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

Bolster helps a first-time renovator understand the cost of their upcoming renovation project.

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Alex's Project

Alex is a Human Resources executive looking to renovate her 1,200 square foot condo in TriBeCa. 

She intends to flip the layout of her loft, replace all the windows, install AC, move the kitchen and living space and add a powder and laundry room while making the kitchen the most important feature. She loves cooking, so she requires a semi-professional cooker and a great area to entertain.


Alex's Problem

She has been putting money away for years and has $400,000 to spend, however while searching for an architect, she was repeatedly told that her project would cost way over $500,000 and became disillusioned with the process. 


Bolster's Solution

Alex contacted Bolster after researching renovation costs online and within 48 hours, met her Bolster Specialist and Professionals at her project address and, free of charge, received her Cost Report. The report showed her that 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 revealed the areas where she could save money while getting a great result for her $400,000 budget.


Interpreting the Cost Report

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. 

Here's how the costs for Alex's project break down:  

  • Architect's Fees: $66,128 – $79,392. Design input will vary depending on the layout and level of involvement Alex will need from her Bolster Architect Jessica Wetters. 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 supported in making her product selections, with several design presentations, she will incur extra 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, DOB filing fees etc. As the design becomes ever clearer, this number will be firmed up.

  • 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 Bolster's Renovation Cost Algorithm and provide Alex with 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, Jessica is not not sure what appliances Alex will select, but a range has been provided that gets her what she needs. If Alex shops smart, she can invest her money in luxury appliances that make sense whilst scrimping on less important ones. For example, a fridge can always be covered with a panel – no need to pay for the brand tag! Alex can also make the most of seasonal sales. Either way, she is in full control of her fixtures, finishes and appliances.

  • Project Management & Insurances: $48,375 - $69,750. The scope of the project will determine Alex's 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 keeps her construction costs to a minimum, overhead and profit will also be lower. Bolster is radically 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.  On 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 Bolster developed an algorithm to show how these financial exposures are reduced, and potentially eliminated, when renovating with Bolster. Alex's 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 Bolster Contractor Aaron Borenstein following the Bolster Renovation Process and $0 when she purchases Bolster’s Financial Guarantee.

Alex is excited she can do a project of the scale and scope she desires. And even though she may not decide to purchase luxury appliances throughout, she can invest in key high-end items and make construction decisions along the way that keep her within budget.

Incidentally, as this project has unfolded, it was discovered that a second legal bedroom could be added to her apartment. This means Alex's TriBeCa apartment will not only look better after the renovation, but it will also appreciate in value. Nice!

Want to Know the Actual 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.

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* Bolster Costs Reports provide a narrow min /max range of costs for home renovation projects worth $75,000 and over. In a random sample of 100 renovation projects, 98 of their final project costs fell within this narrow min / max range and we are constantly working to improve this number.