So, you made a decision that instead of moving you will renovate your home. Otherwise, rising home prices could have easily chase you out of the market. After scouring the internet for designs and pictures you like and consequently choosing the best solutions for your space, it is time to make your dreams come true. An essential part of home renovation is planning and implementation, especially if we are talking about something that will enrichen your living space. Here are a few pieces of advice that will show you how to organize home renovation in NYC.

Couple of don’ts

Better to get away with bad news at the beginning. Don’t allow yourself, your kids or pets to be a distraction. It’s simply is not safe to have children or animals around construction. Also, cabinetmaker isn’t getting paid for discussing with you why the Knicks are going to be terrible this season as well.

Don’t buy materials yourself, contractors will almost always get a better price on them then you can. Not to mention possible delivery costs. You can control this by questioning every cost that the contractor presents you.

In the event that you live in New Rochelle and your house renovation consists of demolition work, you might consider staying somewhere else. It will create additional cost. Otherwise, you will need to learn how to live and love dust. Even then you will need to pack everything in order to protect it from dust.

Question all costs, and consult with contractors regarding materials

Organization of your home renovation in NYC

Plan everything, even the unplanned things like unexpected water pipe bursts. Because of these always have a contingency budget of around 10%. While we mentioned it, the budget is a must, having tight remodeling budget can drive your costs through the roof. And you won’t even notice it.  By the end of your home remodeling, you will have some project management skills.

Binder will be your best organizational tool to have. So simple, but yet very effective way to keep all your documentation at one place. Calendar and timeline when certain things are done are essential. You got to have all your contractors on the same page and organized. We don’t want them all at the same time working and preventing them to focus to work at hand.

Finding the right contractor

The most important part of your home remodeling is picking the right contractor or contractor company. Doing that in New York is a considerable challenge as complaints against home improvement contractors rank among the top five complaint categories year after year. Talk to your friends and neighbors that had some remodeling done and get recommendations. After that, you need to do your homework.

Rules, rules

Operating as a contractor you need to follow certain rules and regulations. General contractors need a license from NYC Department of buildings, while home improvement contractors get licensed at the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs. But bear in mind that Long Island home improvement contractors get theirs from the county, while in New Jersey licenses are issued by the state.


Use recommendations, but don’t rely on them

Due diligence

Once you know a contractor is licensed, next in line is online research, but don’t just read reviews. Do some investigating and check if there have been any complaints filed against a recommended contractor. You can go directly into the city’s Open Data system, but only if you are data fanatic. For Long Island it requires double work as contractors with bad records can get a license in another county. You need to call both consumer affairs bureaus, in Nassau and Suffolk. It sounds like you are about to become PI, but remember to stay positive as all good New Yorkers are.

Singing a contract

In order to protect yourself signing a contract is something that you should strongly consider. If you are nervous about online contract templates you can always hire a lawyer to help you out. Especially if you are working on large projects, I suggest creating detailed schedules and payment plans.

Hire an architect

If you are planning large home renovation projects like adding a garage or complete kitchen/bathroom upgrades you should hire an architect. Sometimes the best thing is to know where your limits are. Thus, managing projects this big is best left to professionals.

Obtaining necessary permits

When doing a renovation project in New York City, needed approvals usually catch off guard most owners that are in need of home renovation. If necessary, this needs to be done before the project starts because simply you can’t start without them. In case of large home renovation projects architect is the one that you will need to coordinate this with. But nevertheless, some smaller work will require a permit as well.

For example, wall demolition during home renovation in NYC will require one, but only if the wall is bearing one. New electrical wiring also requires a permit but only if you are installing more then 10 outlets. On the other hand, you can change flooring without any permits. This also applies to bathroom and kitchen upgrades.

Hand holding screw preparing for home renovation in NYC.

Use renovation to fix some other issue you may be experiencing

Space organization during home remodeling

You will want to put away the most important and favorite possessions far away from home remodeling work. Along with these consider removing all important documents and valuables. You can store your items safely by renting a storage unit or a strongbox.

In case you are forced to stay at your home during renovation consider having temporary storage space. For the most part, this space will be used as a place where you can move your furniture while work is being done. Consider using a basement or garage for this purpose. Similarly, you will need a renovation free zone/room where you can be without being disturbed by ongoing work. Let us not forget the kitchen and food, it would be wise to set a temporary kitchen along with knowing where best takeaways are.

A couple of advice to finish it

Use your home improvement project to unclutter your home. Old clothes, shoes, unnecessary furniture, old toys and I am sure there are many more. As a result, you will kill two birds with one stone. This process of home renovation in NYC will also challenge your daily routines. Sorry, you won’t be able to walk around bare naked. I’m exaggerating (or am I?), but you catch my point. This process will challenge all aspects of your normal life, be sure of it.

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