What Goes Into the Cost of a Complete Gut Renovation in NYC?

A gut renovation in NYC can uncover concerns that put you over timeline and budget. See why the added costs are justified.

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What Goes Into the Cost of a Complete Gut Renovation in NYC?

Gut renovations in NYC warrant higher costs and a longer timeline, but that doesn't mean the added value isn't worth the price.

Informally, people often use the term gut renovation to mean a complete remodel in which every surface, appliance, and fixture is upgraded. However, a true gut renovation involves stripping down interior walls, reworking plumbing and electrical wiring, and upgrading all visual spaces.

These are just a few considerations when gauging how much a NYC gut renovation costs, amongst potentially many. But, the question is - is the added value worth the added investment? Once we break down what goes into a full gut renovation in NYC, the gains become crystal clear.

A large number of gut renovations occur in NYC co-op or condo buildings, which means the board will likely impose building requirements found on the alteration agreement on your project. For instance, you might not be able to route plumbing or electrical work through the ceiling, so your contractor may have to get creative.

Unforeseen Costs and Complications

New York City is home to some of the oldest properties in the country, like most Pre-War buildings in NYC, so many remodeling projects are gut renovations by necessity.

Inspectors may have to perform open wall inspections, and no significant work can be completed until they’re finished. Some properties have histories of poor upkeep and still contain old, unsafe materials that are not up to code.

If your gut renovation uncovers these concerns, you’ll have to address them. Problems like asbestos, cloth-wrapped wiring, galvanized and corroded plumbing, and improper framing can’t be allowed to remain. The good news is that an experienced design-build contractor should have the ability to anticipate many of these surprises, prior to any work starting.

At Gallery, we go one step further and actually include supplemental costs of these items up front, should they come to fruition. If they don’t, perfect - we’re under budget. This experience and foresight eliminates any surprises while keeping everyone honest.

Demolishing and rebuilding any part of your home is a sizable endeavor, but working with a trustworthy team of design-build experts will make your timeline more manageable. During each phase of your project, different complications will arise, and a full-service team can help you overcome each one with fewer headaches.


In short, yes. If you’ve got the budget and are willing to make whatever time is needed to properly renovate your esteemed NYC home, why wouldn’t you? The value added to your home or apartment will warrant the cost and time of a full gut renovation. 

If you’re looking to resell the home in the short or near future, buyers will be enticed when they know that not only is the space in pristine shape at face value, the internal elements of the property are safe and sound for decades to come. 

Or, if you’re looking to make the space your forever home, consider the added peace of mind provided by knowing your nearly 100-year-old investment is built to hold up indefinitely.

A Typical Gut Renovation Timeline

With the help of a turnkey design-build team, planning out the cost of your complete gut renovation becomes effortless. The execution will vary, depending on the scope of your project and any agreements you may have to abide by, but an all-inclusive design-build firm like Gallery ensures a reasonable timeline. Here’s the process you can expect:

Demolition phase:

Demolishing old structures is the first step to your gut renovation. After we’ve put all protections up around the property, we’ll gut it down to the studs so we can rebuild the space from scratch.

Initial inspections:

Before we start the rebuilding phase, our project manager and construction manager will walk through the space to determine what surprises (if any) might arise, conveying all findings along the way to ensure unforeseen specifics can be proactively addressed. Read Common Surprises When Renovating An NYC Apartment.

Framing and rough carpentry:

Architectural plans are drawn up during the planning phase. If the plans call for new framing, it will be installed after the initial round of inspections is complete.

Electrical and plumbing:

After new framing is up, we can run new plumbing and electrical work according to the plans. We’ll also test that the water and gas is running without leaks and the electrical current works without any shorts.

Finish carpentry and fixtures:

With all plumbing and electrical work completed, we can close up the walls and begin installing items such as plumbing and electrical fixtures, cabinetry, tiles, flooring, stairs, and more.

Final inspections and walk-through:

After adding finishing touches such as paint, molding, and trim, we’ll clean up and perform a final inspection. We’ll walk through the property with you to ensure everything is up to our standards and to your expectations. 

Now that you know what to expect during the renovation process, the next question you might have is, how much will my gut renovation in NYC cost? Before you can determine the bottom line, consider the unexpected consequences that may come up and how they’ll affect your cost and timeline. To get a better idea of what to expect, contact the residential renovation experts at Gallery today.




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