The Costs of a Full Apartment Renovation in NYC

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The Costs of a Full Apartment Renovation in NYC

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The Costs of a Full Apartment Renovation in NYC

NYC Renovation Guide: Costs

This article at a glance:

READ THIS FIRST: Our industry is still grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, from material shortages and shipping delays to rising labor costs and other changes to processes necessitated by the pandemic. If you’re planning to take on an apartment renovation in the next few months, our blog – Renovating In NYC Today: How To Navigate Delays, Increased Costs, and Other Covid-Related Concerns – serves as a COVID caveat to this Buyer’s Renovation Guide, designed to help you navigate all aspects of apartment renovations in New York City. For a free consultation, contact us today.

So you’re thinking about buying an apartment in New York City, with the intention to renovate. How much is that actually going to cost you? It’s truly a case by case basis, especially in NYC, where property type is key. Differences in costs can come from numerous directions, such as age, whether and how many walls are being moved, and the level of finishes.

Cost ranges that are too wide are not helpful, so we’re going to give numbers that reflect a full apartment renovation, which includes all of the following, with mid-to-upper tier finishes:

  • Architectural plans
  • Permits
  • Project management
  • Material selection
  • Interior design
  • Construction
  • Full renovation (new floors, kitchen, bathroom, plumbing, electric, and painting)

The grand total is in the mid-$200s, per square foot. 

A renovation that falls in the mid-$200s range is not pre-war and has good bones. It was likely renovated 15-20 years ago and is mainly just outdated. In NYC, a number of common factors can increase costs. The most prevailing cost modifiers when renovating apartments in NYC include:

  1. Pre-war: $320-350 psf
  2. Estate-condition: $320-350 psf
  3. Adding HVAC / true central air: $300 psf and up
  4. Relocation of plumbing/creation of new wet spaces: $300-400 psf, depending on the extent 

If ALL of those are qualifiers in your apartment renovation, the more likely number is around $400 psf, at least.

It’s important to note that you will find renovations priced at $180 or $200 psf. Of course those budgets are possible, but keep in mind that our numbers reflect our most common type of project, upper/mid-tier level renovations, with the attendant materials and finishes.

Two of the most common single-room projects are kitchen renovation and bathroom renovations. Our estimates for those, with upper/mid-tier finishes in mind:

  • Bathroom: mid-$40s psf
  • Kitchen: $50s psf

It’s also important to keep in mind that these numbers can go up or down depending on your own personal level of comfort. For example, in a full gut renovation, we can identify more budget-friendly options for bathroom tiles if it’s important for the client to have a specific upper-tier marble countertop in their dream kitchen. 

A quick word on financing: 

Specialty loans are a common, straightforward, and practical approach to financing your project, especially with regard to older apartments, with which one can “unlock” value with a renovation. Numerous lenders offer these, called "purchase + construction" loans. 

We’ve discussed the hidden costs of gut renovating estate-condition properties, but there can be value to it as well. That’s true here, in which banks value your home at its future, post-renovation value when they give you the terms for the loan. For example, an estate-condition co-op that is presently worth $1.2 million will be valued at $1.9 million, knowing that the renovation will match the space in value to other properties of similar square footage.

Now that we have an idea of how much things cost, it’s time to consider how long things take!

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What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.