Combining Apartments In NYC: The Two Factors That Determine Cost & Timelines

Considering an apartment combinations in New York City? Let's examine the variables that determine your cost and timeline.

May 8, 2023

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Combining Apartments In NYC: The Two Factors That Determine Cost & Timelines

Identifying conditions and requests that determine costs and timeline for an NYC apartment combination.

Table of contents

Although not always considered, apartment combinations in NYC are one of the most efficient routes for renovating in Manhattan or Brooklyn. Yet, there’s often a misconception that adjoining two units takes significantly more time and cost than a standard renovation. Not always so. 

Ultimately, the timeline and cost of combining two apartments depends on the scope of your renovation and is determined by two main factors: 

Blueprint for Greenwich Village apartment combination in Manhattan. View full renovation before and after.

[#Factor-1]Factor 1) Extent Of Floor-Plan Reconfiguration[#Factor-1]

If you're combining two apartments where, for the most part, the overall space plan is going to remain very close to the current configuration, turning two units into one cohesive living area requires two bare essentials:

  • Capping one of the kitchens 
  • Creating an entry between the two apartments

Those two updates constitute the legal definition of an apartment combination and also present a best case scenario. Most apartment combinations in NYC are not that straightforward. Quite the contrary. Most of the time joining two apartments is extremely complex, because two layouts rarely blend properly without adjustment. For a logical flow to the expanded home, you're essentially forced into moving various walls and configuring a newly-combined floor-plan. 

Here comes the next domino. Moving the walls has potential to open up Pandora's box - because now you're rewiring the space. Now we're potentially bound by restrictions that govern wiring in the building. The electrical overhaul, in and of itself, is a significant undertaking. 

Bottom line, the more adjustments to the floor plan-plan, the longer and more costly your apartment combination.  

Open floor-plan kitchen from completed Greenwich Village apartment combination in Manhattan.

[#Factor-2]Factor 2) Pre-Existing Site Conditions[#Factor-2]

Beyond the likely floor-plan reconfiguration and subsequent electrical work, pre-existing site conditions can also have strong ramifications on an apartment combination in NYC. 

For instance, are the floors the same throughout? Are they the same level? What about ceiling heights? Do wall conditions pair properly? Are you planning on moving a bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room to a former “dry” area (EX: living room) in a building where wet over dry restrictions could prevent the move? If these core aspects of the two adjoined apartments are not aligned favorably, expect higher costs and a longer timeline. 

[#Why]Why Design-Build Firms Make Sense For Apartment Combinations In NYC[#Why]

Are apartment combinations complex? More often than not, yes. Can they be expensive? Sure. However, when compared with attempting to buy a new apartment twice the size in a new part of town and potentially uprooting your life, the benefits are clear. 

If you’re considering a renovation that involves combining two apartments into one, consider Gallery KBNY. We’re a full-service design-build firm in New York City and unlike more singular architectural firms or design-bid-build contractors, our end-to-end renovation services include every party working on your project under one roof, covering everything from interior design and architecture services to filing permits and construction management. Learn more about Gallery, view our apartment renovation before and after portfolio, or contact us to see why our New York City apartment renovation and remodeling services are the most mindful choice when choosing a home renovation contractor in Manhattan or Brooklyn.


Managing Partner/CEO

Avi Zikryhttps://www.gallerykbny.com/authors/avi-z

Avi Zikry is the CEO and managing partner of Gallery KBNY, a full service design-build firm specializing in the design and interior renovation of apartments, townhomes, and lofts in NYC. Under his leadership, Gallery KBNY has earned the reputation for delivering exceptional service and beautiful homes to our select group of clients. Avi's strategic positioning extends beyond the brand. He has strategically cultivated a network of industry partners and suppliers, forging strong alliances that allow Gallery KBNY to access cutting-edge technologies and materials. By staying abreast of industry trends and technological advancements, Avi ensures the firm remains at the forefront of innovation, consistently offering clients the latest design solutions and construction methodologies.

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