How Much Does It Cost To Build A Commercial Building Per Square Foot

Commercial buildings are expensive to build. Before you begin the process of getting your commercial building built, you’ll need to know how much it will cost. This can be difficult because there are so many factors involved in determining the per-square-foot cost.

The cost of building a commercial structure is dependent on many factors. These include the size and complexity of your project, whether it is a renovation or new construction project, as well as local labor rates.

Types of Commercial Buildings

  • Retail buildings are the most common type of commercial building. They are made for people to buy things and can include stores, restaurants, or any other business that sells merchandise.
  • Office buildings are another common type of commercial property. These can be anything from medical offices to corporate headquarters.
  • Hotel properties are yet another example of a type of commercial property that you may want to build on your own land or purchase one already standing and renovate it into something you can use for your business needs. Hotels come with various amenities: pools, gyms, spas…the list goes on.
  • Hospitality properties include motels and Airbnb rentals as well as larger resorts like hotels & casinos


The land is the most significant factor in determining the cost of a commercial building. If you have decided to build on land that is already owned, then your cost will be determined by the price per square foot and other factors like location and size. However, if you are purchasing or leasing land for your building project, there are many considerations that need to be taken into account during this phase.

In addition to these factors such as size and location, there are other aspects of acquiring land which may increase or decrease its value:

  • How much does it take up? What’s the shape? Is it flat or hilly? Does it contain trees and boulders? Is it prone to flooding or landslides? These questions affect how much money can be made on development after construction costs have been paid off; therefore they should all be considered before purchasing any property for use as a commercial building site.
  • Who owns adjacent parcels (neighboring areas) near where my future commercial building will stand so I can work more efficiently with them when planning out how traffic flow works around new businesses being built nearby my own space within the said area, this way we won’t end up having too many cars going through one set route each day where everyone tries their best not getting stuck behind each other slow down their progress cause us all less time driving around looking for parking spots because then we’ll lose our jobs due lack business income because no one has anywhere near enough money left over after paying taxes every year, which means less money going back into local economy so basically everyone loses out financially here which isn’t good business practice at all.

 Design and architecture

Design and architecture are two different things. Design is the first step in the process of building a commercial building, while architecture is the second step. There’s a lot more to designing commercial buildings than just drawing up blueprints and laying out an outline for your future office tower or apartment complex. Designing a commercial space involves figuring out the best way to use available space in order to make it attractive, livable, and functional.

While this is a relatively simple task for residential homes, it can be a lot more difficult when dealing with commercial properties. Commercial buildings are designed to be used by large numbers of people and are often much bigger than their residential counterparts.


The foundation is one of the most important parts of any building. It is where the structure rests, and therefore it must be sturdy enough to withstand large forces generated by wind and other external factors. The type of foundation you choose will depend on several factors, including terrain conditions and local regulations.

Some foundations are made from concrete poured into forms that are built up from the ground level, while others are constructed using a combination of concrete blocks or precast beams (which can be cast at ground level). Foundations also come in many different shapes such as slabs or piles. The type of material used in this stage will depend on whether you’re constructing a new building or renovating an existing structure; if you’re doing renovations then this area may already exist with its own formwork for pouring concrete into so there would be no additional cost involved with adding extra materials like steel reinforcement bars (rebars).


Labor is one of the most important factors in the cost of building a commercial building per square foot. Labor costs vary from region to region, as well as by union or non-union status. Additionally, labor costs can depend on whether you’re hiring an architect or an engineer to design your commercial building.

A general rule of thumb is that it will cost $25-$30 per hour for hourly workers and anywhere from $75-$95 per hour for skilled workers (such as carpenters). If you’ve hired a contractor who has agreed to provide temporary labor at no charge during peak times, make sure that he does so instead of adding this cost to your total price tag.

Finish & fixtures

Finish and fixtures are the last steps in building a commercial building. These include things such as drywall, paint, carpeting, and other finishing touches. To get an idea of what these costs are for your project, it is important to know how many square feet you are covering with each finish. The more you cover at once (for example covering all 1000 square foot offices at once), the cheaper it will be per square foot because you won’t have to pay for labor multiple times.

Fixtures include things like lighting fixtures, toilets, sinks, and cabinets in restrooms. For example: If there are 4 toilets on each floor then this would be 16 total fixtures that need to be installed in the restroom areas throughout your project.


The design process is a major factor in the cost of a commercial building. The design will determine what materials and equipment are needed. Designers and architects can use computers to make sure that all of the parts fit together properly, but it is still important for them to visit sites where possible construction will take place before beginning work on an actual design. This is because many aspects of the site itself may impact how much it costs to build a commercial building there, or even whether it’s possible at all.

Major systems/utilities

Major systems and utilities include the following:

  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)

These are the big three in any commercial building, but other major systems/utilities that may be needed include fire sprinklers and smoke detectors. The cost of these items will vary based on location and type of business. In general, they can run anywhere from $1 per square foot to $7 per square foot depending on how much labor it takes to install them. For example, if you’re installing a new electrical system for an office building that requires conduit pipe work or wiring from one room to another then there will be additional costs associated with the labor involved with running those cables through your walls or ceilings so that they reach their destination safely without getting damaged. If this is something your contractor specializes in then he or she should be able to give you an accurate figure based on experience doing similar jobs in similar buildings before making recommendations about whether or not certain upgrades are necessary now versus later (e.g., replacing an old fuse box).


As a general rule, permits are required for all commercial buildings. The cost of the permits will vary depending on the type of building you’re constructing and its location. For example, if you need to secure approval from the city or county government before beginning construction on your commercial property, this can add significantly to the overall cost of your project. If you’re planning on building a new retail store in an urban area where there’s already plenty of competition from other stores nearby, it could be difficult (or impossible) for you to get approval from local officials because they might feel that having more stores in their community isn’t necessarily good for residents’ economic well-being and quality of life, in which case securing permits could prove too expensive or simply not feasible at all.

 Labor costs

Labor costs vary greatly and can be a major component of building a commercial building per square foot. Labor costs are dependent on the region and type of commercial building being built. For example, if you are building in an area with high construction wages, your labor costs will be higher than in an area with low construction wages.

The type of commercial building being built also affects labor costs. For example, if you are building a multi-story office building with elevators and many tenants, your labor costs will be higher than if you were to build a single-story warehouse.

Mechanical and electrical systems

The cost of mechanical and electrical systems can vary depending on the size of your building, the number of floors, and the number of rooms. Mechanical systems include heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and lighting for a commercial property. Electrical systems provide power for your business’s computers and appliances. The HVAC system is one of the most expensive elements in a commercial space because it must be able to handle large demands on hot water heaters or boilers as well as cooling units that must be able to cool large areas efficiently without using too much energy.

How long does it take to build a commercial building per square foot?

When deciding how long it will take to build a commercial building per square foot, you should keep in mind that there are several factors to consider.

  • How big is the commercial building? The larger the commercial building, the more time it will take to build per square foot.
  • What type of commercial building do you want to create? A new office building or retail store can be built more quickly than an apartment complex or hotel.

How much does it cost to build a commercial building per square foot?

Commercial buildings are typically defined as multi-tenant buildings with five or more tenants or single-tenant buildings that occupy at least 8,000 square feet of space. They are usually constructed to house multiple businesses and may also contain retail shops or restaurants. The construction costs can vary greatly depending on factors such as the size of the project, its location, and how many floors it will have.

In order to give you an accurate estimate of your building’s construction costs, we need to know some details about your project:

  • What type of building is this? (office tower/retail store/restaurant)
  • How big is it going to be? (square footage)
  • What style do you want for the exterior? (colonial revival vs modernist)

We’ll use these details along with other information about your site’s condition and location to determine what kind of foundation system will work best for you (concrete slab versus concrete foundation).

The cost of building a commercial building per square foot is important when determining the price of your project. It will help you understand how much it costs to construct your business and give you an idea of what kind of budget you need to build one. The cost of construction will vary based on where the building is located, its size and design as well as materials used for construction among other factors.

The cost of building a commercial building varies greatly depending on location and size. The average cost per square foot to build a commercial building was $.07 per square foot in 2016, according to an analysis by the Construction Cost Data Institute (C2DI). This means that if you were to build a 1,000-square-foot office space today, it would cost about $70,000, not including any amenities such as parking spaces or landscaping.

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