The 3 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Choosing General Contractors

The people on your home renovation team are a pretty big part of your life. Here’s how to choose your contractor for NYC renovations wisely.

October 1, 2018


mins to read

The 3 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Choosing General Contractors

If you think about it, the people on your home remodeling team are a pretty big part of your life. Here’s how to not mess up.

Table of contents

The decision involves money and time; they’ll be at your house a lot; you’ll live with the results every day. What’s more, it’s a relationship that will only succeed, and yield great results, when there’s free and easy communication between the two parties. Preferences need to be shared candidly, and both sides need to feel free to ask questions.

Your first home design challenge is to wade through oodles of remodeling companies, which can feel daunting. So let’s talk about some of the most common mistakes made when hiring for NYC renovations, along with ways to avoid them altogether.

[#Assume]Don’t assume you need an architect[#Assume]

If you’re making enormous changes to your kitchen or bathroom layout, or if you’re shifting the structural components of your home, then yes, start scouting architects. But many renovation plans--even the dramatic ones you may be picturing--don’t require an architect’s services. (The ones that also require very special permits.) If you’re not reorienting the bones of your home, it’s likely you don’t need (and therefore don’t need to pay for) an architect (even a design-focused one).

Do: Work with a full-service design-build firm who can handle any style of residential renovation in NYC. We handle the full scope of your renovation from interior design and permits to material procurements and construction. If your project requires architectural drawings and filings, our architectural services will cover both on your behalf as part of our comprehensive scope of work.

Kitchen and living space from Brooklyn condo renovation. View full renovation before and after.

[#Hire]Don’t HIRE your cousin’s barber’s uncle’s Nephew[#Hire]

Unless he’s really good! Maybe he’s really good. But either way, do your research.

One resource to start is with Houzz, which has awarded the “Best Of” award to Gallery Kitchen & Bath for three consecutive years. Houzz invites users to browse scads of designers, house remodeling companies, and home repair contractors.

A terrific place to start your research, however, is in the homes of your friends and family. Does someone you know eat in a dream kitchen every day, or brush their teeth amidst the coolest bathroom cabinets you’ve ever seen? Ask around.

[#Pick]Don’t pick someone who talks more than they listen[#Pick]

An initial consultation is a little like a date. Yes, if you can, it’s nice to jump into discussing your vision and hammering out some first steps. But it’s also important to see what kind of people you might be working with. Remember: life-changing kitchen and bathroom renovations aside, these experts are also folks you’ll be spending a bit of time with at your home.

Even if you can’t explain, in that first meeting, whether you want the herringbone soffit or the houndstooth backsplash (or what those even are), it’s vital that you feel like you can eventually talk with your the creators of your designer kitchen and bath. Ideally, a designer is not only non-judge mental, but also eager to help you home in on, and articulate, your own thoughts. They should be able to hear what design elements you’re looking for, even if you’re not used to speaking in art and design terms, and you should feel free expressing your true opinion of different patterns, materials, and ideas.

Open floor-plan kitchen from pre-war apartment combination in Greenwich Village. View the full renovation before and after.

Apartment Renovation Contractors In NYC

Thinking about renovating a New York apartment, loft, brownstone, or condo? As a full-service design-build firm in New York City, Gallery handles home renovations from start to finish, driving all aspects of a client's project from interior design and architectural planning to building board management and demolition plus construction. Ready to renovate? 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.

Managing Partner/CEO

Avi Zikry

Avi Zikry is the CEO and managing partner of Gallery KBNY, a full service design-build firm specializing in the design and interior renovation of apartments, townhomes, and lofts in NYC. Under his leadership, Gallery KBNY has earned the reputation for delivering exceptional service and beautiful homes to our select group of clients. Avi's strategic positioning extends beyond the brand. He has strategically cultivated a network of industry partners and suppliers, forging strong alliances that allow Gallery KBNY to access cutting-edge technologies and materials. By staying abreast of industry trends and technological advancements, Avi ensures the firm remains at the forefront of innovation, consistently offering clients the latest design solutions and construction methodologies.




By providing your phone number, you agree to receive text messages from Gallery. Message and data rates may apply. Message frequency varies.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form