Why do cubicles differ in price? 

Have you outgrown your used office furniture and need to hire  new employees? Or are you starting a new business and  don’t have any office furniture at all? If either of these situations sounds like you, you likely are wondering… what does a cubicle cost?   It is easy to comprehend that a new office cubicle would  generally be more expensive than a used cubicle. But how is it that often, used cubicles from a major manufacturer would be more expensive than a new cubicle workstation from a no-name brand. Cubicles vary greatly in price for a variety of reasons. Because cubicles and  modular systems are highly specific, the cost of  cubicles will greatly depend on its configuration.

Basically cubicle pricing comes down to these factors.

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New, refurbished or used, an office cubicle’s value and thus cost come down to quality.  This can be most accurately judged by the Manufacturer producing the product.. Big players such as Herman Miller, Steelcase and Knoll spend tremendous amounts on ergonomics, durability, Q & A, to ensure their products are the very highest quality and will last for generations.. And it shows both in the fit and finish as well as in the longevity of their product lines. In fact, products such as the Herman Miller Eames line developed in the 50s are still going strong. The closest approximation to understanding this would be comparing premium luxury automobile vs a budget automobile. 

They are many different lines out there but  Davena believes in quality  and that is why we primarily deal with Herman Miller office furniture. We are intimately familiar with their systems as we were once part of a Herman Dealer and  we believe it allows us to provide both used and refurbished office furniture products that are superior to a vast majority in the marketplace.

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 The phrase “bigger is better” has some downsides in the office furniture environment. The larger the cube the more material, hence the more expensive to manufacture, and therefore more expensive to buy.

Generally taller cubicles will be more expensive than shorter and the same holds true for the footprint of  the workstation.  Selecting the right panel height can be a difficult decision.  High, solid panels can make users feel isolated and hidden away but provide maximum privacy.  Short panels reduce privacy (both visual and auditory) and can expose users to more distractions but also allows for natural light to reach users, as well as encouraging collaboration and discussion between users. 

There is no one-size-fits-all solution and the best option depends on the needs and work styles of your team. The 54″ height also called mid-height, has seen a recent explosion in popularity as it allows for privacy and noise reduction while at the same allowing the office to feel open and bright.  It is because of this that majority of the used cubicles we are stock are around this height range. 

 The other dimension is literally the footprint of the station itself. Length and width.  An 8 by 8 cubicle will be more expensive than a 6 by 6 cubicle, all things being equal. If we refer again to auto industry, an SUV is obviously going to be more than a sub-compact.

In today’s market with ever-increasing costs of leases, it pays to work with space planner to design an environment, that is space conscious and space efficient. If cost is an issue, which for most it is, choosing lower height cubes with a smaller footprint can save the business a considerable amount of money. Davena provides space planning services for all systems projects.

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Workstation Components

Workstations components are the third major factor in the cost of  purchasing cubicles. As cubicles are modular,  practically every environment is configured differently than one another, usually based on needs of the business itself.  The more components that are integrated with the cube, the more expensive they would tend to be.  Components are basically anything outside the cubicle walls and cubicle desks.   Additions of  midline electric, glass, overheads, file cabinets,  tool rails, monitor arms are essentially options,  and they increase both value and cost of  the workstation.  Examples would be:upgrading the panels from a single colour fabric to laminate or veneer, whiteboard surfaces on the panels, adding a glass (clear, glazed or framed) to the top of the panel for a little additional auditory privacy while maintaining the same open visual feel.

While these upgrades may well help you create a workstation that you better enjoy working in every day, they will also certainly increase the bottom line on your invoice.Sort of like buying a base model BMW vs one loaded… the cost is dramatically different.  Knowing which components are required vs which are a nicety is key before shopping for cubicles. Before committing to a particular configuration, we suggest you take the opportunity to evaluate what is actually required and view our other articles on how to plan to purchase office furniture,

One of the benefits of buying used office furniture, used cubicles or used benching systems is that you are getting  the quality, the dimensions and the components for much cheaper than you would new.  Frequently the extra components are thrown in at no cost as they are on hand and taking up warehouse space. By buying quality used cubicles from manufacturers like Herman Miller, such as those we sell, you are automatically getting all the benefits with much less cost. Its something like buying a 3 year old BMW. You save yourself a great deal of money, and still manage to get all the bells and whistles, with little risk of wear and tear.

David Ramroop

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