Project Tour / Gut Renovation

Adam & Kat's Cobble Hill Project

Meet the Owners

Adam and Kat Braim are a young professional couple who wanted to gut-renovate their newly purchased Cobble Hill home before settling in.

Why renovate? We chose to renovate because we were in the process of buying, and quickly realized we would never be able to get exactly what we wanted either with new construction, or a newly renovated for-sale apartment.

Project goals: Our goals of this project were to make our apartment a home. We wanted to add the details that we've seen in other homes we've liked and to highlight the original character of the apartment, but add updates to bring it to the 21st century. At the same time, we wanted to add details that would stand the test of time to appeal to other buyers at some point down the road.

Biggest concern before renovating: Our biggest concern going into the project was not knowing how we could possibly get to the end result. Not having done anything like this in the past, we were assured by the Bolster team that we would get to the promised end result in the most efficient way possible. We did.

Biggest challenge: The biggest challenge we faced during renovation was dealing with the NYC Department of Buildings. At the end of the day, having the Bolster team on our side ultimately eased our nerves and got us through partial unscathed. Now having the experience of dealing with the D.O.B., we know the challenges in front of us if and when we choose to do a renovation in the future.

Biggest indulgence: Our biggest indulgence was the entire project! We first started off wanting to add a second bathroom and that turned into doing mostly everything else in the entire apartment! To pick just one thing, I'd say we indulged a bit on the bathroom tile. It is a timeless choice that is extremely elegant and each guest we've had over has fallen in love with our bathrooms.

Best bit of advice: The best bit of advice we received during the project was to trust the process. This may seem crazy with New York City renovations, but the Bolster team has a tried and true model that we bought into and completely trusted. This advice proved to be perfect, as we trusted the process and got more than we had ever imagined as a result.


How did we do?

0 = Strongly Disagree, 5 = Neutral, 10 = Strongly Agree

  • Bolster's Website and Process was easy to use and follow (10)
  • We enjoyed following the Bolster Process for our renovation (10)
  • We felt confident conducting business with Bolster and our project team (10)
  • Bolster's Website and our project team kept all promises made to us (10)
  • We were able to get the information we needed quickly from Bolster (10)
  • We were able to count on the information we received from Bolster (10)
  • The information Bolster provided us with was valuable (10)
  • We feel like we obtained value for money on our renovation with Bolster (10)
  • The quality of our finished home equals or exceeds our expectations (10)
  • We will use Bolster for our next renovation (10)

0 = Not likely, 5 = Neutral, 10 = Very likely

  • How likely are you to recommend Bolster to a friend? (10)

Owner Satisfaction

How is this calculated?


Location: Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

Size: 1,200 Sq. Ft.

Type: Turn-of-the century limestone co-op in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

Rooms: 2 bed, 1.5 bath



Type: Design & Build

Scope: Renovating two bathrooms, installing new flooring and producing some truly incredible custom carpentry

Duration: 12 weeks

Team: Architect David Yum, Specialist Anna Karp, General Contractor Aaron Borenstein.

Cost Breakdown

Architect Fees: $23,504

Design Fees: $20,000

D.O.B. Fees: $1,195

Expeditor Fees: $2,309

General Contractor: $201,800

Direct Costs: $141,516

Mandatory Insurances: $9,260

Project Management: $24,612

Overhead & Profit: $26,412

Owner Changes: $18,097

Contractor Changes: $0  

Material Credit: ($2,682)

Bolster Fee: $19,498

Financial Guarantee: $3,560

Project Total: $260,217 ($216 PSF) 

Adam Braim.png

"When we tell our renovation story to our friends and family, they are amazed"


Bolster gave us the tools and the confidence to embark on a full apartment renovation in Brooklyn. Starting the process was scary. We had no idea what to expect, and had heard the horror stories of contractors running off with deposits, shoddy workmanship, etc. When I spoke with other contractors, we were told our "project was too small" and that "we might be able to get around to it in the springtime." Bolster's approach was different. They immediately discussed the benefits of doing work the right way - not trying to sell their brand. Bolster is passionate about doing the right thing for the consumer and this ethos came across in every conversation I've had with anyone affiliated with Bolster.

Once we moved forward with the project, Bolster was on top of every little detail. We had a nightmare experience with the D.O.B. My wife and I kept saying to each other "how would this have ended well if we weren't working with Bolster?" I don't know the answer to that, and I'm not sure any answer would have the phrase 'ended well' in it. Bolster is a business, but the people involved are at the top of their respective game. They know what they are doing. They do it well, and ultimately they do what is right for you.

When we tell our renovation story to our friends and family, they are amazed. At the end of the day we don't just call Bolster our contractor but we sincerely call them our friends.

– Adam Braim


Project in the press