Renovating in the Age of Coronavirus / COVID-19: What You Need to Know

Are you looking to purchase a New York apartment with the intent to renovate? Here's what you need to know given we're still in the midst of a viral pandemic.

June 15, 2020


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Renovating in the Age of Coronavirus / COVID-19: What You Need to Know

Renovating in NYC, especially when it comes to co-op or condo apartments, always comes with its own unique challenges. But renovating during a pandemic? It’s certainly possible, but there are some extra considerations that we’ll dive into below.

Renovating in NYC has always had its challenges, especially when it comes to renovating a co-op or a condo apartment. Remodeling an apartment in New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic adds yet another layer of potential considerations.

While 2020 has certainly proved to be a challenging year with its levels of uncertainty, a combination of historically low-interest rates and many motivated sellers has also brought unique opportunities and deals for those searching to purchase a property in NYC with the intent of renovating it. 

If you fall into this category, there are a number of considerations you should think about and some questions you will want to ask before placing an offer on a particular fixer-upper. 

Kitchen from Manhattan loft renovation in Tribeca. View full renovation before and after.

Factors That Impact Renovation Cost and Timelines

Like most people embarking on a renovation of an entire home or apartment, you will want to understand what sort of timeline you should expect. No one looks forward to carrying the costs of two residences; in this environment, it is that much more important to understand the full scope of the undertaking.

If you are purchasing in an apartment building, you will want to know the specific requirements your building has regarding contractors and renovations with respect to the pandemic. For example, some of our current clients’ buildings have allowed renovations to resume with minimal additional requirements – the obvious PPE, temperature checks, and common-sense safety protocols. Other buildings, meanwhile, have imposed more strict and onerous regulations such as:

  1. The number of people allowed to work inside of an apartment at any given time
  2. A limit to the number of total renovations being done simultaneously 
  3. The type of equipment required on-site (e.g. negative pressure HEPA filters)

If you are thinking about renovating your current apartment or seriously considering putting an offer on a new apartment that requires a renovation, you need to know your current or new building’s regulations as they may have implications to timelines and costs for your project. At Gallery, we’re committed to your project every step of the way, so once you decide to work with us, know that we’ll handle all the regulatory red tape.

Kitchen from pre-war apartment renovation in Greenwich Village. View full renovation before and after.

How Gallery Can Help

Do as much due diligence as possible prior to making an offer to put yourself in the best position for smart decisions. Don’t make the mistake of waiting to reach out to a contractor only until after you have closed on your apartment. But why is this a mistake?

If you are considering placing an offer on an apartment, reaching out to a reputable contractor first allows you to gain a better understanding of renovation costs, timelines, and the overall process. If you have an inspiration board or are able to discuss design concepts in even the broadest of broad strokes, better still; that will allow for an even more accurate discussion of costs. 

Contractors can actually obtain a great deal of information simply from looking at listing photos and floor plans on sites like Streeteasy. Furthermore, there’s a good chance we’ve already worked in the building you’re considering buying in, and we can add that much more value to the discussion.

Most reputable firms are built on providing their customers with value while acting as good partners. At Gallery, we strive to do this daily. If you’re considering purchasing a fixer-upper in the city, reach out to speak with us first. Let our insider knowledge and full-service design-build renovation approach help you make the best decision for your future home.

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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