NYC Apartment Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

When renovating your apartment in NYC it is important to make sure you understand your space and what will work for you as well as look great. Sometimes the trends or styles that you see or want to try aren’t the best ideas for the space that you already have. 

It’s important to talk to all the professionals involved in the project to make sure that your ideas truly fit your space. For example, running your ideas by your contractor gives the contractor the opportunity to point out any potential problems they may see. 
Here are five of the common mistakes to avoid in New York City Apartment remodels. 

1. Getting rid of the tub

This is mainly only an issue if there is only one bathtub in the apartment. If you are getting rid of the only bathtub to make a big walk-in shower you might want to rethink it.

Not having a bathtub doesn’t appeal to families. Instead, you can get rid of the shower curtain and add glass doors above the bathtub. You get the feel of a walk in shower while still maintaining a bathtub.

2. Installing modern flooring in a prewar apartment

The main problem with this is that when you try to put the apartment back on the market, it no longer has the pre-war feel people will be expecting. If your oak or maple floors are in bad condition consider replacing them with the same or similar wood.

Do not use modern alternatives like pre-finished, engineered, or other materials like stone or tile because this may depreciate the overall value of the apartment. 

3. Eliminating closets

Storage in NYC apartments is hard enough to find. You may want to rethink getting rid of a closet to expand one of your rooms especially if you don’t have a lot of closets. Often when people are looking for an apartment they look for closets and storage space. 

4. Ungainly tile

Just because you like a tile that you see in a bathroom model in Home Depot or Lowes doesn’t mean that it will fit in your apartment. Especially if that bathroom was meant for suburbia.

It is important that you take tile samples home and lay them out on your floor so that you get a feel of the size and proportion. It is important to select a tile of the right size because a too large tile can be costly and a messy error to fix. 

5. Turning a two bedroom into a one bedroom 

This is one of the most common renovation mistakes in NYC apartments. Taking down a wall to enlarge a room but losing a bedroom in the process may sound like a great idea. However, by doing this you now classify your apartment as a one bedroom and that may make it difficult to resell on the market. Since it is classified as a one bedroom it may lead to a more limited group of potential buyers and a lower asking price. You can always put the wall back up when you are preparing to sell the place but it is important to keep in mind the consequences. 

Keep these tips in mind when. you are planning a renovation and always make sure you talk to professionals. Here at Golden I Construction, that will not be an issue! We will always be willing to go over every step of the process with you. 
Remember, it is your apartment and we want to make it the best it can be! For more tips and information about apartment renovations, visit https://www.goldeniconstruction.com/our-services/apartment-renovation-nyc/

The Best Kitchen Countertop Materials

Shopping for countertops can feel very overwhelming since there are hundreds of colors, patterns, and textures. However, there are really only a few basic categories of materials for countertops that you should know. Let's break down the pros and cons as well as the important information to know for each type of countertop.

First off, when choosing a counter material you need to think about your needs and habits in the kitchen.  For example, if you cook a lot and do prep on the countertop, you don't want to use a soft porous material. You also have to consider your overall kitchen design. You want to make sure the counters fit with the appliances, the backsplash as well as the cabinets in your kitchen.

Natural Stone

Granite: This is a very common and popular material for a countertop since it comes in a variety of colors. The colors offered range from vibrant reds and blues, midnight black, as wells as white.

Pros - no (or low) visible seams, durable surface, heat-resistant

Cons - must be sealed to resist heat as well as can be expensive

Marble: This is a softer stone and more high end then granite. It is also comes in much fewer colors. However it is great surface for baking but since it is softer might show knife scars or be discolored by citric acid.   

Pros - durable, striking natural patterns

Cons - high-maintenance, needs repeated sealing, expensive

Soapstone

pros - won't need sealing

cons - soft and may show knife marks

Slate

pros - won't need sealing

cons - brittle especially at corners

 

Engineered Stone

Quartz : This is stone is what most engineered stone is made out of. It comes it lots of different colors and is a hard material so it doesn't need any sealing

pros - no sealing, durable, low maitenance

cons - expensive 

Concrete

 

Precast: These concrete slabs are extremely smooth and flat. These countertops can also have a variety of colors as well as have glass or other materials embedded in to give it an artistic feel. 

pros - won't scratch, durable, heat resistant

cons - must be professionally installed, expensive, needs sealing

Solid surfaces

Acrylic or Polyester: These counters show no seems since the pieces get fused together. This is great for long stretches of countertop. You can also get sinks to match

pros - low maitenance, lots of colors, repairable, non-porous

cons - not heat resistant, shows knife marks and scratches

Plastic Laminates

pros - very affordable, durable and hardwearing, ready-to-install,

cons - not heat resistant,  can chip or scratch

Tile

Ceramic or Stone:  Lots of color options and many different styles. Has to be applied over laminate or fresh plywood topped with cement backerboard. 

pros - lots of colors,  affordable, lots of choices,  ceramic is non porous

cons - regular grout cleaning is necessary

Wood

Edge-Grain: These counters have long, thick strips of wood that are glued together with the edge grain facing up

End-Grain (aka Butcher Block): These counters have relatively short, square sticks of wood that are joined together with the tough end grain facing up

Wide-Plank: These counters are made by edge-gluing wide boards together. These counters are the most susceptible to warping and cracking.

pros to wood - warm, ideal work surface, heat resistant

cons to wood- medium maintenance, will show knife marks

10 Design Tips for Small Bathrooms

In apartments, especially in NYC, often times the bathroom is small. Homeowners often imagine that remodeling a small bathroom—one that is about 50 square feet or less—will be much quicker, much easier, and much less expensive than remodeling a large bathroom. Designing a small bathroom so that you have the optimal amount of space for every appliance while also maintaining storage and space for yourself provides a challenge and often times it's only a little bit quicker, a little bit easier, and a little bit less expensive than a larger bathroom.

However, there are a few design tricks that if you remember while you are planning it will make the process easier.

1. Use a corner sink. In very small bathrooms, a sink configured to fit in a corner can be a great space-saving option. Even pedestal sinks can be difficult to fit in very small bathrooms.

2. Use a shower curtain or sliding shower door. Shower doors that pivot on hinges may not work for small bathrooms. Instead, use a shower curtain or glass shower door that slides on tracks.

3. Choose a vanity with rounded corners. In tight spaces, vanities with sharp corners can be hazardous. A vanity with rounded corners can prevent bruised hips.

4. Extend the counter over the toilet. A little extra counter space created when the vanity counter extends over the adjacent toilet can be surprisingly effective.

5. Use large-scale patterns. Large squares, wide stripes, and other large patterns can fool the eye and make spaces seem larger.

6. Mirror the wall. In tight spaces, having a mirror occupy the entire wall behind the vanity can help two people to use it at once.

7. Mount the towel bar on the door. When space is limited, mounting a towel bar on the shower door or the back of the entry door keeps towels at easy reach.

8. Choose a trough sink. When mounted on a wall, the low profile of a trough sink frees up floor space for storage.

9. Use a vanity with open shelves. Open shelves offer storage without swinging doors that can get in the way in a small bathroom.

10. Use a wall-mounted faucet. Mounting a faucet on the wall allows for a smaller vanity, which helps free up space in a small bathroom.
By following these design tips your small bathroom will not only have all the appliances that you need but will also maintain storage and space for yourself.

Do I Need an Interior Designer?

If you’re planning to remodel a larger area, it might be a good idea to hire an interior designer. It might seem like a waste of money at first, but it is important to keep in mind that an interior designer will assume many of the roles traditionally assigned to subcontractors. Interior designers can also improve your home in ways that a subcontractor would not catch.

Researching and shopping for fixtures can be very time consuming, and having someone come to you that knows how to select these products can save a lot of time. Hiring an interior designer can design your workspace in a shorter amount of time, and it can also save on extra costs. Good interior designers know how to maximize the qualities of a space, emphasizing positive attributes and downplaying less desirable qualities.

Hiring an interior designer is a good idea no matter what, even if you have a full plan for your room or you have no idea. Hiring an interior designer will allow you to gain the advantage of their expertise and technical knowledge in terms of design, which will help you avoid potential issues and costly design mistakes in the future.