HOW LONG DOES A FULL APARTMENT RENOVATION IN New York TAKE?

Remodeling in New York City? Familiarize yourself with every aspect of a full apartment renovation timeline.

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HOW LONG DOES A FULL APARTMENT RENOVATION IN New York TAKE?

If a home renovation is in your future, the first question on your mind is surely: how long does a full apartment renovation take? While timelines differ based on the specifics of each individual project, a realistic renovation timeline consists of numerous parts.

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

While our process is generally dictated by the nuances of each respective renovation, and 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, a complete renovation of a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1700-square foot apartment, in which we update every aspect of the space, takes roughly five to six months. In addition, 90-120 days 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.

90-120 Days 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. There is no substitute for proper planning as companies with robust processes and procedures typically are those that consistently stand out and deliver projects on time and on budget. The planning phase is quite extensive and includes the following:

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 the client’s expectations.

All Design Work

Yes, we plan out all aspects of the design itself - not only from an architectural and space planning perspective, but the aesthetic of the interior design. This means we review all design options with the client, whether that’s contemporary, farmhouse, transitional, or any other style that makes most sense for the space, and build based on the client’s preference. This is a key benefit of working with a design-build firm.

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.

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.

NY 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.

LPC Approval Process, If Landmarked

If the property is historic, we’ll also need to get your 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).

Four-Six Months: Demo to Completion

Once design and approvals are settled, the demolition and build portion of the full apartment renovation begin. In our example, a full renovation entails three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, two bathrooms, and all the flooring throughout a 1700-square foot apartment, in which we update every single aspect of the space.

Floors & Walls

Floors are a huge component of a full apartment renovation. Refinishing old floors saves time and cost, but entirely updating (or restoring) floors is a common desire in many renovations. We tear out the old planks or tiles, and install new one’s throughout. Or, we fully restore the original planks, if that’s a goal. Full renovations usually also include wall updates too, whether we paint, skim coat, install wallpaper, or a combination of all.

Bathrooms & Kitchens

Bathrooms and kitchens are often the focal point of many renovations and usually have the most moving parts, in terms of materials and additional architectural factors. This includes updating electric or plumbing and reconfiguring floor plans to add or remove islands, turn tubs into showers, and other modernizing changes. Some apartments require us to consider wet-over-dry restrictions, which dictate where you can locate plumbing fixtures.

Room Creation & Built-Ins

To maximize small spaces, we often build closets or turn existing ones into laundry rooms Or, we’ll similarly design and create custom built-ins. These are common features in pre-war apartments and brownstones, such as nooks in kitchens or extra storage in bedrooms. In this Brooklyn brownstone kitchen renovation, we refinished the original window moldings and wood casings, as well as renovated and repurposed the brownstone’s original built-in arches - originally used as closets - into a nook with extra storage.

City Factors

Demolition and renovation is generally more time consuming in New York City apartments, due to the confined space of the buildings themselves. We have to carry out chunks of old, broken-up pieces of wall in buckets by hand, for example. Another factor is time itself, as many buildings have designated construction times (IE: no noisy work before or after certain times).

Timelines Are Key

Being realistic with our job timelines is essential because our clients make decisions based on them. One way we strengthen that trust is through JobTracker, the project management app we use to stay in touch with clients. Clear communication is always available regarding site visits - full project schedules that detail projected timelines and granular views into material delivery or pick-up, demo days, or any other activity. In short, every single detail is entered into the system to create an ongoing document that keeps everyone informed.

So, how long does a full apartment renovation take? The broad answer is 5-6 months, with 90-120 days of planning. See some examples of projects below with similar timelines:


If you’re searching for the right design-build firm to do a full apartment renovation in New York City, our expertise is catered to your demanding schedule. Our start-to-finish approach ensures the most seamless experience, with the highest quality materials, project management, and build. Contact us now for a design consultation to get started on your full apartment renovation.

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