The tipping point for a full home renovation in NYC can come from various directions. Whether you’re buying with intent to renovate, modernizing a historic home that’s been in your family for generations, or fed up with your apartment’s current floorplan and finally ready to pull the trigger on a reconfiguration, a full home renovation is the most streamlined approach to your dream home.
While the comprehensive journey of a full home renovation in NYC may seem overwhelming from afar, the hesitation eases once you understand why the process is so involved and find an experienced firm to partner with who can guide you through the entire process.
A full home renovation in New York City is a meticulous and transformative process that encompasses the complete overhaul of your residence, turning the space into a harmonious and modern residence. The renovation goes beyond mere superficial updates, reimagining your entire home, room by room, and system by system (think updating plumbing, electric, mechanicals, etc…). This comprehensive approach ensures every aspect of your home is carefully considered and renovated to achieve a cohesive and contemporary design that not only reflects your personal style but also caters to the unique demands of metropolitan living.
In the space-constrained landscape of NYC, every square foot counts. Full home renovations allow for a strategic redesign of your home's layout, maximizing space utilization and functionality. This can mean creating open-concept living areas, optimizing storage solutions, and crafting custom layouts that perfectly suit your needs.
The real estate market in NYC is highly competitive and ever-evolving. A full home renovation is a strategic investment that can significantly boost your property's value. A modern, well-designed New York City home not only commands a higher price on the market but also attracts discerning buyers looking for move-in-ready properties.
Many older homes in NYC may have outdated electrical, plumbing, or HVAC systems that can be costly and inefficient. Full home renovations offer the opportunity to update and modernize these essential systems, ensuring energy efficiency, safety, and long-term savings on utility bills.
NYC is renowned for its eclectic mix of architectural styles. A full home renovation allows you to harmonize the aesthetic of your entire property, ensuring a consistent and appealing design throughout. From exterior facades to interior finishes, you can create a unified look that showcases your personal taste and elevates your home's curb appeal.
We’re often asked why we’re different from other firms in NYC. See how our full-service design-build approach compares to competitive renovation models:
A true design-build firm offers a full-service renovation package for clients who value a partner with one main point of contact to oversee the entire process. Alternatively, a design-bid-build firm delivers a more piecemeal approach that allows for more flexibility, but essentially makes the homeowner a project manager. Read a more detailed breakdown of the two approaches via Design-Build vs Design-Bid-Build: What’s The Difference?
When doing a full home renovation in NYC, especially one involving multiple rooms or an entire home, the traditional approach has been hiring an architect, who draws up plans and handles the design. They then bid out those plans to various contractors. The architect will act as your agent, often managing project construction too. This does not come without fees, as architects typically charge an additional 20% of the construction price to manage the contractors.
Design-build firms, on the other hand, offer a similar approach - without having to bid out plans to multiple contractors AND without the added 20% architects charge. With a design-build firm like Gallery, everything is done in-house. Our architect draws up the plans while the design team handles the space planning, finish and fixture component of the project. From there, our team does the build and construction - all overseen by our in-house project and construction managers, who ensure all finer points meet your specific expectations.
We design the project, then we build the project.
For more on the topic, read our full blog on Design-Build vs. Architectural Firms.
If you’re looking for a quick turnaround renovation, you’re in the wrong place. Our full home renovation process is all-inclusive and comprehensive as any offered in NYC. Below is a breakdown of every aspect of our complete renovation process, from the initial consultation to the final handover, offering a detailed overview of what to expect when partnering with Gallery.
The start of each potential renovation begins with an introductory phone call. In this phase we have a high level discussion to understand and determine:
To properly gauge the full scope of the project we perform a walk-through of the property to assess site conditions, making sure all considerations and potential obstacles are accounted for (think electrical loads, asbestos, load bearing walls, etc). This allows us to propose any necessary pivots to the client’s specifications based on unforeseen difficulties like an outdated electrical system or hidden columns, along with potential suggestions to enhance the renovation even further. As part of this phase we also provide a revised range of rough costs and timelines.
Beyond our preliminary site assessment, we also go a step further and consider any additional tasks needed to mitigate surprises along the way. Upon completion, we provide a risk management assessment that confirms all design, material and job site compliances are met before construction begins.
Following the site walk-through is a more in-depth discussion of the project centered around the detailed scope and design concept (space planning and design aesthetic).
Once the “big picture” design concept is established we present our client with:
At the conclusion of this planning phase, our prospective client decides whether they want to formally retain us. At this stage a formal contract is entered into which details every aspect of the renovation including:
There is no secret formula or proprietary software behind our success. The reason we deliver beautiful projects on time and budget is because we’re diligent in every aspect of our planning process. Too many renovations go awry because of some unexpected condition discovered during the demolition phase. In reality, this is almost always a story about poor planning, or lack thereof. In every one of our NYC renovations, we aim for the most thorough pre-construction planning possible to anticipate and avoid any potential costly obstacles.
The pre-construction phase is where we formally test and assess for problematic conditions, including those identified in the initial walk through. Because of their intrusive and costly nature, these tests can only be performed once our client is the formal owner of the property and has formally retained us. While initial walk-throughs are where we typically identify site conditions that have the potential to cause problems for the desired scope and design intent, this is when the actual diagnostic testing is performed. These tests typically consist of:
The most hands-on aspect of any interior renovation is finding the right materials for the chosen design style. That entails paint color, accent walls, flooring style, mouldings, fixtures, countertops, and more. As a full-service design-build firm in NYC, we take on the design, sourcing, and procurement of every permanent fixture needed for your full home renovation.
That overarching expertise also allows us to accommodate every architectural and interior design adjustment required, whether that’s tearing down a wall to open up your footprint or extending the back of your townhome for more square footage. We handle all architectural planning plus filings on your behalf via our award winning in-house design team and architects.
Once we have identified all site conditions, we finalize all details of the floor plan and present material selection options to choose from. This phase typically includes:
Much of the submission phase runs parallel to the design phase and although we start the building alteration submission process early on in the planning phase, it is once all architectural plans are finalized that we can complete the submission process both to the building management company along with the NYC Dept of Buildings.
We work with our client’s building management company and building-hired reviewing architects to satisfy all requirements needed to obtain formal approval by the building. If our client lives in a private home, this step is skipped. Once approval from building management is obtained, we submit the plans to NYC Dept of Buildings for approval and permitting.
Navigating co-op boards, management companies, and city agencies can be quite cumbersome. That’s why we take on the production and filing of all architectural plans along with obtaining all building, plumbing, and electrical permits from the NYC Department Of Buildings. At times this also includes handling landmarked-related approvals with the LPC.
With all specifics accounted for, our project management team builds a full, detailed timeline and production calendar. This means scheduling all aspects of the renovation, from client meetings and inspections to delivery, demo, and installation dates. By adhering to a strict timeline our seasoned project managers can properly coordinate all parties involved and accurately meet milestones throughout the project.
During the construction phase our build and project management brings the entire vision to life following the detailed roadmap we’ve diligently spent months putting together during the design, planning, and pre-construction phases. In this final phase of the project the process consists of:
Before final handover, a thorough inspection is conducted to ensure that the renovation meets the agreed-upon standards. Any necessary tweaks or adjustments are made at this stage.
The renovated space is presented to the homeowner. A detailed walkthrough is conducted, ensuring the client understands all the new features and modifications.
One of our core principles is to keep an open line of communication at all times. We do this by offering regular site visits and phone calls, plus a mobile project management app to track all the steps of the job, material selections or questions, and anything else to discuss. You know what we know – every step of the way.
With a full-service team of design and construction professionals experienced in the complexities of NYC apartment renovations, our all-inclusive design-build approach makes change orders and mid-project budget adjustments much less likely.
We take on the responsibility of handling all red tape involved in apartment renovations in NYC, at no additional cost. This includes reviewing and satisfying a board’s alteration agreement, filing all relevant architectural plans with the Department Of Buildings, and procurement of all necessary permits. We also handle all LPC approvals and requirements.
From bathrooms and kitchens to living rooms, closets, flooring, and anything in between, we’ve crafted them all. Get inspired by some of our finest full apartment renovations below. View our complete NYC renovation portfolio or browse a few of our favorites:
When we were hired for this co-op renovation on the Upper West Side, the dated pre-war space needed some work. The family purchased the Manhattan home near Broadway with the intention of reinvigorating the spacious property without losing the historic character. With a speciality in pre-war renovations in NYC, we were happily up for the challenge. View the full apartment combination before and after.
Brownstones as beautiful as those on president street in carroll gardens rarely enter the market. When our client was able to purchase the landmarked beauty they grew up in, they not only jumped on the opportunity, they doubled down with a full gut brownstone renovation that reconfigured the space into a modern, more breathable home for raising their next generation. The full home renovation included various layout adjustments, modern renovations throughout the entire space, and a sunken dining room extension w/backyard access & dual skylight. View the full apartment renovation before and after.
Looking for more information on full home renovations or gut renovations in New York City? View our full Renovation & Design Blog or dig into one of our highlighted articles below:
Thinking about renovating your NYC apartment? As a full-service design-build firm in New York City, Gallery delivers full-service apartment renovations from start to finish, handling everything from interior design and architectural planning to building and board management approval, plus construction with project management. We’re experts in pre-war apartment renovations, apartment combinations, room creations, full gut renovations and all that falls in between. For more information, view our portfolio of NYC apartment renovation before and afters, learn more about Gallery, or contact us below.