How much does it cost to gut renovate a Tribeca loft?

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Alex's Project

Alex is an executive looking to personalize her Tribeca loft to enjoy with her husband and friends.

She has been saving for her Tribeca loft conversion for several years and has $400,000 put away. She has in mind flipping the layout of her loft, whilst making her kitchen the most important feature. She loves cooking, so she requires a semi-professional cooker and a great area to entertain. While searching for an architect, she was repeatedly told that her project would cost way over $500,000 and became disillusioned with the process. 

"We have $400,000 to renovate a 1,200 square foot apartment in a condo building in Tribeca. The project will include replacing all windows, installing AC, moving kitchen and living space and adding a powder room and laundry room. Thanks - Alex"


Alex's Problem

Alex contacted Bolster after researching home renovation costs online and within 48 hours, met her Bolster Specialist and Professionals at her project address and, free of charge, received her Cost Estimate The report shows her the cost to do her project the right way would be at a minimum $397,857 ($329 PSF) and at a maximum $563,742 ($463 PSF) and reveals the areas where she can save money so as to achieve a project she will be happy with for her $400,000 budget.


Bolster's Solution

Alex is within budget but she will have to make smart design decisions in order to hit her target budget. This includes carefully considering cost effective HVAC options, optimizing the apartment's layout, and not getting top of the line luxury appliances throughout. She is lucky because she has a realistic budget to achieve the renovation she has been dreaming of. 

Alex's Cost Break Down:  


Architect's Fees: $66,128 – $79,392

Design input will vary depending on the layout and level of involvement she will need from her architect. If she has a very clear idea of the appliances and the look she wants to achieve and wants to have a go at specifying some of the materials, Alex would be able to stick to the lower end of this range of cost. If she needs to be handheld, with many design presentations she will be incurring more design cost. Also, if central HVAC is a must have, she will need a mechanical engineer, which will in turn take her to the higher end of this range. 


Compliance Fees: $15,225 - $19,350

Compliance fees will vary depending on the final scope of work. These are pretty standard and include expediting, etc. As the design is clearer, this number will become ever more accurate.


Rough Construction & Labor Costs: $161,250 - $232,500

These costs refer to actual materials to build the renovation. Even though these costs are a first pass, they are accurate data based off our algorithm and give her clarity on the percentage of her budget that will be invested in the unsexy aspects of construction (sorry sheetrock). 


Fixtures, Finishes & Appliances: $32,250 - $46,500

At this point we are not sure what appliances Alex will specifically want to buy, but we have provided a range that gets her what she needs, within a high end range. If Alex is a smart shopper, she can invest her cash in luxury appliances that make sense whilst getting a lower spec for the ones that are not meaningful for her. For example, a fridge can always be covered with a panel – no need to pay for the brand tag! Alex is in full control of allowances and can also make the most of seasonal sales. 


Project Management & Insurances: $48,375 - $69,750

The scope of the project will determine indirect costs, such as labor and insurances. At this point, this range is an approximation only and will not be firmed up until the contractor and architect have a clear idea of the direction she wants to go in (for example, if she does not flip the layout costs would be lower). 


Contractor Overhead & Profit: $80,625 - $116,250

These fees are standardized at Bolster and calculated as a percentage of all other costs and so if Alex is able to keep her construction costs to a minimum, overhead and profit will also be lower. In Bolster, we are very transparent about these fees for the health of the project – homeowner, contractor and architect need to know exactly where and how each dollar is being spent on the renovation, otherwise designing to a target budget is impossible. 


Bolster Financial Guarantee: $16,125 - $23,250

Alex can opt to have her project financially guaranteed with the Bolster Guarantee.  Approximately half of all traditional renovation projects, cost overruns are between 40% and 200%. Also every year, 17.2% of contractors in New York go out of business taking 77,245 projects and $700M of homeowner's money with them. That's why we developed an algorithm to show how these financial exposures are reduced, and potentially eliminated, when you renovate with Bolster. Her financial exposure to cost overruns and contractor failure on her project are $350,554 with a traditional contractor following the traditional renovation process, $42,766 with a Bolster Contractor following the Bolster Renovation Process and $0 when she purchases Bolster’s Financial Guarantee.


Next Steps for Alex

The best finding of this report is that Alex is indeed able to do a project of the scale and scope she desires. While she may not get luxury appliances throughout, she can invest in high-end items she likes and make construction decisions along the way that keep her close to her budget. Incidentally, as we proceeded with this project, we found out she could add another legal bedroom to her apartment. This in turn means her property will look better, and will appreciate as it will become a two-bedroom loft. Good news all around! 


Want to Know the Cost of Your Renovation?

Homeowners rarely get reliable cost information about their home renovation until its too late. With Bolster, our professionals use a proprietary algorithm to give you accurate figures* for your final project cost - before you commit.

About Bolster’s Cost Estimates

Homeowners rarely get reliable and accurate information upfront about their project's total cost before engaging professionals. Bolster's Free Cost Estimate provides owners with a statistically accurate range of costs* from proven professionals to help them make informed decisions about the scope, design and cost of their renovation project, before they incur professional fees.

* Bolster Costs Reports provide a narrow minimum /maximum range of costs for an owner’s renovation project. In a random sample of 100 projects, 98 of Bolster’s Winning Bids (the final project cost) fell within this narrow minimum / maximum range.