Tired of looking at your old appliances?
Ready to create an extra bedroom from a dining area?
Interested in getting an expert set of eyes on your apartment for a possible renovation?
Renovation costs are down at least 20-25% from their peak in 2008.
Not only are there many architects looking for new projects, but contractors are hungry as well.
I have been sounding this alarm for at least a year- along with holiday season, the planets have certainly lined up to offer lower prices on appliances, reducted labor costs on contractors and their teams, and design work can be found at much more reasonable costs.
Some words of warning:
-Be prepared to order items in advance, to take advantage of current pricing.
You can choose to have a new fridge sitting in your dining area, or hold off as long as possible for delivery.
This may be a surprising hassle.
-Be very careful when negotiating the contract with a contractor.
Make sure the company is licensed in New York State (or wherever you are).
My team has had recent issues where contractors had been licensed in NY State, but then let the insurance lapse, keeping insurance in New Jersey, where it was less expensive.
The cooperative reviewing the documentation was none too pleased.
-Cross your t’s and dot your i’s with any cooperative board submission, especially with an alteration agreement!
More detail is better.
Even if slightly more expensive, contractors with experience in your building will often save you time and headaches down the line.
Odds are that your superintendent already knows the person and will be much happier to be working with a known quantity.
A happy Super is worth his/her weight in gold.
-Be patient, and expect there to be cost overruns.
If this process seems overwhelming, you may want to consider hiring an Owner Representative (Known as an “Owner Rep”).
This consultant works on a flat rate, by the hour or the job, to help you bid out your job to contractors, oversee the work, and advise you on materials, costs, and workmanship.
Unless you are doing a huge job, there is usually a gap between what an architect (especially one working affordably) will do, and what your expectations might be.
An owner rep usually pays his/her fees with the money and time saved on the job, not to mention freeing you to work.
I would be delighted to introduce you to some great Owner Reps.
Sometimes a job is too small, but often not.