How to Find a Contractor For Your NYC Apartment Renovation

04

How to Find a Contractor For Your NYC Apartment Renovation

04

04

How to Find a Contractor For Your NYC Apartment Renovation

NYC Renovation Guide: Contractors

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.

From a simple bathroom remodel to a multi-room apartment combination, the right contractor for the job will make all the difference. New York City apartment renovations often have additional layers to the process, making it that much more vital to work with contractors who are experienced, honest, and reliable.  

What kind of contractor is the right fit for you?

Depending on your own values and what your renovation actually entails, there is usually more than one way to approach any given project, each with its own pros and cons

Architect

Architects are most commonly used in very large-scale projects, full gut renovations that include room relocations, changing the certificate of occupancy, adding bedrooms, etc. The biggest benefit is that you have an independent owner's agent who does all the drafting, design, and bidding out the build to different contractors. That comes at a price, though: usually an additional 30% in project costs. 

Design-and-Build Firm

This is the all-inclusive approach we take at Gallery. It’s similar to the architect approach in terms of the work we do, but the difference is that at a design-and-build firm, everything is done in-house. As a result, there’s no project price fee. The biggest benefit here is that the design and construction work are being done by the same people, so there's no loss of information between a separate designer and separate builders. This method is well-suited for mid-to-upper-mid-tier level projects and larger renovations as well, including multi-room projects or apartment combinations. 

Other Options

Depending on the scope of the project and your own comfort level with regard to any element of doing the process yourself, you can also work with a general contractor who will just come in and do the installation and labor or an interior designer who will choose materials; some may or may not work with contractors as well, but in both cases, the client will have varying degrees of purchasing of materials and dealing with building management to deal with themselves. 

Five Questions to Ask

After making sure that the potential contractors or firms you’re considering are properly licensed, you can narrow your choices down even further by asking these five questions. Learn more about the specifics behind each one!

  1. Can I see some projects?
  2. How would you do this in your own home?
  3. How long should my project take? 
  4. What unexpected things should I expect?
  5. What is not included in the proposal that you will need in order to have a fully finished project?

How Firms Can Help You With Purchase Price Negotiations

Anyone who is seriously considering buying a specific apartment, with the intent of renovating it, should speak to their firm prior to negotiations so they can structure their offer with respect to the needs of the renovation. If your renovation will take 6 months to complete and require $200K, that is very valuable information to consider when making an offer on an apartment.

Pro tip: Look at the StreetEasy listings of other units in the same building that are equal in square footage, have the same amount of bedrooms, and have been fully renovated. What have they sold for/what are they selling for? What's the difference in costs between that and the unit you're buying? If you add the costs of the renovation plus the carrying costs, is it still less than what those units are selling for? Then you're making a good offer. If not, now you have information that you can use to adjust your offer.

A note on resources: From a more broad perspective, you can find general contractors in NYC through resources like Sweeten and Houzz. Check out our Houzz reviews to see what people who have found us through Houzz have to say, such as one client who said, “When I was deciding on a contractor, I received multiple bids and selected Gallery because they were, by far, the most professional, the bid included materials costs (I didn't know how to estimate them, I'd never done this before) and because they'd help me with the project.”

Once you’ve decided who you’re going to work with for your apartment renovation, the planning can begin! First up: the design and planning process.

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.

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.