Apartment Renovation tips NYC

10 Apartment Renovation Tips

This post will focus on some tips for apartment renovation design and the process of completing a renovation.

 

10 Apartment Renovation Tips

 

Knock Down Some Walls If You Need To

Don’t be scared to knock down a few walls. This can be a great way to open up a space and enlarge a room. Sometimes you can keep most or all of your walls and the apartment works great. Sometimes you need to knock them all down to get a layout that works for you. Removing a wall is serious business make sure your architect and contractor are in agreement on this being okay.

Apartment renovation wall removal

Brooklyn Heights apartment renovation.
Left to Right in Photo: Contractor’s Foreman, Architect (Jorge Fontan)

 

Open The Kitchen

Many old buildings have small kitchens and almost always they are enclosed with walls on all four sides. Today people like to open the kitchen and often the kitchen becomes the centerpiece of the apartment. I think today people are spending a much larger percentage of the total renovation budget on the kitchen renovation then people did historically. Kitchens have much nicer designs now and are far more important to the average apartment owner.

Opening the kitchen will help make the space feel bigger. If you have nice appliances and cabinets it will also enhance the aesthetic of the space.

Below see a kitchen renovation before and after the Upper West Side of NYC apartment renovation we did in 2016.

Closed Kitchen Renovation before

Closed In Kitchen before renovation.

 

Open Kitchen Renovation After

Open Kitchen After Renovation

 

Showers Vs Tubs In Your Bathrooms

One of the biggest apartment renovation trends we have noticed is people removing tubs and putting in showers. Although I personally prefer a shower to a tub I do not always recommend this. I think it is good to at least have one tub in an apartment. Bathroom renovations need careful thought about what types of fixtures you want. Please make sure to think this through and see what works for you. Of course remember small children need bathtubs.

Below is an apartment renovation in Manhattan where they had 2 bathrooms with tubs. The client decided to remove one tub and replace it with a shower and keep a tub in the other bathroom remodel.

Modern bath renovation with tub

Bathroom renovation with bathtub

 

Modern bathroom Renovation with Shower

Bathroom Renovation where tub was replaced with a shower

 

Closet Design Is Important

Closets are important so make sure when planning the apartment you have enough closets. You may want to look into built ins. closets can be custom designed and built or you can work with closet manufacturers.

Custom Closet Design

Custom Closets built ins with clothing rod lights

 

Go To Showrooms

Our architecture firm is located in NYC. There is no shortage of showrooms to visit here where you can get ideas and see examples of different apartment design features. Take a day and go to showrooms with your architect or interior designer. you may also want to go alone. Talk to the people there in most cases they are very knowledgeable. See what suggestions they have for you.

 

 

Read Your Alteration Agreement

Your Co-Op Or Condo will have a contract know as an alteration agreement. Make sure you and everyone on your team reads the alteration agreement. this will instruct you on your obligations and on miscellaneous building rules and regulations. there may be technical aspects to the alteration agreement that you do not understand. Your architect or contractor should be happy to help explain these to you. You may want to have a sit down with the architect to review it together.

 

Understand Your design Services

Wen you hire an architect or contractor make sure to understand the services included. My favorite question to ask is not only what is included but what is not included. See what services your apartment renovation architect is and is not including.

Is your architect including finish drawings specifying all materials and products? Are electrical and lighting plans included? You also want to make sure if the architect will perform site visits and how many. Architectural renovation services are complicated and not everyone includes the same things in their prices.

Kitchen Renovation Plans

Plans for a kitchen renovation in NYC

 

Communication and Coordination Is Key

If the architect and contractor do not meet before the renovation begins this is a really bad sign. Everyone should be on the same page. The renovation should proceed with transparency and coordination. Make sure everyone on the team is in communication and agreement. Issues will arise and problems may happen. these are no reason to panic and nobody should go around playing the blame game. The team needs to work together to sort out any issues in a manner that is best for the apartment and for you.

Ask your team how often they will be on the job site. Your architect and contractor cannot be there all day everyday, but they will need to visit often enough as is needed to complete the project on time and with the highest level of quality possible.

Apartment renovation Site Meeting

Jobsite Progress Meeting
Left to Right: Contractor, Client, Architect (Jorge Fontan)

 

Its your Apartment

Everyone you know is going to have an opinion on your apartment renovation. People are going to tell you what you should do. Your friends, family, architect, interior designer, and contractor will all tell you what to do. Remember its your apartment. You have the final say on everything. Design your apartment to make you and your family happy.

Professionals are here to give you help don’t let anyone push you into a design that you don’t like. Speak up and make sure your opinions are taken seriously and your concerns are addressed. you are the most important force in your apartment design.

 

We wish you the best of luck with your apartment renovation. PleaseĀ feel free to leave questions or comments below. If you want to discuss your renovation with an architect you can contact us directly. We are always happy to hear about your upcoming projects.

 

 

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