How Long Does A Full Apartment Renovation In New York City Take?

Remodeling in NYC? Familiarize yourself with every aspect of a full apartment renovation timeline.

January 10, 2024


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How Long Does A Full Apartment Renovation In New York City Take?

Full apartment renovation timelines differ based on the specifics of each individual project and a realistic renovation timeline consists of numerous parts.

Table of contents

Inevitably, clients are curious about renovation timelines . One of the first questions we typically get in the consultation process is, “so, how long will this renovation take?” Fair enough.

Our process is generally dictated by the nuances of each respective renovation, and while the timeline for a kitchen renovation and bathroom renovation are a bit easier to ballpark, renovating a full apartment naturally takes more into consideration.

While there is always a range based on the specific work, the renovation timeline for a complete renovation of a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,700-square foot apartment, in which we update every aspect of the space, takes roughly 5-6 months. In addition, 4-6 months worth of planning are typically necessary prior to actually starting demolition and construction. With those two pillars of the timeline in place, let’s break down what the full renovation journey actually entails.

[#Planning]4-6 Months: Planning[#Planning]

The planning phase is especially vital prior to a full renovation of an apartment due to the large amount of moving parts. At Gallery, as a turnkey design-build firm, we take great pride in fully streamlining the renovation process for our clients. The planning phase includes the following:

Planning - Phase 1: Architectural Drawing

Our architects produce the drawings that are filed with the building management companies and later with the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB). All drawings are reviewed with clients prior to submission to ensure any adjustments to the desired floor plan meet expectations.

Planning - Phase 2: All Design Work

We execute all aspects of the apartment renovation, not only from an architectural and space planning perspective, but the aesthetic of the interior design. This means we review all design options with clients, offering contemporary, farmhouse, transitional, or any other preferred style. Having all production members working in tandem up front is a key benefit of working with a design-build firm and ultimately ensures your design is executed exactly the way you envisioned. 

Planning - Phase 3: Material Selection & Procurement

With as much input from the client as desired, we select all finishes and fixtures for the project. This includes all tiles and stones for backsplashes and countertops, custom cabinets and vanities, paint colors, wood for new flooring planks, plumbing fixtures, finishes of all stripes, and any other materials required to complete the entire renovation. Once the selections have been made, we confirm lead times to ensure they align with the production schedule and then procure, warehouse, and handle all finishes. We are brand-agnostic and source materials from wherever is needed to ensure we meet the client’s desired design, including commissioning custom pieces from overseas or local artisans - like the marble bathroom counter slab we had designed for this East Village bathroom renovation.

Planning - Phase 4: Design Renders

After all materials have been sourced, we create life-like digital renderings of what the renovated space will look like upon completion. This includes every aspect of the design, down to the cabinet color and hardware. These high-end renderings provide a visual accompaniment to the blueprint that guides construction. See an example of a recently-completed kitchen render for a full Manhattan apartment renovation we're currently working on below: 

Design render of kitchen for upcoming Manhattan apartment renovation.

Planning: Building Board Approval Process

Each building has their own process as far as approving renovations to the space, and we handle all the necessary communication with the building’s designated reviewing architect and management company.

Planning: NYC Dept Of Buildings Approval Process

Of course, New York City Department of Buildings has their own approval process and our services include navigating and expediting all city approvals and permitting.

Planning: Lpc Approval Process, If Landmarked

If the property is historic, we’ll also need to get the renovation approved by the Landmark Preservation Commission or at the least have LPC issue a certificate of no effect (if there is no exterior work that must meet LPC approval).

Planning: Considerations Across Bedroom Counts

Amidst the extensive apartment renovation process, the planning phase stands as maybe the most pivotal juncture, as meticulous considerations up front pave the way for all following transformative months. As we delve into the intricacies of planning, it's crucial to navigate the nuanced landscape shaped by the varying bedroom counts of apartments, unraveling a tapestry of considerations that harmonize the distinctive needs of two and three-bedroom dwellings alike.

  • Expense Dynamics: While the planning duration remains relatively consistent, the expense dynamics vary. Larger apartments typically entail more material and potentially intricate design considerations, leading to a proportionate increase in costs. Our transparent approach ensures that clients are fully informed about the financial implications of their unique project.
  • Multi-Use Room Planning: Apartments with varying bedroom counts often introduce multi-use room planning complexities. Ensuring that each room serves its intended purpose while maintaining a cohesive design requires thoughtful consideration. Our design-build firm excels in creating versatile spaces that adapt to the needs of our clients.
  • More Rooms? More Approvals: Whether renovating a two or three bedroom apartment, the approval processes with the building board, NYC Department of Buildings, and Landmark Preservation Commission (if applicable) remain consistent. However, the scale and intricacy of larger apartments may require more nuanced communication during these approval phases. 

[#Demo]5-6 Months: Transformation From Demo To Completion[#Demo]

Once the design and approval stages are finalized, the transition from demolition to completion marks a significant phase in the comprehensive renovation of an apartment. In our illustration, we consider a thorough renovation encompassing three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and all the flooring across a 1700-square foot apartment, where every facet of the space undergoes a revitalizing update. This also takes into account new electrical wiring and plumbing behind the walls.

Floors & Walls

Living area from renovation of Brooklyn brownstone. View full renovation before and after.

The flooring aspect holds substantial weight in a complete apartment overhaul. While refinishing existing floors can be a time-saving and cost-effective choice, many renovations involve the removal and replacement of old planks or tiles. Alternatively, a restoration of original planks is pursued upon request. Simultaneously, wall updates are integral to the process, whether through painting, skim coating, wallpaper installation, or a carefully curated combination of these elements. With two or three bedroom apartments, the additional space and complexity may slightly extend the timeline for floor and wall renovations. Customizations tailored to various distinct bedrooms necessitate precision and attention to detail.

Bathrooms & Kitchens

Bathrooms and kitchens emerge as focal points in numerous renovations, boasting intricate designs and careful architectural considerations. These spaces often undergo modifications to electric and plumbing systems, along with potential floor plan reconfigurations. Factors like wet-over-dry restrictions may influence the placement of plumbing fixtures.

Room Creation & Built-Ins

Optimizing space through the creation of rooms and custom built-ins adds a layer of sophistication to apartment renovations. In smaller spaces, strategic closet additions or transformations into laundry rooms are common. Custom built-ins, such as nooks in kitchens or extra storage in bedrooms, enhance the overall functionality and aesthetic appeal - but also add time to your project. That’s why all customizations are carefully considered during the planning process and timelines are built to reflect those above and beyond intricacies.

City Factors

The confined nature of New York City buildings introduces unique challenges in construction, impacting the overall timeline. Manual removal of debris and adherence to designated construction hours to comply with building regulations contribute to the intricacies of city-centric renovations.

[#Key]Why Timelines Are Key[#Key]

Transparent communication and realistic job timelines are foundational to the success of any renovation project. Our JobTracker project management app facilitates continuous communication, offering a comprehensive view of material deliveries, demo days, and various activities. A realistic timeline, especially during the construction phase, ensures informed decision-making and strengthens trust with clients.

So, how long does a full apartment renovation take? The broad answer is 5-6 months, with 90-120 days of planning.

[#Examples]Examples Of Apartment Renovations In NYC[#Examples]

See some examples or our NYC renovations below with similar timelines:

Manhattan Loft Renovation In Tribeca | 73 Worth St

See how we completely refreshed a 2,000-square-foot penthouse with a new kitchen, new bathrooms, new floors and updated lighting via a before and after of the full renovation.

Brooklyn Condo Renovation | 296 Sterling Place

In this BK condo renovation, we upgraded the kitchen, remodeled multiple bathrooms, and added new flooring and painting throughout. See the full condo renovation via our before and after.

Manhattan Co-Op Renovation 

This apartment renovation on the Upper West Side consisted of a remodeled kitchen, an upgraded master bathroom with walk-in shower, new hardwood flooring, plus new closets, interior doors, and radiator covers. See the full co-op renovation via our before and after.

Apartment Combination In Westside Manhattan 

This Columbus Circle renovation required us to combine two apartments and fully renovate the kitchen and bathroom, with new floors, doors, paint, and general carpentry work. See before + afters of the full apartment combination renovation

Full Home Renovation Contractors In New York City

Searching for the right design-build firm to do a full apartment renovation in New York City? Our start-to-finish approach ensures a seamless experience, with the highest quality materials, project management, and build. Learn more about Gallery or contact us to see why our New York City apartment renovation and remodeling services are the most mindful choice when considering a residential renovation in Manhattan or Brooklyn.

Chief Revenue Officer

Alex Ushyarov

Alex Ushyarov is the Chief Revenue Officer of Gallery KBNY, a full service design-build firm specializing in the design and interior renovation of apartments, townhomes, and lofts in NYC. Recognizing the importance of differentiation in a competitive industry, Alex has developed a clear and compelling brand identity for the company. Through meticulous market analysis and a deep understanding of customer needs, he has honed the firm's unique value proposition, highlighting its ability to deliver innovative, sustainable, and high-quality design-build solutions.




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