How to Prepare for your NYC Apartment Renovation

1. Be a confident decision-maker

Everyone involved in the remodel, including you, want the remodel to move forward in a timely manner and on schedule. To make sure that this is the case it is imperative that all decisions are made quickly and efficiently. Your contractor will discuss with you possible situations that may come up on your project. These decisions on what the solution will be are not what usually causes delays. The smaller decisions like faucet selection,  paint, or trim choice are what people usually get stuck on. If these aren't made in a timely manner, your faucet could be two weeks late because of shipping, and then your plumber will have to be rescheduled leading to a delay.

2. Compare prices and Set a Budget

This is hopefully an obvious one. It is important no matter what project you are doing to set a budget. When you are dividing up your budget per room, you will get the most return value on rooms like a master bathroom and or a kitchen if you decide to sell your place in the future. Also if you spend less money on lighting, vanities and closet systems, you will see more return on your investment.

You will want to get a rough idea of cost on all the different styles and looks you are considering implementing in your space. You don't need an exact estimate yet, but having a rough estimate will allow you to better plan your budget. For an exact estimate, the remodeling agency will have to come in and assess the condition of your space before providing an exact estimate.

3. Create a Contingency fund

No matter how much you plan or prep for your remodel something always happens. Because of this, it is important to set aside 5% of your original budget just in case. Rarely does anyone ever set a realistic budget for a project. However, you should not consume your contingency fund to stretch your budget.

4. Visit a Kitchen and Bath Showroom

If you are remodeling your kitchen and bathroom it is really helpful to go see a local showroom. This will allow you to see materials in person, ask questions and get an idea on pricing. This will allow you to make some informed decisions before and during the remodel.

Interior Renovations Step by Step

For a whole home renovation, there are some main steps that every renovation follows. Sometimes these some of these steps may not apply to your project if you are just updating the paint or the flooring.

The order of these steps may also vary based on the contractor. However, here at Golden I Construction, you will be guaranteed that these steps will be handled with the highest importance and expertise.  We will sit down with you and discuss any of your concerns as well as use the best quality materials for completion.

  1. Demolition - Before anything new can be added, you need to get rid of the old. This may mean pulling up carpeting, tearing down wallpaper or tearing down walls. Demolition projects can range in time and some can be done in a day or two while others may take much longer. You will want to have a plan in place before the demolition begins for staying somewhere else during the process or you can move the location of the demolished room to somewhere else in the house.
  2. Rebuilding - Next step is to start rebuilding. If this involves walls then this is the step where wood framing is reassembled,  windows are added, and doors are added to the framework. For room add-ons, the roof will be added and enclosed along with the gutters and exterior siding.
  3. Utilities - Now its time to add and reposition all the utilities. If you are installing new appliances or find you will be utilizing numerous electronic devices, the electrical panel may need updating as well. Gas and water utilities need to be considered especially if you are remodeling a bathroom and/or a kitchen. Water lines are not as easy to move so your remodeling project may have to be carefully planned around existing pipes. However, this is also a good opportunity to update water supply lines to new copper pipes which are not only more sturdy but allow water to run more quietly. For a remodel that is going to add gas appliances, running new pipes is a must but a larger meter may need to be installed too. During this step, the ductwork for central heating and air conditioning units will also be moved or extended to accommodate your new space.
  4. Walls - Now that all the interior stuff is properly in the walls it is time to start enclosing them. Insulation will be inserted or blown-in first. Then, drywall will be hung along with taping, mudding, and sanding. Once the walls are smooth they are ready for paint, wallpaper, or whatever finish you chose during your planning stages.
  5. Flooring - Depending on the contractor the flooring will either be installed after the walls have been painted and finished to avoid damage to floors or they could be installed before. This will depend on what you decided with your contractor during the planning stage.
  6. Cabinets - Cabinets are a great way for your own personal design choices to start showing through. This step is when any new cabinets for the kitchen or bathroom will be installed. Everything from upper storage cabinets to vanities along with countertops that have been pre-cut with spaces to accommodate sinks and appliances.
  7. Appliances - Now it is time to make the new space functional. Any new appliances will be fitted and installed. Everything from the refrigerator to the stove, sinks, and tubs with their stylish faucets and fixtures, as well as the washer and dryer. Also if you chose to keep your previous appliances they will be introduced to their new locations during this step.
  8. Final Touches - Now it's time for the last few touches before the clean up can begin. These touch-ups include any fixes to the paint or any wallpaper. This also includes customizable touches like backsplashes, and light fixtures, as well as, door and window trim, hooks, shelving, and hardware.

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/

How Your Next Home Could be Powered by Batteries

For Homeowners who feel incomplete when they leave their phones at home, or for the storm-haters who cannot stomach another blackout, battery-operated homes may be your solution. Solar panel energy has been brushed under the rug for a while, quietly being installed in American homes while it works toward improvement, as a company and for homeowners.

Beginning in a few U.S homes, and making its way in superstores such as Walmart (in Cali), Tesla's home batteries may be the green and efficient revolutionary technology America wants (and needs!). If this ideological improvement in saving and storing energy is so efficient, how come it isn't in every home and store across America? Why is the biggest machine on earth, America's power grid, still making its energy-stripping use in nearly everyone's home?

Maybe it's the ambiguity or uncertainty of Tesla's home batteries, charged by the sun. The biggest flaw may lies in that it needs sunlight to charge and usually goes off at night. But Tesla's batteries can store extra, or more than necessary, energy to make it through night. But that's not all, Tesla's home batteries can last up to three hours during a black out- including enough energy to run on the treadmill, make lots of coffee, cook dinner, and take showers.

Another reason that people, even the Green-goers, haven't switched to Tesla's batteries: the cost. Everyone wants to know what they get out of this 5-figure investment. Well, in the beginning it is a huge investment. Tesla believes that a small downpayment of $1,500 could get you started, with only $15 a month to keep generating (a 20-year lease). One of many reasons to pay the $50,000 outright would be that when you're home is fully charged, and not expecting bad weather, you can sell back the energy and make some money off of it!

In fact, though the initial cost is not desirable to many, in the end you'll save a lot more than you do with traditional power grids. Traditional power grid companies, of course, will look to make a comeback. They are certainly reliable- the energy and power works so long as there are no black outs. Some fear power grid companies will charge extra because of the "net metering" and potential money-back system that Tesla's batteries are promising.

Companies supporting solar-panel look at this as competition, and understand that people have different values on reliable energy and energy in its entirety. Some people find the worthy in the annoying (and frequent) black outs in their homes, like in Maryland or California. Others find it necessary to have for these blackouts, to ensure they have certain needs met for a longer time.

In fact, companies and people recognize that they may never make back the money spent in power grids, but the happiness truly lies in this small step toward going green. Consider remodeling your home or buying a new home with battery-operated energy installed. The investment not only helps the environment, but could potentially save you dollars (and even let you pocket money!). It's a small but worthy deed, and this country certainly needs it!

For more information, or questions about remodeling your home, click here to visit Golden I Construction. We offer a wide range of construction services. Would you like to speak with someone or ask a question? Call 1.212.837.8117 now!