NYC Apartment Renovation Tips in 2023: Costs Per Square Foot

Set the right expectations for the cost of an apartment remodel in NYC in 2023. Get prepared with our guide to general per-square-foot renovation prices.

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NYC Apartment Renovation Tips in 2023: Costs Per Square Foot

It’s important to set expectations about the cost of your NYC apartment remodel. Here are some general per-square-foot prices to prepare you for your project.

What a High-End Remodel in NYC Costs Per Square Foot in 2023 + How to Make the Most of Your Money

Renovating your New York City apartment provides value that goes beyond a dollar amount. It can mean adding more space for a growing family, living in your ideal location, or achieving the luxury aesthetic you’ve always wanted.

Of course, the money does matter. If you’re looking to sell, a renovation can net you a higher price. If you’re in the market to buy, choosing to renovate a fixer-upper can be more cost-effective than purchasing a move-in-ready home. Either way, it’s important to know what to expect when it comes to the cost of your NYC apartment remodel.

Ultimately, the price tag depends on the scope of your project and how you plan and execute. However, there are some general per-square-foot prices we can provide as a guideline to prepare you for your project. And with the help of an experienced, all-inclusive design-build firm, you can maximize every dollar  spent on your renovation.

Bathroom from renovation of Manhattan loft. View full renovation before and after.

Understanding NYC Renovation Costs Per Square Foot

Typically, a full higher-end remodel can range in cost from $250 to $450 per square foot (inclusive of all labor and materials), though price can vary due to various factors.

Dry & Wet Spaces

For example, dry spaces such as a bedroom or living room can cost an average of $30 to $50, while wet spaces like the kitchen and bathroom can range from $300 to $400 per square foot.

Layout Adjustments

Changing the layout will add to the cost and likely start your renovation in the $300s per sq foot.

NYC Permits & Formalities

In addition, architectural plans, permits, and other paperwork needed to apply for a NYC apartment remodel can cost upwards of $20,000. 

For example, if your project includes plumbing work, the permits for that alone can cost as much as $5,000. Electrical permits cost about $900 on average, while an asbestos inspection, if necessary, would run you an additional $500 to $1,000. Architectural plans start at around $15,000 but can range higher depending on the level of engagement and detail of plans. 

Heating & Cooling

Adding central air to your scope can easily add $25,000 or more to your project, but it is not unheard of to reach closer to $80,000 depending on the size, scope, and ancillary work involved.

Pre-War vs Post-War Spaces

A pre-war home with plaster walls will tend to increase costs, simply because pre-war walls require more work in order to modernize, whether necessitating multiple skim coats or demolishing old ones to be replaced with new materials. 

Elevator vs. Walk-Up

Never take heights for granted, when considering cost. Naturally, renovations that require walking up stairs take longer jobs with elevators, and thus cost more, because all the materials have to be manually transported. The higher the floor, the costlier the renovation.

Existing Condition 

An estate-condition space is likely to run north of $300 per sq foot if the project is a full gut renovation. Other factors that tend to increase the renovation costs of pre-war spaces in estate-condition include asbestos and lead abatement and the desired level of period specificity.

Home office from renovation of Manhattan pre-war apartment. View full renovation before and after.

That’s a lot to consider, right? Before you get overwhelmed, the following four strategies can help maximize the value of your NYC renovation costs per square foot:

1. Shop For Quality, Not Name Brands

The specific fixtures and finishes you choose will be one of the biggest factors in your project’s price tag. The most important tip we offer is to focus on choosing high-quality options rather than defaulting to name brands. For example, brands like Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Viking offer appliances with plenty of advanced features, but many of them aren’t necessary for daily use. Other manufacturers such as JennAir, Bosch, Miele, and Liebherr can offer equal or higher-quality appliances without impractical bells and whistles.

2. Make Layout Changes A Last Resort

Sometimes, a layout change is necessary to include in an NYC home renovation. But, if you don’t need to add extra bedrooms or closets, you can expand your space, optimize natural light, or achieve other space-changing effects through strategic use of the right finishes and design elements. Your best bet is to work with an experienced contractor who understands how to use design to change your home’s aesthetic without changing its layout. They’ll help you understand all the options available before you decide to knock down any walls.

3. Work On A No-Change-Order Model

Another advantage of working with an experienced, trusted contractor is the assurance that you won’t have to deal with change orders halfway into your project, unless you request them yourself. No matter how much you strategize your renovation, you can still end up wasting time and money if your contractor tells you it’s possible to add light in your kitchen without a layout change, then goes back on that promise after demolition starts. Our strict no-change-order model includes every element of your renovation from step one, ensuring you don’t encounter unexpected charges like this at any phase of your project.

4. Hire Skilled Trades As Needed, Not Upfront

For large NYC apartment remodels, the traditional process includes hiring an architect as the first step. Though architects play an important role during certain phases of a project, not all architects are created equal. By waiting to hire one, you can take time to research the one that’s right for you. At Gallery Kitchen & Bath, we work closely with architects and other skilled tradespeople based on the unique job requirements. We know the quality of their work and areas of expertise, and we know when that expertise is necessary for a given project.

Kitchen from Manhattan condo renovation in Nomad. View full renovation before and after.

Adding Value With a Design-Build Firm

By working with a design-build firm like Gallery, you can consolidate every aspect of your NYC home renovation under one roof. We act as more than just a contractor. We’re a team that includes all trades, vendors, and service providers you’ll need to complete any project, and we manage all the pieces for you.

Through our vendor relationships, we can give you access to a wider variety of high-quality products, appliances, and finishes than you’ll find on any showroom floor. Also, because we quarterback the entire process and all the moving parts involved, we can help you cut out errors and overruns that impact your project’s timeline and costs per square foot.

With so many options to choose from and the freedom of not having to micromanage your NYC apartment remodel, teaming up with a turnkey design-build firm is the most effective way to maximize your investment in your dream home. Ready to renovate? Learn more about Gallery or contact us to set-up your initial consultation and 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.




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