Learn the true cost of your home renovation, today!

Bolster's Home Renovation Cost Calculator is powered by The Bolster Formula and project data from all recent projects in NYC where the projects have been delivered 98.7% on time and 99.3% on budget and received an average Net Promoter Score of 96.

 

The Formula

The Bolster Formula uses data from Bolster projects using the retail cost of materials and fixtures (markup free) and all labor, management, insurance, overhead and profit rates at market rate in NYC or fixed against industry benchmarks and where the projects have been delivered on average 98.7% on time and 99.3% on budget and received a 96 Net Promoter Score from the owners and the professionals working on the project. 

The data and formula is an extremely reliable source of the correct costs to renovate successfully, and enjoyably, in NYC. 

 

 

Bolster's Calculator

 


    Try the Formula yourself

    Sophisticated New Yorkers don't want to depend on others to tell them the time, they want to know how to build their own clock! Here's how to use our formula for yourself for any major home renovation project over $100K in NYC:

    Instructions

    Step 1. Start by selecting $75 for Economy finishes, $150 for Mid-range finishes or $200 for Upscale finishes

    Step 2. Select $10 for Small sized project, $25 for Medium sized project or $75 for Large sized project

    Step 3. Select $10 for a Low complexity project, $25 for a Medium complexity project or $75 for High complexity project

    Step 4. Sum your choices for step 1, 2 and 3 and multiply the result by the area you are renovating (e.g. your apartment is 2,000 SF and you're renovating 50% of it so your area is 1,000). This gives you your Material & Fixtures cost

    Step 5. Now select 1 for Big Design & Build, 0.75 for Small Design & Build or 0.25 for Basic Build & Some Design. Take this choice and multiply it by 35 times the area you are renovating. This gives you your Architect Fees

    Step 6. Using your choice from step 5, multiply it by 5 times the area you are renovating. This gives you your Third Party Fees

    Step 7. Multiply the area you are renovating by 15. This gives you your Skilled Labor costs

    Step 8. Take your result from step 4 (your Material & Fixtures cost) and divide by 5. This gives you your Project & Site Management costs

    Step 9. Sum your results from step 7 and 8 (your Skilled Labor and Project & Site Management costs) and multiply by 17%. This gives you your Workers' Compensation Insurance costs

    Step 10. Take your results from step 4, 7, 8 and 9 (your Materials & Finishes, Skilled Labor, Project & Site Management and Workers' Compensation Insurance costs) and multiply by 12.5%. This gives you your Contractor Overhead cost

    Step 11. Take your results from step 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10 (your Materials & Finishes, Skilled Labor, Project & Site Management, Workers' Compensation Insurance and Contractor Overhead costs) and multiply by 12.5%. This gives you your Contractor Profit cost

    Step 12. Take your results from step 4, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 (your Materials & Finishes, Skilled Labor, Project & Site Management, Workers' Compensation Insurance, Contractor Overhead and Contractor Profit costs) and multiply by 3%. This gives you your General Liability Insurance cost

    Step 13. Sum your results from steps 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. This gives you your total project cost

    Step 14. Divide your result from step 13 by the area you are renovating. This is the cost per square foot of your total project which can be used to compare your project's cost to other projects of a similar type

    Step 15. Subtract your results from steps 5 and 6 from the results from step 13 and divide the result by the area you are renovating. This is the cost per square foot of your construction which can be used to easily compare your general contractor's pricing to other general contractor's of a similar quality

    Step 16. If all of this is just too much, revert back to our calculator.

     

    Example

    Step 1. $150 for Mid-range finishes

    Step 2. $75 for Large sized project

    Step 3. $25 for a Medium complexity project

    Step 4. ($150+$75+$25) * 1,000 SF = $250,000 = Material & Fixtures cost

    Step 5. 1 (for Big Design & Build) * 35 * 1,000 = $35,000 = Architect Fees

    Step 6. 1 (for Big Design & Build) * 5 * 1,000 = $5,000 = Third Party Fees

    Step 7. 1,000 * 15 = $15,000 = Skilled Labor costs

    Step 8. $250,000 / 5 = $50,000 = Project & Site Management costs

    Step 9. ($15,000 + $50,000) * 17% = $11,050 = Workers' Compensation Insurance costs

    Step 10. ($250,000 + $15,000 + $50,000 + $11,050) * 12.5% = $40,756 = Contractor Overhead cost

    Step 11. ($250,000 + $15,000 + $50,000 + $11,050 + $40,756) * 12.5% = $45,851 = Contractor Profit cost

    Step 12. ($250,000 + $15,000 + $50,000 + $11,050 + $40,756 + $45,851) * 3% = $12,380 = General Liability Insurance cost

    Step 13. $250,000 + $15,000 + $50,000 + $11,050 + $40,756 + $45,851 + $12,380 = $465,037

    Step 14. $465,037 / 1,000 = $465

    Step 15. ($465,037 - $35,000 - $5,000) / 1,000 = $425.

     



    Examples

    If you are renovating an entire apartment, it makes sense to understand the approximate price of your project based on its square footage and the standard of quality you expect. For example, if you are doing a gut renovation (changing layouts) of a 1,000 square foot apartment in Manhattan and are looking for 'good quality but nothing too fancy', you can expect your project to cost around 1,000 sf * $200 = 200,000.

    $150 psf NYC renovation example.png

    Low-high

    $150 - $200 PSF

    The quality of the finish is good (grade A) with good attention to detail but reliant on big-box store sourced cabinetry, MDF etc. 

    $250 psf NYC renovation example.png

    ★★

    Mid-high

    $200 - $500 PSF

    The quality of finish is high (grade AA) and customized with fine finishes and materials being used that can last years, if not, a lifetime. 

    $500 psf NYC renovation example.png

    ★★★

    High-high

    $500 - $2,000 PSF

    The quality of finish is the highest possible (grade AAA) and labor-intensive, with every surface bespoke, new and beautifully finished.


     

    Average costs

    Here are the average costs of the most popular renovation projects Bolster carries out in New York City. 

    Quality

    New Bathoom

    New Kitchen

    Full renovation

    Gut renovation, combination or conversion

    $ 25,173 $ 37,760 $ 100,692 $ 151,038
    ★★ $ 50,346 $ 75,519 $ 201,385 $ 302,077
    ★★★ $ 179,808 $ 269,712 $ 719,231 $ 1,078,846

    A great way to approach your project at this early stage is to have either a fixed budget with a flexible scope of work OR a fixed scope of work with a flexible budget - but not both :)
    — David Yum, AIA Architect

     

    Typical starting costs

    Here is a guide to what your starting costs are likely to be when you renovate with Bolster. These starting prices all assume the project has followed Bolster's Pricing Process and that the only corners cut are those of your materials.

     

    New Bathrooms

    Begin at $20,000

    Assumes basic bathroom renovation with no moving of waste or supply lines, light switches or outlets. Includes replacing some electrical and plumbing, some basic carpentry & finishes and basic appliances.

    New Kitchens

    Begin at $30,000

    Assumes basic kitchen renovation with no moving of waste or supply lines, light switches or outlets. Includes replacing some electrical and plumbing, some basic carpentry & finishes and basic appliances.

    Full Renovations

    Begin at $80,000

    Assumes basic kitchen and bathroom renovation with no moving of any waste or supply lines, light switches or outlets. Also includes replacing some electrical and plumbing, some basic carpentry & finishes.

    Gut Renovations 

    Begin at $100,000

    Also includes combinations and conversions. Assumes full kitchen and bathroom renovation with new electrical and plumbing, moving a wall, a new HVAC installation, window replacement, carpentry & finishes and new flooring throughout.

     

     

    Every project is unique

    With over 2,000,000 unique homes in New York City, no two projects are ever the same. Here are a few variables that may affect your budget.

    Hiring an Architect

    If your project requires an architect expect to pay a minimum of $5,000 and up to 20% of your projects total cost. 

    Walkup vs. Elevator

    If you live in a walkup without an elevator, your contractor will have to budget for having material and waste carried up and down flights of stairs.

    Staying or going

    If you are planning on living in your home during your renovation, your contractor will have to budget for working around you. 

     

    Building rules

    If your co-op or condo building restricts working hours, access or requires additional protections, your contractor will have to budget for these.

    Concrete vs. Sheetrock

    If your walls are solid concrete rather than sheetrock, gut renovations and electrical work may be more expensive. 

    Moving systems

    Expect to pay extra if you have to replace your plumbing, move your waste or supply lines or reposition your electric panel. 

     

     

    Home smart home

    If you want to base your renovation project's budget on some solid economics, look no further than your home. The following table uses historical Manhattan real estate values to help you set a budget that is proportional to the value of your home and able to be recovered within 5 years.

    Your property type

    Current value

    Forecasted increase in value in 5 years

    Maximum renovation budget*

    Manhattan co-op $ 1,206,784 $ 202,594 $ 189,932
    Manhattan condo $ 2,136,501 $ 588,426 $ 551,649
    Manhattan Luxury co-op or condo $ 6,006,274 $ 1,340,134 $ 1,256,376
    Upper East Side co-op $ 1,649,092 $ 240,501 $ 225,470
    Upper East Side condo $ 2,808,462 $ 1,223,042 $ 1,146,602
    Upper West Side co-op $ 1,203,690 $ 144,461 $ 135,432
    Upper West Side condo $ 2,286,626 $ 543,886 $ 509,893
    Chelsea co-op $ 1,108,786 $ 353,258 $ 331,179
    Chelsea condo $ 2,933,140 $ 1,349,626 $ 1,265,274
    Greenwich Village co-op $ 1,370,159 $ 486,839 $ 456,412
    Greenwich Village condo $ 3,760,509 $ 1,544,425 $ 1,447,898
    East Village / Lower East Side co-op $ 948,366 $ 230,725 $ 216,305
    Soho / Tribeca co-op $ 2,407,325 $ 505,594 $ 473,994
    Soho / Tribeca condo $ 3,696,606 $ 1,250,293 $ 1,172,150
    Financial District co-op $ 1,601,135 $ 749,330 $ 702,497
    Financial District condo $ 1,086,424 $ 153,392 $ 143,805
    * equivalent to forecasted increase in property value in 5 years minus cost of finance at 4% APR.