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Thanks for the input, very helpful.
Karhu, the remainder of the units are all residential and this particular unit was previously residential. Would it be safe to assume it's zoned for residential? Good point about the C of O. I'll look into that, thanks.
Few things you should verify before you move ahead. Is the current use commercial or residential, based on the C of O? If it is commercial, can it be legally converted to residential? If that's the case, you may need to get a new C of O. If it is residential, things are much easier for you in terms of getting a permit. Do you know what zoning district is it?
Starting around $250/sf.
Hello good people of Streeteasy,
We're considering an 1100 sq.ft. 2BR/2BA that is currently configured as a commercial office (lots of small rooms). Both bathrooms have been pared down to 2 fixtures each (sink and toilet) and there's a spartan kitchen area (that's overstating it). However, the requisite bathroom and kitchen hook-ups remain inside the walls.
Since this amounts to a shell (after demo), we'd like to get a ballpark idea of how much this might entail to return to a 2BR/2BA, with mid-range appliances and finishes. Is this doable for $200K? $500K? A gazillion dollars and a newborn?
Also, the unit has very high ceilings so we are contemplating a work/sleep loft above the kitchen and bathroom areas (approx 300 sq.ft). However if this would dramatically increase the budget, we can change to overhead storage or forgo altogether.
Any insights on cost would be appreciated. At some point, we'll reach out to contractors for proper estimates but being green with renos, we don't want to waste people's time if this is beyond our budget.
Thanks very much; I will definitely check Simon's out, especially since its open on the weekend. Amazing how few accommodate us who work for a living.
Go to Simon's and look. Steven in the plumbing section helped me numerous times as I gut reno'd my bath and kitchen. You will be able to see all fixtures, accessories (towel rods etc) and they are open on Saturdays. I found his advice to be helpful when discussing what was or was not worth the extra $
Between 2 residences, I've got a mix of Kohler and Grohe fixtures. I got the Grohe for the modern styling, which I didn't think Kohler did as well. Both have been in 10+ years, and they're just fine. (don't start about the one Blanco kitchen fixture, with which I am not happy.)
We are gut reno our 3 bathrooms (2 with showers and 1 with tub). We have been advised to stick to Kohler products for their quality and price point.
Any other brands we should be looking at? Are there any "better" brands that might be even more reliable, even if its a little more expensive? We are not looking to break the bank here, as the reno is already getting very expensive. Also, I am not too concerned about name dropping for the sake of marketing as we are planning to stay awhile.
Thanks for the feedback (mostly). To be clear, the GC dd install underlayment between the old and new though perhaps it's still louder than if it had been ripped out entirely.
I agree with user Riccardo65 - installation of underlayment between the old and new floors is a must! I use Carlos Wood Floors for my wood floor refinishing and installation needs in Manhattan or Brooklyn. You can contact them at email@example.com
Start off by walking around the apartment without shoes, particularly women's high heels. Than learn to glide or shuffle around the apartment rather than walking like you do out in the street. If that doesn't do it, get the 80% carpeting in all rooms. I know you hate covering that beautiful new floor but that's what you'll have to do.
Your downstairs neighbors aren't "complainers" they just want the "quiet enjoyment" of their home.
If your building is "exposed beam" construction, i.e. where the ceiling meets the walls, you can see the beams covered in plaster, the building will carry more noise.
It's like a musical instrument. You have wood on wood. All the more percussion. I don't know who would have advised you to do what you did, but I would imagine that it's significantly louder downstairs and you should do 80% rugs or rip out the floors and start over. Perhaps a floor guy can weight in here...
Ya, wow. Putting in new floors w/no under layment. I feel sorry for your downstairs neighbors. You can either rip everything out and do it the right way or put on the 80% rugs.
Reach out to Think Design Architecture, they are extremely hands-on, knowledgable and affordable when it comes to plans and file permits with DOB. Ask for Frank Martarella - his info is below.
Frank Martarella III, AIA, NCARB
101 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, N.Y. 10301
Best of Luck,
I've heard many people here saying that removing non-load bearing walls does not require a permit which is not true. Of course if your coop board doesn't care, I guess you will just go ahead and do it. The fine is on the building not directly to share holder, if you get caught. If you want to hire an architect I would say it costs around 5k to 10k including expediting and asbestos report. And hiring a general contractor for permit costs more than doing it by yourself.
Everything depends on the building management. Some will allow you to remove non load bearing walls, others will require a permit for anything. I advise you to have the scope and proposed work to be ready to submit as soon as you close. If you determine that you need architect drawings (with or without permit), then try to get those done to submit as soon as you close. it does not have to be on the day of closing (hopefully you treat yourself for that), but the sooner you submit, the sooner you will begin the back-and-forth process to getting your work approved.
Each building is different. Some buildings want permits taking down any walls. Chen is right you need to check with your management co. They might not tell you anything until after you close.
removing no-load bearing wall should not requires DOB alter2 permit. check with your building management before hiring architect. They might only need some drawing which you can download a 20-20 design trial version to DIY.
This is usually caused by exposure to different temperatures - if it's a small line gap it could be ok and will reduce in time when the apartment aclimates. If it's a larger gap then it's possible that in that area your installer did not use enough glue they missed a spot when nailing the floors down. There is special wood filler out there that is water resistant but I would look into replacing the flooring in that area affected- have the wood floor installer correct his error.
In the future try Carlos Wood Floors by Montani Corp. - they work on all my projects and tend to NOT make mistakes like the one listed here. Good Luck.
Call CARLOS WOOD FLOORS at 646-418-0925 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks, Primer. The floor was laid at the beginning of the job, about 3 months ago - and they did the other renovations during these 3 months, so of course the floor got all mucked up (with the intention of sanding and staining the floors at the end of the project - which is now). 4 inch planks, nailed and glued with a plywood subfloor. They're about to start day 2 of sanding. I'll send a photo. Many thanks.
How long has the floor been down? Did they nail and glue it? How wide are the planks?
Is it sanded yet?
Can you email me a picture? email@example.com
They just installed new wood floors (rift white oak) in my apartment and just sanded, so they're now getting ready to stain. The problem is that there are a number of noticeable gaps between a few boards - in some bad spots, including the middle of the living room.
Any views on how to remedy this before they stain and seal the floor? It's been suggested that putting in a filler will not look good and will make things worse in the long run.
Appreciate any advice. Many thanks.
Can anyone recommend a good person or company who deals with OPEN CELL SPRAY FOAM INSULLATION with the cheapest prices. Have a basement ceiling about 1200 sq ft 8 inches depth job is in the bronx thanks Vinny
Hi roseslg, could you please share your contractor's information? Thanks
i've been looking for a contractor also.
used a guy who was pretty good and fast but he charged me alot of money.
i spok to a friend yesterday and he told me you are supposed to negotiate on the price.
Is it common practice to bargain with a contractor on price?
Thank you everyone.
Will line up dates and contractor.. hope I get lucky.
"One who is touted did the walk through and what's not, but I am still waiting for the bid...don't believe the hype."
Funny... same thing happened to me.
I wouldn't advise having different contractors come to the site at the same time. Let them come separately.
I don't know If I answered you correctly. I think in many instances construction included that there is a correlation between the price one pays and the quality.
There are some cases where you do not get what you paid for.
I guess everyone can go to super cuts for a $15.00 haircut. I would think most people go and pay more money for a hair cut at a higher end establishment. I think most people would agree that the more expensive salon would get better results. I think that's the way it is on all business.
Hi end restaurants charge more money and the food should be better then less expensive place and it usually is. Not always but usually.
It is the same for everything.
I completely agree with you. Just like in every profession in the world. I personally do believe you get what you pay for. Is that always the case? Of course not
Let's hear about c0lumbiac0unty's construction with asbestos. How much does that cost everyone involved, long term?
you just made that up.
you know as well as i do that there is no direct correlation between the price one pays for anything (much less construction) and quality.
tell us with a straight face that you don't have competitors that charge as much or more than you do and stink.
Thats good for any business and yet it still could be a value to you.
Would you rather spend $200 an hour with little to no problems or spend $100 an hour and then after several months have to hire someone else, probably at $200 an hour to fix everything that was done for $100.00.
Apparently that shelf isn't just sitting on some wooden supports. I guess the only thing you can do is start wailing on it with a hammer, huh? Under those conditions, you probably will have damage to the walls. Perhaps you can get access to a sawzall & just carefully cut the nails that are holding the shelf? Can you pry the shelf off the supporting wood with a crowbar? I guess, "carefully & trying myriad tools" is the answer.
the thing that worries me the most for a closet reno is the removal of the old closet shelves. what is the best way to remove the old one with minimal damage to the walls
I bought a traditional top floor Loft (1800 sq ft), where the layout is currently set up as a 1 bedroom, 2 bathroom, with a large kitchen/living room and at the on one end of the loft (22x22), and and a large (22x22) office at the other end. I want to convert the 22x 22 end room office into 2 seperate bedrooms.
1) Would this add value to the apartment
2) Can anyone provide an approx cost
- i would also like to add some built in cupboards in the floor layout?
- do i need an architect?
I don't hold on to the cost break down list. I am not a contractor nor home owner. I recommended those contractors because they worked with me for several jobs, I know they will work with owner's budget, you might need to compromise at some area though. The best way is to have them go down to the site and ask them for an estimate. They will be more than happy to give you a break down list. I am an architect by the way.
Usually co-ops will not allow wet over dry areas, so depending on where your closet is, the building may not allow it. I would check with the building before checking with contractors. Contractors will go by
building policy. Our building required self venting dryer and did not allow wet over dry, so its in the kitchen area.
Flarf, crescent22 and karhu - could you break down your estimates by project? I know that everything is more in NYC than you think it's going to be, but over 100K still seems high to me. Washer/dryers have been done before in the building and in the apartment line we are purchasing, so most likely feasible (though perhaps cost-prohibitive).
212 685 6358
100K plus is reasonable. New washer/dryer may not be feasible, depending on the location of the closet and building policy. You should get couple contractors walk through the site. I would recommend you to contact Indigo Blue Group at firstname.lastname@example.org or KB+ at email@example.com. They did couple jobs with similar size and scope of work.
Waiting till summer to see the expansion is a good idea.
If you use wood filler, make sure you pick a sandable one so you are still able to refinish the floors in the future.
They also sell wood slivers specifically for filling cracks. You buy a batch of assorted sizes and lengths then use a rubber hammer to wedge them in. They do require sanding to level out the surface, so are easiest to use if you are about to refinish your floors.
There is not much you can do, there are some wood fillers that have some elasticity in them but its not a great fix
I'd wait a few months to see if the summer humidity/moisture plumps them back up again so they are tight, then revisit if it appears permanent. Shrinkage on mine were especially bad this year too.
was a cold winter and the gap between some of the planks is wide like some a 1/8 of an inch or more.
any suggestions on an easy DIY solution? is there something i can/should just squirt in these gaps?
Projects are filed by architects differently. Just like everything else there are good architects and there are some architects that are not. There are many times when an architect will file a project incorrectly. It depends on how they file that determines if the plumbing needs to be inspected. There are some plumbers that will charge less for pulling permits and might charge more for the actual work. In my experience it is always better to pay a little more for great plumbers and electricians. Very much worth it in the end.
Our condo renovation project cost us $1200 for the plumber to get/pull permits and close it at the end of the job. It was a Alt2/ self certification project so there was no need to meet with any inspectors as @yknp has mentioned
The OP said that the contractor wants 3.5K for "obtaining the permits". Moreover, self-certified plumbers/electricians most of the time don't even have to meet with inspectors.
The Expeditor getting building permits is a different thing. When the plumber and electrician file they also have to meet with the inspectors and sign off on the projects.
Seems a bit too much. I remember my expediter charging me around $500 for getting permits.
I used efaucets.com and the item I bought was cheaper than anywhere else and came very quickly. I would absolutely use them again.
Have recently ordered various plumbing and lighting fixtures from both build.com and amazon and have no complaints with either.
thumbs-up for build.com
I second faucetdirect / build.com - huge selection and great experience. I got my lighting from lumens.com and also liked them a lot
I also used LampsPlus and had a great experience.
Longtime reader of your incredibly helpful posts (and those of so many others who have contributed). I am about to start a renovation and wanted to ask you something specific about your renovation off board, if you have a moment. If you could email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.
I am looking to combine my 1 bedroom with the studio next door on the Upper East Side, however I am not quite sure where to start. We have already received a verbal OK from the board and management that this can be done and I do find comfort in knowing that there is 1 combination in the exact same apartment lines being done at the moment as well as one having been done about 2 years ago. We do like the layout of the apartment that was done 2 years ago and would like to do something similar. I’ve spoken to building management and from the 2 other tenants that have combined in the 2 apartment lines, it was a simple addition of their 2 maintenances, so I think I’m ok from that perspective. I understand that written approval is needed and that is something we will be seeking soon, but my question is.. how does one find a good reliable contractor? Do I need an architect or an engineer or both? Also, how much should I expect to pay for an architect/engineer? What is an expediter?
Also my bank is telling me to get a bare minimum contractors quote to combine the 2 places and hold 1.5 times that in escrow until the renovation is completed. Is this normal?
Also, I’m kind of curious as to what people might think this renovation costs:
- Combining 1 bedroom (750 sq feet) with a studio that’s (550 sq ft). Turn the studio into the master bedroom and create master bath.
- The kitchens are right next to each other so I would want to combine these to create a 13’ by 9’ ft kitchen. No new appliances as the ones I have now in my current apartment are very new, but obviously new cabinets, tiling, countertops.
- I’d probably want to move a wall to extend my living room, and make the bedroom a little smaller.
- Take the bathroom in the studio, make it bigger by knocking down a little dressing area. Re-tile the bathroom, new toilet, double sinks, tub
- Given that the floors in the studio are in bad shape, I’d probably have to do all the floors through the apartment. (1200 sq ft)
- Also would want to create pocket doors to use the bedroom in the 1 bedroom as a baby’s room/office/den. Also by having pocket doors, it could potentially extend the living area. Not sure if this is a cost effective solution as far as re-sale, so any input on this particular ask would be much appreciated.
Can anyone recommend a good reliable contractor and architect? It is very important to me that I do this the right way b/c I don’t want to deal with any headaches later so any input from you guys would be much appreciated.
I am a first time renovator in a co-op building. The management company requires EPA certificate from general contract, plumber and electrician. Is this a common practice? My general contract has insurance, does it cover plumbing and electricity work usually (plumber and electrician are hired by general contract)? The management asks for certificate of insurance from plumber and electrician. I am very confused. Any input is very appreciated. Thanks.
I am a first time buyer and renovator in co-op building. The management company ask for EPA firm certificates for general contractor, plumber and electrician. Is this a normal practice in co-op building?
My general contractor has the insurance policy required by building. But management is asking for insurance from plumber and electrician. The plumber and electrician are hired by general contractor, do they need separate insurance other than the general contractor's?
Any input on these matters are appreciated. Thank you
IKEA has a few pieces called sink base cabinets. They are built to fit around the base of pedestal sinks and add some storage.
Is there such a thing as a vanity that will convert a pedestal into a regular sink and offer some storage? They just reglazed the sink, and it seems a shame to get rid of it. It's a pretty small bathroom, and I just want some storage and a bit of counter space.
This sounds like something that should come up in the building LL11 inspection and would be a building issue. Railings have been a hot topic and all buildings are required to have properly secured/safe railings at the appropriate height.
When was the last time work was completed on your building (exterior facade work)? I would start by talking to the building management agency (if there is one, I'm assuming there is)and explaining that it's a safety hazard, etc etc.
We have terrace railing in our co-op (9th floor) that is not up to current code. We would like to have it raised and better secured for safety reasons.
Anyone have recommendations on who might be able to do this? I think its made of iron.