Home remodeling is quite a complex project with a lot of necessary moving parts. In New York City, it is even more challenging to pull off a renovation successfully within the stipulated time and budget. Most people often underestimate the extent of coordination, money, planning, and permitting it will take to get the project done. When you undertake such a project, it’s important that you brace yourselves for the likely surprises you will get when the city’s historic housing walls are pulled down.
To top it off, there are a number of regulatory bodies and vendors involved in the remodeling process in the city of New York. If we happen to own an apartment in NYC and are not well prepared beforehand, we will be bound to waste a lot of money and time when the project begins.
To ensure a smooth completion, we have brought together a few professional tips and guidelines on how to prepare for a remodeling project.
NYC enjoys a wide variety of housing stock, ranging from prewar co-ops, luxury condos to townhouses of the 19th century. One of the most common features of New York’s housing scheme is that no two residences are alike. Even apartments housed in the same building will never be the same. So the first thing we must do is to look for a team that is equipped with experience to tackle the kinds of property we own and wish to renovate.
We must also never hesitate to test the expertise of any firm. It is our prerogative to ask for referrals, question their pricing, seek verifications of their work, and ask them long their projects take and who all their team comprises of.
We must seek complete transparency, whether it is the architect or subcontractors we are hiring.
When the project begins, remember to stay realistic while sticking to your ideas and resolutions throughout the process. If you’ve planned the project to be as budget-friendly as possible, even if it means getting your hands into it and managing things on your own, then that is what you need to stick with. For such a project, you will merely require a labor-only contractor.
For such a project, you must also be prepared to make your own purchases for the renovation, deal with the condo or co-op board, coordinate with vendors yourself, procure an expeditor, and much more. However, if budget is not a problem for you, then you should employ an all-inclusive firm for the project.
Most of us often begin our project believing it will complete within a short time span. Contractors have a huge responsibility in making owners realize that renovations cannot be time-limited, especially in New York City. Renovating in this city involves a series of procedures: coordinating with the owner’s association of the building, permitting, hiring different craftsmen, tradesmen and so on.
Flexibility is critical when it comes to timelines. Sure, you can hold them accountable for uncalled for delays, irregularity, or carelessness, but an expert team is one who plans ahead and minimizes problems.
Always begin with a list of the hows and whys and keep adding questions as you gather more information. For e.g., what is the permit cost of an NYC renovation? What will the contractor handle, and what do you need to take care of? Who else needs to test? Will the contractor be able to suggest the fixtures and alternate finishes within the budget? Any contractor who willingly gives valuable information to all your queries is a good professional.
Once we receive an estimated timeline from our team, we must next arrange for a place to stay while our project is underway. It is essential to move to another place when the renovation is ongoing since such projects involve a lot of tearing down of walls and such activities. We must also include the cost of our temporary stay in our budget for the renovation.
Many renovation projects require permits, though not all of them do. We must, therefore, get feedback from the expert on what the process will entail so we can arrange for the permits before the project begins. If the project has a limited scope, like remodeling our bathroom, you will need to gain a permit for handling electrical wires or changing the plumbing.
If the renovation is intensive; however, the architect will have to get the plans approved after submitting them. The DOB, Department of Buildings, grants the permit. The DOB process has a very uncertain time span; it can take anywhere from a few months to a few weeks. It all depends upon the complexity of our renovation project. However, if the renovations include refinishing floors, permitting, or replacing doors, then you will not need any permit.
Owners Associations regulate the apartment buildings of NYC with varying degrees of strictness. The purpose of such associations is to establish laws from all renovations that occur in a building. Details, such as the time when our team can work, where we can install our dryers and washers, etc., are all dictated by these associations.
The association also employs a technical advisor, like an engineer or architect, who signs off the renovation plans. Condos are not as strict as the co-op boards. It is, therefore, in your favor to go through renovation policies before you decide to buy an apartment in the building.
We are experts in handling all renovation projects of apartments in New York City. Contact us to transform your apartment into a luxurious home.