Brownstoner Home-Event

Below you’ll find resources to further help answer any questions from the event

What First-Time Home Renovators Need to Know

Briefly introduce yourself. What is your name, company, title, and what does your company do, in one sentence?

Anna Karp, Bolster COO, and Cofounder.

Bolster is a data-driven design-build firm on a mission to eliminate risk from major home renovations by being radically transparent across everything we do. We hire the industry’s best talent and use a continual improvement process to financially guarantee that your major home renovation is designed and built beautifully, on-time and on-budget. From the first sketch to the final handshake, our homeowners know the cost of every line item and have full visibility into project milestones.

Briefly, what advice do you give all new homeowners/first time renovators?

How do I know when I need to renovate or decide to renovate? What is the first step? Do I need to involve my neighbors?

What is the most common mistake you see new homeowners/first time renovators make?

How much will my renovation cost and how long will it take? How much should I hold in reserve in case of unexpected conditions and cost overruns?

What do I need to know about contracts? How can I protect myself against things that could go wrong and costly mistakes?


Renovation Resources

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Smart actionable renovation advice for your major project!

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Proprietary insights, project and market data from Q1 2019 in NYC.

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Huge catalogue of renovation advice, stories, how-tos and more!

Questions (provided by Bolster)

Q: How do I find a contractor or an architect?

Q: Who do I hire first; contractor or architect?

Q: What to look for in contractor/architect?

Q: How much does a gut renovation cost?

  • Definition of a Gut Renovation: The complete renovation of a property where all systems, windows, doors, fixtures, fittings, walls, floors and ceilings are fully replaced. Gut Renovations are the most popular category with 1,114 projects (58% of total) in Q1 of 2019 and the category with the largest average spend of $471,354 (+18% above average of all projects).

Q: How much does it cost to renovate an apartment vs. brownstone?

Q: How long do most renovations take?

Q: What's a good price per square foot?

Q: How do I compare estimates and bids?

Q: How do I file with the DOB?

Q: How do I budget for my home renovation?

Q: How much does an architect cost/what are architect fees?

Why Bolster?

Streamlined Design & Build: In every industry, the best builders design things and the best designers build things. We marry the two disciplines to your project's benefit.

And In-House Talent: Bolster directly employs and supports the careers of New York City’s most experienced architects, designers, builders and craftsmen.

Powered by Data: Bolster systematically gathers, scrubs and analyzes every project's information in an effort to continuously improve our processes and products.

Backed by Institutional Capital: With over $150M raised, provides Bolster with the financial stability needed to fulfill our mission.

Makes Possible a Zero-Risk Financial Guarantee: Bolster, not you, financially absorbs any and all surprises during your renovation.

And Delivers Custom Results, Consistently: With Bolster absorbing any and all surprises during your project, our workforce delivers your project exactly as promised.

With a Lifetime Of Ownership Warranty: Once complete, Bolster offers you a full design, building material and workmanship warranty, free of charge, for the duration of your life in your new property.

And a Strong Track Record: Bolster has delivered over $30M worth of high-end renovations in NYC with homeowners paying a combined total of $0 in unexpected costs.

Learn More at