Renovating in NYC


After the countless open houses, deals and negotiations; you have finally found the perfect home. A home where you can envision how you will make this space your own with the perfect Family Room, state-of-the-art chef’s Kitchen and blissful Master Bath. This is all just a simple plan away; or so you think. The key to your renovation is to stay engaged. Be prepared and have back-up plans but also take a step back and have faith and trust the professionals you’ve hired.

The renovation process in NYC is just that; a process. When contemplating a renovation, the first thing you should do is building management to retrieve an Alteration Agreement. This agreement will inform you of any/all rules pertaining to alterations within the building, such as:

1.) Renovation seasons – some buildings only permit construction when the building is more empty; typically during the summer months (July 1-Sept. 1) on a first-come-first-serve basis. The sooner you hire an architect and submit your plans to the board for approval, the better your chances are of moving ahead with your project this season.

2.)  Black-out periods – be mindful of what holidays prohibit work in your building. Account for these days in your schedule as building’s typically have a deadline for completion with a daily fine for every day you are past the substantial date of completion. 

3.) Wet-over-Dry restrictions – if you have plans of relocating your bathroom or kitchen, many buildings prohibit the relocation of such wet rooms above your downstairs neighbor’s living room or bedroom.

4.) Working permits – most apartment renovations in NYC require a work permit. The exception to this rule are ordinary repairs which include cosmetic upgrades (replacing plumbing fixtures or kitchen cabinets in the same locations). Once you intend on demolishing a wall, building a new wall or simply moving your kitchen sink to a different location, you will need a permit. And, if you need a permit, you’ll now need a licensed architect.


The most common way to go about this is by the traditional word-of-mouth. Follow the recommendations of colleagues, friends and family. Once you have hired your architect, hiring your contractor is next. Of course, any recommendation is invaluable; however, architects typically have a list of contractors they like working with. Most buildings will also have a published list of approved contractors those of which who have done frequent work in the building and are familiar with the alteration rules.


In process of hiring your contractor; you may have several contractors who are in possession of your plans in efforts to competitively price out your project. It is very important to have a complete set of architectural drawings and specifications for every aspect of the project before negotiating a contract. Eliminate the possibility of allowances. Allowances in a contract can leave the client susceptible to unpredictable change orders.  In most cases, the terms of the final agreement will be set out in a standard A.I.A. (American Institute of Architects) and your contractor will bill periodically based on the percentage of the of the job completed. Contractors will also submit a construction schedule and conduct weekly site visits to ensure the project progresses according to the schedule. 


Before starting work, you will need secured approval from the co-op/condo board. Providing plans, insurance certificates, licenses etc. must be submitted to the managing agent. Your plans will then be reviewed by another architect retained by the building to ensure they comply with building rules and building code requirements. 


Once you have approval from the board, your architect can file and application with the Department of Buildings for a work permit. For most interior renovations, your permit can be obtained within 24 hours. 


Upon completion of major work, minor fixes such as paint touch-ups are typically required. Nearing completion, a punch-list meeting will be held to point out any items needed finishing by the contractor. Working under permits also require electrical and plumbing inspections before requesting a Certificate of Occupancy (Letter of Completion) from the Department of Buildings. Once you have that document in hand, there’s just one thing left to do: plan the unveiling party

Kitchen: Before & After..


Renovations are part and parcel of owning a home, and while few are stress-free, the end result can be stunning. One of our most recently completed projects is this kitchen renovation located on 82nd & Madison. This renovation was simply an upgrade to our client’s outdated kitchen working with the same overall design, below you will see how new material can revitalize your space.


Cabinets: POGGENPHOL – Teak Quartz Base & Polar White Lacquer Upper

Floor: ARTISTIC TILE – Venezia Terrazzo White Polished 16″ x 16″ tiles


Countertop: CAESARSTONE – Frosty Carrina


Backsplash: TILEBAR – Loft Super White 2″ x 8″ Glass tile

Space Saving Ideas for Your Small Bathroom

1105 Park Ave-5CD-Bath 2

1105 Park Avenue

In many cases, baths are already among the smallest rooms in a home—so what do you do when yours is especially petite? Here are a few tips & tricks on making your small space appear larger.

1.) Rethink your sink: Pedestal sinks can be attractive and have a nice vintage quality, but they’re not great when it comes to storage. You’re dealing with a basin you can barely put a bar of soap on! If you have a lot of accouterments, go with a console sink with a flat top or a converted cabinet with an under mount sink. You’ll have so much extra space, whether it’s to hang towels or store things behind doors or in drawers.

Guest Bath 2

169 Hudson Street

2.) Creative fittings: A wall-mounted faucet is a very smart space-saver. Not only does it give you bonus counter space, it’s actually much easier to clean.

515 E. 89th Street, Bath detail

515 East 89th Street

4.) Create space you don’t have: If you can, hire a professional to cut into the walls just a bit to create a shallow recessed medicine cabinet. Or have them create a tile or marble recess in the shower, one just small enough to store your shampoo bottles.

500 E 77 St-2925-Bath B 1

500 East 77th Street

Throughout our portfolio (including all of the above), you will see various bathroom designs  all fitting to each client’s needs. Our goal is to always give each renovation the attention it deserves and exceed your expectations; after all, we are Contractors of Distinction.

Annual NYC New Development Showcase & Forum



WHEN: Thursday, May 12, 2016 from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM (EDT)

WHERE: Metropolitan Pavilion – 125 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011

First Look Inside ODA New York’s Luxe Long Island City Rentals


ODA New York’s cantilevering building rising in Long Island City is hitting the rental market this spring but looks into the new building have been limited—until now. The Post got a peek at new renderings of the 175-rental building’s interiors, the first put on display. The studios to three-bedrooms of 222 Jackson will hit the market in April asking from $2,600. Tenants can expect the luxe rental to have the amenities du jour: an attended, triple-height lobby; valet parking; a resident roof deck; and, via a membership, access to the building’s gym, pool, and resident’s lounge.


The renderings also come along with new intel about the apartments, mainly that the rentals will have white oak floors, Blomberg and Bosch kitchen appliances, and some units will have private outdoor space and/or concrete ceilings.