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5 Things To Know Before Renovating Your Upper West Side Co-Op Apartment

Before and after of a galley kitchen remodel

In the Upper West Side in New York City, buildings are older, and most were built and known as “pre-war.” As a result, these apartments and townhomes require more care and consideration during the remodeling process. At Star Renovations NY, our team has years of experience renovating apartments, townhomes, and co-ops throughout the Upper West Side.

Through our years of experience, we’ve developed a keen understanding of what to expect from a NYC remodeling project, including, but not limited to:

  • How long the board and LPC approvals take
  • Electricity setup for Upper West Side homes
  • Load letter requirements
  • Professional building inspections
  • Skim coating the walls

1. Board & LPC Approval

The Upper West Side has 10 historic districts and three historic district extensions. Because of this, your condo, co-op apartment, or townhome will likely require special permits. LPC issues permits for interior and exterior renovation work to be performed on landmark properties.

Along with LPC permits, you may also require board approval for property renovations. Getting board and LPC approval typically takes between 45 and 60 days. By working with a design and build firm like Star Renovations NY, all permits and approvals will be handled on your behalf so you can enjoy a more streamlined, stress-free experience.

2. Your Electricity Setup

Electric cloth wires and fuse boxes are common to vintage homes in the Upper West Side as this is historically how electricity was operated in the area. For this reason, electrical upgrades and replacements may be required to complete your renovation. Expect the building architect or management supervisor to request an electrical inspection, at the very least, before beginning any renovation work.

Open walls for electrical access for remodel

3. Load Letters Required

Often, general contractors are unaware of the need to submit an electrical load letter to the building before renovating. This can be problematic when homeowners hire general contractors who neglect this critical piece of the remodeling approval process, only to be surprised by the additional costs down the road.

At Star Renovations NY, our team provides all the necessary documents on your behalf, adding this cost to the proposal for your remodel. This way, clients don’t suffer sticker shock and comply with their building’s approval process upfront.

4. Professional Building Inspection

In the Upper West Side, buildings are much older. Because of this, the building superintendent or engineer will likely require a professional inspection before beginning any work. After demolition, the building will require all new plumbing, electrical, waterproofing, and soundproofing to ensure code compliance.

By working with a design and build firm like Star Renovations NY, all these inspections will be handled on your behalf so you can enjoy a more streamlined, stress-free experience.

Open wall with pipes exposed

5. Skim Coating Walls

Many of the old buildings in the Upper West Side feature plaster walls as opposed to the modern home with studs and sheetrock. With any new plumbing or electrical upgrade, channeling of the walls can be expected. The only way to restore the apartment to its original condition or even better-than-original condition is to skim-coat the walls.

Through skim coating, layers of gypsum-based joint compound are applied to the surface of your walls. This smooths out any unwanted textures or imperfections, restoring damaged walls to their original condition.

Schedule a Remodeling Consultation With Star Renovations NY

If you live in the Upper West Side and are considering a remodel, it’s important to select a team that’s experienced in working with historic structures. Star Renovations NY offers the white-glove remodeling experience that NYC residents deserve. When you choose our renovation experts, we will:

  • Handle all permits and approvals on your behalf
  • Handle all material procurement
  • Deliver full transparency on project build and material costs
  • Provide a dedicated project coordinator, manager, and designer to execute your vision

Explore our recent Upper West Side remodeling project for inspiration, and call us to answer any questions about remodeling your NYC home.

Know what to expect at every stage of the remodeling process when you choose Star Renovations NY. Call (718) 785-9402 to request a consultation today.