numbers based on average expenses. Although not all of the points listed below may apply to your office move, being familiar with them can help you avoid spending too much if unexpected situations arise.
When should you start calculating your office move costs?
Planning an office relocation project can start as early as a year before the actual move. And this is absolutely normal, especially for well-established, large companies with a variety of departments, hundreds of employees, and complex internal structures. In most cases, the majority of work related to the planning and preparation starts between 3 and 6 months before the relocation.
When it comes to calculating your office relocation costs, it is best to start as early as possible. From the moment that you make the decision, there are already a number of costs that you can calculate. We’ll show you some of the most important expenses to consider and how to organise them to suit your needs.
Office relocation cost estimates
Don’t underestimate the investment your business will need to make for office relocation. Although most people first assume that the only expenses are related to hiring a professional office moving company, this is far from the truth. If this is your first time moving offices, you might be surprised by the number of things that need to be included in your budget.
Potential repair costs
Whether they’re for your new office property or repairs that need to be done to your existing office location before you move out, some of the most popular repairs needed during office relocations are:
- Painting and decorating (both exterior and interior) – the average UK costs vary between £150 and £200 per day, with London prices being a bit higher – between £300 and £500 per day. As a business, you could negotiate a price for the full project, which may allow you to save some money.
- Windows and doors repairs – depending on the damage that has been done to the windows and doors, the price will vary. On average, the estimated cost for window fitting is £400, while doors can cost between £500 and £900.
- Furniture repairs – every type of furniture has its own specifications and tools and tactics required for repair. On average, the UK repair costs can range from £70 to £300, depending on the work that needs to be done and its complexity.
- Machine repairs – it’s merely impossible to put an estimated price for machine repairs when it comes to office equipment. Every type of business operates with a dramatically diverse range of machinery and equipment. The more expensive the machine, the most it will cost to repair it. Sometimes, it is even more financially beneficial to buy a new one instead of repairing an old machine.
- Roofing – the rates of getting a new roof in the UK are in the range of £5,000 to £6,000. However, hiring a professional to do some minor repair work will cost you much less. For instance, a replacement of up to ten roof tiles can cost somewhere between £120 and £200, while replacement of soffits and fascias for a small terraced house can cost up to £2,500. Of course, considering that most office premises are much larger than a standard two-bedroom house, you can imagine that the prices will be higher.
- Stone cleaning – this may not be applicable to all office locations but the average cost of stone cleaning in the UK is between £10 and £20 per square meter. However, if the condition of the stones is very poor, it may cost up to £70 per m2.
- Mould removal – hiring an expert to remove mould from a large space is between £50 and £250, while the removal for a full house can be as much as £1,000. Your overall expense for this task (if relevant) will depend on the affected areas inside your office space.
Now that you have an idea of how much it will cost to take care of essential repair and refurbishment costs, it’s time to move on to other property expenses that you may fail to acknowledge when you first start planning your costs.
When it comes to business buildings and properties, a survey of the premises is advisable as it offers an official assessment and proof of the structural condition of the building along with its available services. This survey is especially important if the lease is an entirely repairing and insuring one. The premises survey can cost anywhere between £750 all the way up to £5,000, depending on the property size and its condition.
Schedule of conditions
This is relevant for properties that are leased. The condition of the office space is documented, including photographs and detailed explanations along with them. The tenant and landlord must agree on the information that is to enter the Schedule of Conditions. The cost of the Schedule of Conditions ranges from £1,000 to £2,000, again depending on the size of the property.
Depending on whether you will be owning or renting your new office space, you may be obliged to pay any building and terrorism insurance, which ranges between £0.50 and £1.00 per sq ft. Although the landlord is officially responsible for insuring the building, oftentimes the costs are later taken from the tenant and described as service charges. Make sure to ask about these types of insurances before signing any papers.
Of course, let’s not forget about the need for a professional solicitor to help with the lease agreements. As there is a lot more responsibility associated with renting a property for business purposes as opposed to personal use, a lot of businesses prefer to work with a legal expert. Each side, the tenants and landlord, are responsible for paying their own legal costs, which usually range between £2,000 and £8,000. The cost is calculated based on the size of the property, the negotiated structure of the lease, and its duration.
We’ve covered the costs involved in taking care of the property and its repairs. We are now ready to tackle the expenses that are needed for the actual preparation for the move – the packing.
Of course, moving offices will require some time, effort, and investment into the actual preparation of the equipment, office supplies, and other items. Sometimes, when working with a professional office moving company, the packing materials may be included in their costs. It is advisable to ask this in advance to avoid spending on something that you won’t really need down the road.
Some of the most important packing materials to have include:
- Boxes – you can use either plastic boxes or cardboard boxes in different sizes. There are a number of online packing calculators available that can help you estimate how many you would need to successfully move your office belongings. The estimated cost per cardboard box is £2.50 each for a small to medium size, £3.00 for a medium to large size, and £9 if you want to go for a garment box.
- Bubble wrap – the air cushions found inside bubble wrap can help you protect fragile items while being transported from place to place. We highly recommend that you use bubble wrap when moving offices. The cost around £3.00 for 5m x 1m sheets. Our suggestion is to get plenty as running out may cause damage to an important office item.
- Packaging labels – to keep things organised and know where your office supplies are packed during the move, make use of packaging labels. Even if you think you’ll remember everything, this is merely impossible when it comes to moving an office. The standard cost of labels is between £5 and £7.
- Packaging tape – What’s a move without any tape? Tape can literally save your life when moving offices, which is why we recommend that you avoid choosing the cheapest tape on the market. The cheaper the tape, the higher the risk that it breaks and causes damage. You can find quality white tape for around £1 a piece and £3 for a more advanced solution with fragile wording.
- Cargo straps – cargo straps or regular rope can come in handy when you want to keep your big piece of furniture or equipment safe inside the moving van. You can find a cheaper rope for other purposes but cargo straps designed specifically for transportation means are between £12 and £15.
You may also want to spend some money on Ziplock bags, scissors for every employee to pack their office items, moving blankets, and other tools that you feel may be necessary during the move.
Professional office movers costs
We’ve reached the part where you explore different options for hiring a professional office moving company and receive quotes. Bear in mind that the cheapest option will not always be the best choice. Make sure you do your research and read reviews about the company you’ve set your eyes on before making any decisions. After all, the movers will be handling sensitive information, fragile items, and their professionalism will determine how fast your business is able to get back to work in the new office location.
What goes inside?
Reliable and experienced office removal companies will offer a lot more than simply transporting your office equipment from point A to point B. If you work with a decent expert, they will include in the price packing materials. They will even offer to pick up new furniture from the store you’ve ordered them from and deliver them to your new office. They will handle all of the furniture loadings into the vans, the transportation costs, and the unloading.
The cost of hiring an office removal professional varies depending on whether the move is local or cross-country. Usually, the rate per hour for 2 men and a van is around £50 per hour. If the move is long-distance, the price may be calculated at a fixed rate. Speak to your selected office moving company and ask whether they charge a fixed price or have an hourly rate.
Moving sensitive information
Keep in mind that information is one of the most important things that an office has. Whether this is employee data or information about partners or competitors, you want to keep it safe. Although today’s highly-tech world gives us a lot of digital alternatives that allow us to store data securely online, a lot of companies hold paper-based information in folders and boxes. The transportation of such information may require special care or packaging, which could also incur additional costs.
Costs of moving a safe
Perhaps your business has a safe that needs transportation? As the safe is delicate and extremely valuable in most cases, it calls for professional attention. It is best to rely on experts to move your office safe. Depending on its weight and size, the price could range from £150 to £450.
New office equipment expenses
When moving offices, you are likely to take with you the majority of your office furniture and supplies from your existing location. However, the interior of the new space could require the purchase of new furniture for decorative purposes and for practical purposes as well. For example, moving offices into a larger location may involve hiring more employees. In such case, you will need to purchase new office desks and chairs, telephones, laptops, and other relevant equipment.
Furthermore, you may need to invest in new machinery if you are planning to sell or get rid of the old machines and equipment from your office. Putting an average price under this section will not be of any help due to the vast diversity of products available on the market. The costs will depend on your preference and particular necessities.
How to calculate your office move expenses
We’ve covered all of the expenses that you need to be aware of when starting an office move project. As you can see, there is quite a bit of information, and it is very easy to get lost, even if you are well-organised and have a great memory.
The best way to keep track of your expenses and plan for every cost is by creating an office relocation budget. You can either create your own or use a template that we’ve made accessible for your convenience. An office move budget is a great way to manage your expenses and see the greater picture when it comes to the investment required for moving offices.
Office relocation is indeed a pricey process but it is certainly worth it if handled adequately. Enjoy your new office space and make your employees feel comfortable and adapt easily by throwing an amazing welcoming party once you are all set and moved in. We hope that the information we’ve shared will help you be more prepared and confident about your next office move.