Informally, people often use the term gut renovation to mean a complete remodel in which every
surface, appliance, and fixture is upgraded. However, a true gut renovation involves stripping
down interior walls, reworking plumbing and electrical wiring, and upgrading all visual spaces.
Real gut renovations, especially of older properties, open a Pandora’s box of indirect problems
that can interrupt your project. For example, architectural drawings and filings with the
Department of Buildings, asbestos reports, lead paint testing, engineers’ reports, and permits all
take time and money to handle appropriately.
A large number of gut renovations occurs in NYC co-op or condo buildings, which means the
board will likely impose building requirements found on the alteration agreement on your
project. For instance, you might not be able to route plumbing or electrical work through the
ceiling, so your contractor may have to get creative.
These are just a few considerations when it comes to gauging how much a NYC gut renovation
costs, and there are two important ways you should prepare to face them. First, add at least a
10% cushion to your renovation budget, just in case. Also, work with an experienced, all-
inclusive design and build firm that already knows what to expect.
Unforeseen Costs and Complications
New York City is home to some of the oldest properties in the country, and many remodeling
projects are gut renovations by necessity. Inspectors may have to perform open wall inspections,
and no significant work can be completed until they’re finished. Some properties have histories
of poor upkeep and still contain old, unsafe materials that are not up to code.
If your gut renovation uncovers these concerns, you’ll have to address them. Problems like
asbestos, cloth-wrapped wiring, galvanized and corroded plumbing, and improper framing can’t
be allowed to remain. You may not discover these concerns until the project is underway, and in
some cases, even a 10% financial buffer might not be enough to cover them. An experienced
contractor should have the ability to anticipate many of these surprises, however, prior to any
work starting. An even better one will even include supplemental costs of these items should
they come to fruition up front. This eliminates any surprises while keeping everyone honest.
The best way you can prepare for such complications is to work with a skilled and honest team to
whom you’re comfortable turning over your project. Licenses and references are important, but
so is communication and experience. Work with a team that is dedicated to the success of your
project and has experience handling NYC gut renovations.
Demolishing and rebuilding any part of your home is a sizable endeavor, but working with a
trustworthy team of design and build experts will make your timeline more manageable. During
each phase of your project, different complications will arise, and a full-service team can help
you overcome each one with fewer headaches.
A Typical Gut Renovation Timeline
With the help of a turnkey design and build team, you can more easily plan out the cost of your
complete gut renovation. The plan will be different depending on the scope of your project and
any agreements you may have to stick to, but an all-inclusive team can also help you stick to a reasonable gut renovation timeline. Here’s the process you can expect:
Demolishing old structures is the first step to your gut renovation. After
we’ve put all protections up around the property, we’ll gut it down to the studs so we can rebuild
the space from scratch.
Before we start the rebuilding phase, our project manager and construction
manager will walk through the space to determine what surprises (if any) might arise.
Framing and rough carpentry:
Architectural plans are drawn up during the planning phase. If
the plans call for new framing, it will be installed after the initial round of inspections is
Electrical and plumbing:
After new framing is up, we can run new plumbing and electrical
work according to the plans. We’ll also test that the water and gas is running without leaks and
the electrical current works without any shorts.
Finish carpentry and fixtures:
With all plumbing and electrical work completed, we can close
up the walls and begin installing items such as plumbing and electrical fixtures, cabinetry, tiles,
flooring, stairs, and more.
Final inspections and walk-through:
After adding finishing touches such as paint, molding,
and trim, we’ll clean up and perform a final inspection. We’ll walk through the property with
you to ensure everything is up to our standards and to your expectations.
Now that you know what to expect during the renovation process, the next question you might
have is how much does a gut renovation cost in NYC? Before you can determine the bottom line,
you must consider the unexpected consequences that may come up and how they’ll affect your
cost and your timeline. To get a better idea of what to expect, speak with one of our experts
by contacting Gallery Kitchen and Bath today.