Soft Costs: A Hard Hit to Your Bottom Line


BlueprintsPicTalisen has had the opportunity to work so many talented architects over the years. John C. Sweeney is one such architect, with whom we renovated a major portion of the interior of Genpact International’s US Corporate Headquarters. Recently, Mr. Sweeney has written a detailed 12 page guide to understanding and analyzing soft costs titled “Soft Cost Analysis.” Most costs that project managers, businesses, and architects will calculate at the beginning of the project are hard costs; those that can be calculated per unit or hour needed. However, there is a whole host of hidden costs that can derail your budget: soft costs.

Soft costs are those items that a client is not aware of until they have already committed to a space for the project. Costs for services such as special inspections, cleaning, furniture, and filing fees all fall under the category of soft costs. These are all often forgotten when developing the budget. We’ve outlined the five key points regarding soft costs below. For the complete analysis, download the full guide.

  • The real cost of construction must include not only the tangible and transparent expenditures, but the often forgotten soft costs as well.
  • Those expenditures of which many clients are not cognizant of until after they have made a commitment to a space are known as soft costs. These costs should be revealed, discussed, and budgeted for along with the hard costs of the project.
  • Clients must understand the soft cost analysis for an interior project in order to project and control the full parameters of the budget. There is no way to measure or control soft costs if they are not first defined as such.
  • The need for specialized consultants increases with the complexity of the project. The soft costs of the interior project will increase with this need.
  • New laws have strengthened inspection requirements. Along with LEED Certifications, this has led to a rise in soft costs.

While these five points are crucial to understanding soft costs and the importance of including them in interior project budgets, they do not provide a full analysis of the subject. To learn more about soft costs, download the full guide, “Soft Cost Analysis