More about this projectThis renovation was featured on the Sweeten blog.
Renovate My Apartment In Upper West SidePosted by Ian L. in Upper West Side
We're some weeks from closing on the purchase of a small 400 sq ft studio co-op apartment on the UWS. We would like to gut renovate the apartment which was last renovated maybe 50 years ago.
Design and Build
Functional but...; A little worn; Outdated
Appears not to have been updated for 40 or so years
Scope of work
Kitchen: totally redo the small in line kitchen with new 9 feet high cabinets (6'6" long) with new sink; 4 burner gas/ electric range; new fridge and new small island. Should be no need for any structural work or re-routing of services.
Bathroom: totally retile in transition style with new soaking tub and shower above, new toilet and pedestal basin.
Totally refloor the apartment (except bathroom) with light oak wide boards (maybe 330 sq feet). Build one solid wood storage closet maybe 5' long and 9' high.
Replumb and rewire throughout.
It was a real pleasure working with Eduardo from the get go. Both my wife and I had slightly different visions for our renovation of a small Manhattan studio apartment. The only way to make our separate visions a reality was to do a "gut renovation". As both a qualified architect and builder Eduardo advised what we could and couldn't do, with practical solutions for major problems (eg, how to fit a soaker tub and overhead shower with separate toilet and nice modern vanity into a small bathroom area. And how to make a complete kitchen from a combination of the old wall galley space and new functional island space, which island would double as our dining table and home office desk! Eduardo was always available either in person, over the phone or the internet (via FaceTime when I was working in Sydney, Australia). Eduardo has an excellent understanding of space and all the tradesmen he used were on top of their trades, ever eager to make minor adjustments we requested to the agreed upon plans. He answered our technical questions as and when required. He made frequent suggestions for slight changes that aded value to the overall project (such as the placing of unique storage drawers under the kitchen island. We had to rewire and re-plumb (back to the risers) the whole apartment. This required at one stage going through the ceiling of the apartment immediately beneath ours. Eduardo handled the negotiations with our downstairs neighbour with aplomb and ensured the invasive plumbing work took place quickly and smoothly. As I was in Australia for a good deal of the construction period I needed to see the progression of works via photos, videos etc. Eduardo took pride in sending me photos, videos etc and keeping me "in the loop". We had to field the inevitable odd complaint from neighbours about noise, overuse of the single lift in the building etc. In decking with these issues Eduardo dealt skilfully with both the building manager and superintendent. As with all renovations we were mindful of cost "blowouts" from the price originally quoted. Eduardo's original quote was most satisfactory and far less than quotes I had obtained from outside Sweeten. When extra expenditure was requested, Eduardo gave more than adequate explanations for reasonable requests for extra funding. We never felt we were being used or abused and we were most impressed with the "bang" we we were getting for our hard earned "bucks". Since completion, Eduardo has diligently entertained our requests for repairs of the odd cracked tile, adjustments to cabinetry, paint touching up etc. And all of this when Eduardo and his workmen live way over in Queens and needed to travel into Manhattan when work was required. All in all, it has been a real pleasure working with Eduardo. We would highly recommend him to others. Ian (and Kim).
Again, I think I've covered this above.
I've pretty well said it all above. But the things Eduardo and his "team" of tradesmen did particularly well were to be ever available for consultation and tweaking of agreed upon plans, adding value to the project with valuable suggestions on the best use of space. And at a very reasonable price. Work always continued with a sense of humour and agreeability. We were always "kept in the loop" and felt part of Eduardo's "Team".