How Much Does It Cost To Renovate A Condo In NYC?

Prepare for a condo renovation in NYC with our complete guide on baseline costs and potential unforeseen expenses throughout the process.

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How Much Does It Cost To Renovate A Condo In NYC?

With so many aspects of a condo renovation in NYC, understanding costs up front is tricky and budgeting for your dream home can be difficult. To help readers digest the full scope of costs, we've broken down every expense that can be expected during a full condo renovation process.

Renovating in New York City is a massive undertaking, especially condos and co-ops. Not only does the city’s seasoned architecture make design and construction more complex and costly, but condo and co-op renovations require various rounds of submissions and approvals with co-op boards and management companies, which can impact time and budget. The logistics are extensive, but they don’t have to catch you off guard. 

As a full-service design-build firm in NYC, we understand all factors making up a condo or co-op renovation and have outlined them below, helping you set expectations for your dream home renovation while staying within budget.

Average Cost For A Condo Renovation In NYC

The total cost of any condo renovation is dependent on existing site conditions, clients’ design aesthetics/preferences, and the actual scope of the project. However, a good rule of thumb for an entire condo renovation in NYC, including all components mentioned below, with mid-to-upper tier finishes is $250-450, Per Square Foot.

  • Architectural plans
  • Project management
  • Material selection
  • Interior design
  • Construction
  • Full renovation (new floors, kitchen, bathroom, plumbing, electric, and painting)

A condo renovation in that range has good bones. In NYC, a number of common factors can increase costs. The most prevailing cost modifiers when renovating condos and co-ops in NYC include:

  1. Pre-war condo: $350-550 psf
  2. Estate-condition condo: $350-550 psf
  3. Adding HVAC / true central air: $400 psf and up
  4. Relocation of plumbing/creation of new wet spaces: $300-400 psf, depending on the extent

Read more on the Cost Of Renovating A NYC Pre-War Apartment and Gut Renovation Costs In NYC.

Unconsidered Costs And Complications

Beyond base costs, there are often unexpected expenses during condo renovations in NYC. At Gallery, we include supplemental costs of these items 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.

Boards, Permits & Approvals 

Costs are often associated with the following permits and tests, which must be handled prior to any condo renovation in New York City: 

Building, Electrical, and Plumbing Permits from Department Of Building

Navigating co-op boards, management companies, and city agencies can be a cumbersome process. As a full service design & build firm, we take on every aspect of the planning AND approval process on our clients behalf. This includes the production and filing of all architectural plans along with obtaining all building, plumbing, and electrical permits. At times this also includes handling all landmarked-related approvals with the LPC.

Plumbing Inspection

Required if areas being renovated in the condo touch plumbing, such as the kitchen or bathroom.  

Asbestos Test

Testing for asbestos in the early renovation stages is not only smart planning but often required in order to file architectural plans. As part of this process we plan for any added effort required for removal or see if there are workaround cost saving measures that can leave the asbestos undisturbed. By law, if work disturbs the asbestos, mitigation is required and bringing in an asbestos remediation company for asbestos removal and air quality monitoring is likely needed. However if preliminary tests confirm asbestos won’t be disturbed during the work, we’ll plan to avoid the area and issue altogether.

Electrical Test 

There are two reasons for an electrical test before a condo renovation. The first is to confirm there is no cloth wiring, a standard in the 40’s/50’s that will no longer pass inspection. The second is to ensure the electrical capacity of the apartment can handle the proposed electrical load of the renovation - which isn’t always the case in older buildings. If the condo is a relatively new build, or has been renovated in the last 15-20 years, the electrical test results shouldn’t be too shocking. 

Internal Updates 

If inspections uncover concerns, they’ll have to be addressed before the condo renovation can proceed. Problems like asbestos, cloth-wrapped wiring, galvanized and corroded plumbing, and improper framing can’t be allowed to remain. An experienced design-build contractor should have the ability to anticipate many of these surprises, prior to any work starting.

Condo Renovation In NYC Case Study

As experts in condo and co-ops renovations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, our Before + After portfolio includes various completed condo and co-op projects. One of our favorites is this Manhattan Condo Renovation

At the beginning of this full interior renovation, we identified a hidden column in the kitchen, which happens often in condo renovations in NYC. Instead of forcing an alteration and facing consequences from the building board, we incorporated the surprise into our interior design, integrating the column into the space by building it out with an in-set bookshelf. Not only is the column virtually hidden, this cost-effective solution provided functional purpose as a great place for cookbooks or added kitchen shelving. 

In another instance, we helped a couple renovate their Manhattan co-op after an unexpected fire, and their testimonial speaks volumes about the benefits of using a design-build for a condo or co-op renovation: 

“From the very beginning, it was so easy to work with this company. The apartment needed a gut renovation after a devastating fire. GKBNY provided wonderful design ideas, were extremely patient with our abundance of questions and occasional change of plans, and were very professional in dealing with the building's (a co-op) high threshold requirements and demands. Hands down I would recommend them (and already have) to others seeking to do an apartment renovation in NYC. I will be using their services again for my next apartment renovation when that time comes.”

Condo Costs In NYC Conclusion

If you’re looking to get more granular when budgeting for a NYC renovation, read our guide to NYC Apartment Remodel Costs Per Square Foot. Or, if you’re comfortable with costs and looking to renovate your condo or co-op apartment with a full-service design-build firm who will handle all aspects of your project from start to finish, contact us and start planning next steps with one of our design consultants.

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