NYC Apartment Renovation 101
If you live in New York City and are considering renovating your apartment for the first time, it may seem like a scary endeavor. Not only is a substantial amount of money coming out of your pocket to invest in your property, but and a lot of people coming through your apartment and tearing up your walls and fixtures. While this may seem nerve-wracking, knowing ahead of time what to expect can make the entire process pain free and exciting. So here are some things you should keep in mind when you are considering a NYC apartment renovation.
Have an Airtight Budget
Before you consider an apartment renovation, always make sure that you know approximately how much a project is going to cost and make sure you have that money readily available. Whether you are considering a bathroom remodel, interior renovation, or a kitchen renovation or even a full apartment remodel, you should start by doing some online research to get some ballpark figures of what a project may cost. While a contractor will provide you an accurate quote before work, it can be embarrassing when your idea of cost is way off from the actual. After you get a quote from your contractor, make sure you have the money in place plus an additional ten percent for incidentals or unforeseen circumstances that might allow the cost of a project to go up
Find the Right Specialist or Design-Build Firm
As part of your research, you should also shop around to find the contractor that is best qualified to do work for you. Look out for referrals and references, and always ask to look at sample work. Get quotes from multiple contractors to make sure no one is overpricing you for the job. If the job is specific like for a bathroom remodel, consider a specialist for a higher quality of work. Consider a Design-Build firm if you need assistance in designing your NYC apartment remodel, as they will handle the entire process from design to construction, to all the little tasks in between like permitting and building approval.
Develop Agreed Upon Blueprints and Project Timeline
It’s important to bring to the Design-Build firm or specialist any conceived ideas you have, even if they are not written down on paper. For a kitchen renovation, list appliance brands and colors, explain clearly where you want things laid out, and provide them any knowledge you may have about age and location of electricity and plumbing. For a bathroom remodel, you should either have a tile pattern picked out or provide specifically what you might be looking for. Finally, if you are doing an interior renovation, explain what kind of color patterns you like and what style you are going for such as modern, rustic, or urban theme, etc.
Make sure that whatever you provide is then reflected on a blueprint or schematic that is legible and easy to understand. While a blueprint may be a technical document for the builders, as a customer you should be able to at least get a general idea of what is on the page. After the blueprints are developed, go over a timeline with your specialist. Make sure that you both are on the same page about the anticipated timeline, but more importantly be clear about what may come up that might delay a project. If the company you do business with says they guarantee a project can be done with quick turnaround time, be cautious especially with a larger scale renovation project.
Make Sure all Necessary Documents are in Place
Depending on who you hire to perform your renovation, you may need to be responsible for securing some necessary documentation for the project. First, always make sure the company you hire has liability insurance. A company that can sue you for any injuries that happen on your property if they do not have insurance. These days most established companies should have it but always ask. Second, some companies may not agree to handle the permitting and building approval process. It’s important to work with the company you hire to make sure you identify all the necessary permits needed for housework and that if necessary, it will be up to you to go to the New York City Buildings Department to file, pay, and obtain these permits and other approvals necessary.
Overall, an investment in your property should be a positive experience. Not only are you creating a breath of fresh air for your apartment, but you are also investing in its long term value. As long you keep in mind these steps, odds are the process will be smooth and pain-free. If not, just keep your fingers crossed, unexpected things can always happen even to the most prepared, but if you took the steps above, the pain should be minimized.