Even the most premeditated renovation can spawn some regrets in the aftermath. And when you’re paying NYC prices, that’s definitely something you want to avoid if you can. Start by asking each of the professionals involved in your project to point out aspects that may bear rethinking. If you are able to explain why a client’s idea may not be the best, 99 out of 100 times they will appreciate you for it. If you have a contractor that is always a ‘yes man’, then sometimes it’s a red flag to stay away.” You should also run your plans by a real estate broker, who can point out mistakes that could potentially hurt you upon resale.
According to experts, here are six of the most common faux pas in the world of New York City apartment remodels –
1. Getting rid of the bathtub
If your apartment has just one bath tub, converting it into a walk-in shower may not be the best idea. Walk-in showers are not appealing to those families with children. Where will the baby get a bath? A more logical approach would be removing your shower curtain and adding a glass shower door instead. A glass enclosure gives off the feeling of a walk-in shower.
2. Installing modern flooring in a prewar apartment
If you own a prewar apartment, installing a bamboo floor or another modern alternative could be a mistake when it comes to resale. Although attractive and durable, staying true to the architectural details of the building may be best. If your oak or maple floors are in poor condition and cannot be salvaged, replace them with the same type of wood or something comparable. Stay away from pre-finished, engineered, or other materials like stone or tile either. These could depreciate the overall value of your apartment since many potential buyers are looking for prewar apartments with character and close-to original detailing.
3. Eliminating closets
Removing a closet in order to gain space in a bathroom or bedroom may seem like a good idea, but only if your apartment already has other closets. Often the apartments that are the easiest to live in and sell quickly are those with abundant close space. More living space seems appealing, however, buyers tend to desire storage and closet space. An uncluttered living area will go further than a bedroom with a few extra feet.
4. Ungainly tile
An 18″x 18″ tile in a stylish bathroom in a Home Depot or Lowe’s display (where the bath models may be made for suburbia) doesn’t mean it will work for your city space. Selecting a tile size that’s too large for a small apartment kitchen or bathroom could be a costly and messy error to fix. Buy a few sample tiles and lay them out on your floor to get a sense of scale and proportion. Hiring a designer could also help with selections while steering you in the right direction. He or she will not only suggest the appropriate size and material, but can draw the tile to scale on a floor plan so you can get an idea of what it will look like before the installation.
5. Turning a two-bedroom into a one-bedroom
One of the most common renovation mistakes committed by New York apartment owners is removing a wall to enlarge a room–but losing a bedroom. It may look great on paper, but in reality, if you give up a room, be prepared to rebuild the wall before putting the apartment on the market, or it will be classified as a one-bedroom instead of a two-bedroom. This could mean two things: a more limited group of potential buyers and a lower asking price.
6. Combine two apartments in one awkward layout
Combining two apartment units may seem like no big deal, but a seamless transition is far from easy. More often than not, combining apartments results in an awkward layout with aspects many buyers will object to, like having to walk through a kitchen to get to the bedrooms, a bathroom in the wrong place, or all of the above and then some. Trying to recoup the investment of the two apartments plus the renovation cost is way more than the market can bear. With that, you also now have a maintenance bill covering two units making a resale almost impossible.