The Pros and Cons of Staying vs Moving out during a Renovation

Renovating a space can many times stir up old toxins like asbestos and lead and bring new toxins into your home, which is a huge pro for wanting to move out while renovating. However, moving out can add on to your budget and is an inconvenience. Moving out isn’t always necessary for every project. There are many things that you can do with your contractor to lessen the impact of a renovation. Some include installing drywall that converts toxins and setting up humidifiers. Here are some of the questions to ask your self so you can make an informed decision.

What are you Renovating? 

This is an incredibly important question when deciding if you are going to stay or go. If you are doing a complete gut renovation it will end up taking over your home and contractors suggest moving out. This will speed up the timeline and keep you away from any toxins. 
However, if you are not doing a complete overhaul, staying for most of the renovations is a good medium. Contractors, however, do encourage you to move out during the dusty demolition phase for at least a week so that the dust can settle and they can do a thorough cleaning. 

Can you stretch your budget? 

You should try to know if you are going to be relocating during the renovation as soon as possible. This will allow you to include your other living plans, whether that is a hotel or short term rental charges, in your budget. You could also plan a vacation during the renovation to get you out of the way as well. However, this could backfire if you are planning on keeping constant tabs on the renovation. 

Do you have children or a sensitive adult? 

Lead exposure has a harsher impact on children since their brains are still developing. If your home was built before 1978 it is possible that lead paint was used on the walls. When the paint is disturbed that's when the toxins are released. Your contractor will do a test for lead paint in older homes. When children are involved staying or going carries extra weight since the particles could get in the air or on their hands when they crawl around.  
Toxins can have a range of effects on an adult. If you are immune-compromised from cancer or some other disorder that will make it harder for your body to expel toxins. Asthma sufferers also have a harder time since they are more sensitive to air quality. 

Can you live without a bathroom or kitchen?

If you are renovating a kitchen you need to be prepared to adapt to not having one. This will mean having those extra charges of takeout constantly. Or you can set up a makeshift kitchen in the bathroom with a hot plate, microwave and running water. 
A bathroom renovation can be trickier especially if it is your only bathroom. Sometimes you will be able to use the bathroom before the contractor arrives but there will be a point where the bathroom will be unusable. 

What is the layout of your home? 

This is an important question to think about since you want to separate where you are living from where the work is happening. If there is only one point of entry to your home the contractors will be tracking dust through your space. 
Contractors can do certain things to prevent the spread of dust and toxins through your home. The renovation will be sectioned off with thick plastic and tape. The negative air pressure also stops contaminated air from leaving the renovation zone whenever a worker exits or enters.

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

What NOT to do while remodeling

Although 2018 has been known for many home remedies and DIY tips, there are certain things you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for assistance for. There are a couple things you should NOT do while renovating any room.

  1. DON'T assume you know everything. Each person has certain skill sets, and you should decide (realistically) if you could carry out a project to fit your vision, as some projects require more expertise than others.
  2. DON'T let your friends and family help you if they’re not experienced. This can lead to costly mistakes, injury, and damage to important elements in your home. They can help for moving furniture or belongings, but let only the experienced ones help with the task at hand.
  3. DON'T assume that your budget won’t go over your estimation. You should have a budget for going over budget, as many projects can involve circumstances that only appear once you start the project. Create a lower budget that you think you will need, just in case.
  4. DON'T create a specific time frame for a project. Many home improvement shows are able to complete projects in a 2-3 time span, but there are also many professionals there working behind the scenes. Once you consider your experience level, if you have the proper tools, and if you have assistance, you should be able to carry out your project in a timely manner.
  5. DON'T overlook local building codes and regulations for your area. It doesn’t hurt to read through the terms and conditions! For example, if you’re digging outside your home, pouring a structural foundation, or installing certain electrical/plumbing components, you may need a building inspector to review for safety.
  6. DON'T risk your safety in order to get a project done quicker or for cheaper. When working on high areas, make sure you have the proper equipment to be safe. If you are unfamiliar with your tools, hire a professional.
  7. DON'T start your project until you have all the components. If you start a project without waiting for your tools, your room could be inoperable for days waiting for fixtures to be delivered.
  8. DON'T assume that your dream renovation project isn’t possible. If you don’t have the funding right now, take your time. Ask professionals, like your friends here at Golden I Construction, to help you. Your home is a huge investment. Take the time to research how to make it yours. 

TIPS FOR YOUR APARTMENT RENOVATION

1. Don’t Be Afraid To Knock Down Some Walls

Knocking down walls can be a great way to create more space. Although it may be risky, knocking down a wall could provide you the layout you need to make the most out of your apartment space

2. Open the Kitchen 

Several old buildings contain small kitchens and they very often are enclosed with walls surrounding all four sides. A kitchen in an apartment receives the most appeal when it serves as the centerpiece of the apartment. Your kitchen should draw everyone’s attention and have enough space to cater to all of your cooking needs. Even if you have a small apartment, a nice and spacious kitchen will give your apartment the aesthetic it needs. 

3. Shower or Tub? 

Although tubs are cozy and inviting after a long day of work, apartment owners tend to lean more towards showers because they seem to create more space. However, this is not always the case. Some apartments need a tub especially if the owners have children. If you hire a renovator, they will advise you on the best fit for your apartment but don’t try to make the decision on your own! Trust us and we will give you the best advice!

4. Think About The Closet Design 

Think about your closet! Although the importance of closets is often overlooked, closet space is essential for living in an apartment. You want to have enough space for all of your belongings. Built in closets are usually what apartment owners look for and need. Built in closets will relieve you of the hassle of creating your own closet space. They will also allow you the freedom to arrange the closet space accordingly without having to worry about the set up. 

5. Read The Alteration Agreement 

It is important to read the alteration agreement because you should be aware of all of the rules and regulations that are involved. Make sure you and your renovator are on the same page. 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/

Storage Options for Your NYC Kitchen

Storage is extremely important in NYC, as the average kitchen here is definitely smaller than it would be in the suburbs. That being said, it is important to have a decent array of storage options in your kitchen, as everyone needs a convenient place to put their kitchen appliances while also allowing them to be readily accessible at any time. Here are some tips to better your storage options in the kitchen.

Change up your cabinets! Cabinets can be custom-made for a relatively affordable price, which gives you a wide assortment of options. They can be made to fit your specific needs, like custom building them to fit into a corner. Sliding cabinets can also allow you to have deep storage, while also providing easy reachability to the back portions. You can also get creative with the doors of the cabinet!

Hang your pots and pans! This saves you a lot of space and also gives your kitchen a modern, chic finish.

Replace your cabinets with shelves! Smaller kitchens can especially benefit from this, as there are no restrictions on where a shelf can be fitted, and shelves will allow a smaller kitchen to look bigger by taking out all the extra space a cabinet would usually take.

Kitchen Islands. If you have room for an island, it is definitely highly recommended you get one, as it will both increase your countertop area as well as increase your storage space, giving you many drawers to work with.

Small Kitchen Renovation Ideas

For several families, the kitchen is the gathering place to eat, do homework, and spend time together so it's important your kitchen is huge. When you have a little kitchen and wish to renovate it may be a nightmare because there are lots of thoughts, plan, and notions which you cannot do with a little kitchen that you can do for a sizable kitchen. On the bright side, a smaller kitchen renovation can have its own advantages and benefits, one of which is a lower price to renovate. When discussing renovation it could mean something as do little updates to a whole kitchen makeover.

The three most used items in the kitchen are your kitchen sink, fridge, and stove and are the three points of a triangle in a kitchen. When doing a kitchen renovation it is better if these three things are positioned in the three points of a triangle. By doing this it'll give you plenty of room to move around in your kitchen. In a kitchen, it is strongly recommended to have three practical spaces for food storage, food preparation, and clean up.

Painting and flooring

The walls and floors occupy a significant part of a kitchen and since of their size, they are going to influence the look of your kitchen. This is exactly why you've got to give attention to the walls and floorings. The very best option is to replace the flooring but it really is expensive so decide to se laminate or vinyl flooring. They come in a variety of patterns, colors, and designs. When you've got a tiny kitchen, you need to paint the walls in light colours to give an illusion of space.

Appliances that are glossier

In case you only have two or three folks in your family you don't need the larger capacity kitchen appliances as they take an excessive amount of area in your kitchen. If you are doing a total kitchen renovation, buy the smaller, more compact, and sleeker appliances. This can have a fridge that's medium size, smaller dishwasher, and apartment size cooker.

Storage space

Lack of space is one criticism that many have when dealing with a small kitchen. This consists of cabinet and counter space. When doing a kitchen renovation look at your kitchen and see where you can add more space. Whether there are appliances such as a coffee maker, juicer, etc that you do not use on a regular fundamental store it in a bottom cabinet to free up counter space. When there's room in addition to your fridge store containers for your sugar, flour, etc. Build more cabinet space to the top of your cabinets.

These are only some of the ways in which you can do a little kitchen renovation.