Home renovation

What are the stages of a home renovation project?

Every renovation is unique, but there are commonalities you can count on, depending on Bolster, a data-driven design-build firm that has a decade of experience in New York and has renovated over 50,000 square feet of residential properties in New York.

If you’re considering remodeling your New York apartment or brownstone, here’s their typical renovation process, from start to finish, so you can better understand what to expect.

The project team and its responsibilities

Each participant has an important role to play in the smooth running of the project.

  • Owner: Responsible for articulating the desired outcome of the project
  • Architect (if required): Responsible for developing scope of work, drawings and specifications, and filing permits
  • General Contractor: responsible for hiring sub-contractors and building the project while adhering to local building regulations
  • Third parties and/or consultants: responsible for providing specialist design information, such as HVAC and engineering

The design phase

This is when you will work with your team to determine the overall look of your project. (Note: This phase assumes you have a designer or architect on board.)

First meeting: During your first appointment, you will interview and brainstorm with designers and/or architects. Bolster starts by gathering information to better understand your dreams for your project and to define your design and construction requirements, giving a clear vision of your home and your needs. This includes inspiration, defining existing conditions, agreeing on the scope of work, and defining project goals.

Granular Pricing: Together, Bolster and the owners review a detailed price breakdown for the total cost of the project. With sketches and pricing secured, Bolster produces a custom project proposal detailing all activities in the design phase of the project.

Design contract: Your project officially begins with comprehensive architectural design services including schematic design, design development, construction documentation and approvals. To deliver risk-free renovations, Bolster conducts a full DNA and condition inspection of each property to limit delays and unpleasant surprises during the construction phase.

Schematic design (SD): The first phase of the architectural design process, schematic design provides a general overview of a project’s basic characteristics and construction cost estimates, allowing you to determine if your concept fits within the project budget. The schematic design is also where the layout of the renovated house is determined. During this time, the owners (along with their team) will explore design options, discuss feasibility, and weigh the pros and cons.

The deliverables of the schematic design phase include:

  • Floor plans
  • Schematic site plans
  • Crucial Building Sections
  • Exterior elevations
  • Description of construction elements
  • Various visuals of the architect

Design Development (DD): This phase is an intermediate check between the schematic design and construction documentation phases. This phase is also where the building board (if any) and the Ministry of Buildings give feedback. Drawings will also be produced and consultants (if required) will be retained.

Design development deliverables include:

  • Dimensionally Rich Floor Plans
  • Complete building sections
  • Detailed and accurate elevations
  • Initial specifications
  • Surveying, which is often conducted during DD, is an essential part of any renovation project during which an architect or engineer assesses the underlying conditions of a building to identify potential problems.

Building documentation (CD): During this phase, the scope of work will be carefully documented and you will finalize all your selection and finishes through drawings and schedules.

Build documentation deliverables include:

  • Final Floor Plans
  • Schedules
  • ​​​​​​​Drawings from electrical, mechanical and specialist consultants

Permit (if required): Filing of documents with your municipal agency

Contractor Procurement Phase: If you’re going the traditional design-bid-build route, that’s when you’ll start looking for general contractors, walking the project with them, distributing the project, finding contractors, analyzing bids , choose a contractor and sign a contract with them. (the architect is not a party to this agreement). If you hire a design-build company like Bolster, your team will work together from the start of the project, leading to a seamless outcome.

The building phase

This is when the construction begins and things start to get real!

  • Kick-off meeting with project team, agreement on project meetings
  • Prepayment to contractor (usually 30% plus materials)
  • Demolition, which includes preparing the project site, dismantling non-structural components, adding structural support (if necessary), and sorting and disposing of debris.
  • Build, meaning all the construction that needs to be done to bring your renovation to life
  • Remunerate your time according to the schedule and milestones of your project
  • ​​​​​​​Approve (or reject) any change orders, if necessary

The post-construction phase

That’s when the house of your dreams is delivered. Bolster’s in-house construction teams, backed by its operations team and proprietary technology, deliver every project as promised and limit surprises along the way.

  • Final visit and inspection with building or city agency
  • Checklist items
  • Request the project manual and contractor guarantees
  • ​​​​​​​Final payments to your team

Bolster Smart Renovation Zero Risk Guarantee

How can a design-build company guarantee Zero Risk renovation?

Bolster pioneered smart renovation. We apply quantitative analysis with our proprietary technology solution to identify and quantify performance risk on every renovation project. The result is a personalized strategic approach to each renovation that allows us to absorb 100% of the owner’s risk. Your home will be beautifully designed and delivered on time and on budget. This is our guarantee.

Smart Renovation & Zero-Risk means homeowners are now free to dream.

To start your big home improvement project, visit bolster.us.

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