How much does it cost to renovate a NYC apartment?
When it comes to a New York City Apartment Renovation, there is nothing more important to a homeowner than making sure that their renovation is an investment and is within their budget. Housing projects can have numerous cost overruns that can easily go over budget and therefore when they plan their apartment remodel, they want to get a good handle on their project costs.
When a homeowner is trying to put together an initial cost estimate, they do not always have in front of them all the details of the design they need to put together a good ballpark figure. In many cases, the easiest method homeowners try to go off is a cost per square foot. While considerably a rough estimate, a cost per square foot at least gives a general range of what a project cost should be and is generally an accurate number assuming there are no complex design elements that would through the price out of whack.
Even though a cost per square foot is a rough number, it still involves some input based on what you expect to do for your apartment renovation. So here are some tips on how to come with a reasonable number for a cost per square foot for your NYC apartment renovation contractor.
Start with Online Research
You will want to start with a baseline of what a typical cost per square foot is for a home renovation. On average, a project cost for a whole dwelling typically runs anywhere from $75 to $150 per square foot. So, if you are just starting to think about an apartment remodel, you could always work off these numbers initially based on the amount of square footage you plan to remodel. So, for example, a 1000 square foot dwelling that needs a full remodel could cost anywhere from $75,000 to $150,000. If you are focused on just a kitchen or a bathroom, these costs go up significantly from $150 to $250 per square foot.
1. Consider the Home Type
Believe it or not, the type of home you live in can make an impact on the cost per square foot of a project. For example, you will find that full renovation for an apartment or row house comes in around $35 to $75 per square foot versus a condo or townhouse which comes in anywhere from $75 to $150 per square foot. The reason is that in some cases shared utilities or wall spaces can impact coordination or access points to utilities. Also keep in mind that historical homes while charming can cost the most to upgrade, as these homes likely have extra steps for restoration plus numerous features that may not be up to code.
2. Consider the Type of Fixtures/Appliances
While some parts of a project are standard across the board, ultimately what drives a cost up comes down to how high end your fixtures and appliances are. If you are a bargain hunter and want the cheapest materials on the market such as laminate flooring and countertops for a kitchen renovation, expect the cost to be much cheaper than quartz or marble countertops with tile flooring.
3. Scope of Work
Once you have a clearer idea of what exactly you want to accomplish in a remodel, you can work with your apartment remodeling contractor who can give you a pretty good ballpark estimate based on your project square footage. For example, basements, kitchens, and bathrooms generally will cost more per square foot to remodel than a living room or bedroom. Plus, in general, exterior work will cost more than interior work so be mindful that projects that focus on the exterior should be closer to the middle-end of a cost per square foot estimate. Things like painting and trim work are less material-intensive and quicker to perform which will be cheaper per square foot, than relocating appliances or gut jobs.
While apartment remodeling contractors generally do the same work regardless of geography, you would be surprised that depending on the zip code or city a contractor would charge different costs per hour of labor. So, while the national average of an apartment remodels would be anywhere from $15 to $60 per square foot, expect an NYC dwelling to cost closer to the $60 range in most instances due to the high cost of living.
For larger scale remodels, consider that you will likely want to bring in a consultant to assist you with the design process. Once you determine the rough cost per square foot for your project, you will want to add 10 to 15 percent to that number. In general, the cost of design work is around 10 to 15 percent of the total project. A design-build firm will work with you to put together an appropriate design, and a set of drawings that are easy for a contractor to understand.
6. Change Orders
You will want to make sure that as part of your cost per square foot calculation, you factor in another 15 percent for any change orders that may bump the total price tag up. In construction, there always unforeseen circumstances like hidden mold or code violations that require immediate attention and should have a contingency budget baked into the final cost. This number can easily be calculated on a cost per square foot basis. This is especially critical for kitchen renovations or bathroom remodels, as this is where most change orders tend to happen in a full scale remodel, especially in New York City apartments that are historical.
7. Not Everything Can be Allocated by Cost per Square Foot
At the end of the day, while the cost per square foot is an easy round number to go off of, there may just be some line items that cannot be calculated on a per square foot basis, and you will just have to get flat rate quotes and divide by your square footage to get the total cost per square foot. For example, linear assets in a household like HVAC ducts, wall tiling, and countertops are all measured in linear feet and so this may be a cost you will have to determine later in the design process. For plumbing, a lot of the cost is based on the number of faucets and fixtures you need to have installed and so a cost per square foot will just be a reliable number to go off.