Trying to compare the cost of using a traditional drywall build for your new office renovation project to a moveable wall system can be difficult when no one wants to discuss what their moveable wall systems will cost openly.
We get it; it’s difficult to estimate the cost of a modular (aka. moveable) wall system without exploring your specific needs and requirements. That being said, you deserve to know what an appropriate budget is, so it’s only fair that we give you as accurate an estimate as possible.
In this article, we will take a look at what you can expect to pay for moveable walls and the four most important factors that will impact your final price.
How Much Do Moveable Walls Cost?
One of the best features of a moveable wall system it can be customized to every customer’s unique needs, wants and space. With customization, however, comes difficulty in projecting exactly how much the “average” project can cost.
Based on our experience, you should expect to pay between $500 and $600 per linear foot for moveable walls.
We also find that in the last few years we are most commonly specifying a 9′ x 9′ private offices. Since you would normally arrange these offices backed against either a base-construction wall or another moveable wall office, you would require approximately 18 to 27 feet of moveable walls/doors (two to three walls). Using our typical price range of $500 to $600 per linear foot, that would place the total price for one of these 9′ x 9′ moveable wall offices to fall between $9000 and $16,200.
As you can see, estimating the cost of moveable walls without specifying the exact application is far from an exact science.
What Impacts the Price of Moveable Walls?
Why such a variation in price? Four key factors influence where your moveable wall system will land concerning price. Two of which are dependent on your design decisions, and two of are based on your building.
- Material Selection
- Hardware Choice
- Ceiling Height
- Complexity of Job Site and Installation
As you can imagine, what material you want your modular wall panels built from can quite significantly impact the price.
Door panels are more expensive than a standard flat panel. A panel divided into multiple partitions of various materials such as a writeable whiteboard, vinyl, fabric or laminate, will cost more than a panel that is one consistent material.
One selection that often surprises customers is that, in many standard configurations, opting for glass panes rather than standard panels can actually reduce your cost per linear foot.
In the context of moveable walls, hardware can include a wide variety of options. Take just a single door for example.
Is it a sliding door? Will you incorporate a slow close feature? Will you use a handle, knob or pull? Do you want the door to be lockable, and if so, will it be keyed, or do you want to add a swipe card reader?
Introducing premium, or more complex, hardware will increase the price of your new modular wall system.
One consideration to keep in mind when selecting an office space is the ceiling height. Taller panels use more materials to manufacture and are therefore more expensive. All else being equal, a taller ceiling will result in a more costly moveable wall system.
Complexity of Job Site and Installation
There are two primary components to the price of a moveable wall system, the price of the actual moveable walls and the labour cost of installation by trained and certified professionals.
It is much faster to install a straight run of glass panels than it is to install a pattern that needs to align precisely with the base building and is interspersed with several doors.
Another consideration that can impact the labour involved in installing moveable walls is the nature of the installation site. Are the installers able to park their truck mere meters away and carry the panels directly to their appropriate location or do they need to park up the street, navigate several narrow doorways, an elevator and a couple of stairwells?
Time is money when installing any new system, so the more complex or challenging a worksite, the higher the labour fees.
When Are Moveable Walls Cost Effective?
The most convincing case to use a moveable wall system is when you want to build a space that can be reconfigured or moved in the future.
We find that our customers with solid panel modular walls systems have recovered any additional cost they may have incurred purchasing the moveable walls rather than building fixed walls after a single move or reconfiguration. If you do a further reconfiguration or move, you can expect to have earned a significant ROI on your initial investment.
When you consider that moveable wall systems incorporating glass fronts and sliding doors tend to be an equal or lesser price than a comparable traditional construction project, that ROI can further improve.
Another excellent situation for moveable walls is when you a designing a new build or renovation from scratch. Since moveable walls are added to the site after all other trades are finished, you can use a simplified grid for flooring, ceilings, electrical and HVAC, reducing the overall trade costs for your project.
In our article comparing moveable walls versus traditional drywall construction, we take a more in-depth look at some of the pros and cons of using a moveable system rather than a traditional fixed construction system.
Want to Learn More About Moveable Walls Systems?
If you are intrigued by moveable walls but want to get a better feel for how they work and what they can achieve before you take the next step, we have just the white paper for you.
Our moveable wall supplier, Haworth, has written an excellent white paper on Optimizing Workplaces with Moveable Walls and Modular Flooring. Check it out!