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Spiegel Reno (budget Is Labor Only)

Posted by Ross S. in Murray Hill
Brief description

Home is dated and needs a fresh look. I am an architect and my fiance is an interior designer so we will be able to furnish plans for what we want to have done.

Project details
  • Space

    Entire Unit

  • Services


  • Style


Before Conditions


Needs new flooring, and lighting in the ceiling to brighten up the space.

Scope of work

1 bed/1 bath 777 SF

1. Full gut - renovate cabinetry, appliances, flooring, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures
2. Locate gas line behind stove and demo wall between living room and kitchen to create open plan pass through kitchen.
1. Full gut - renovate cabinetry, flooring, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures
2. Add powder mirror with vanity

Living Room
1. Demo closets

1. Install closet
2. Install lighting

1. Install furrdown with lighting

Entire Apartment
1. New Flooring
2. Install new ceiling attached to concrete slab - 1/2 gyp on 1 1/2" metal stud.
3. recessed pin lighting and j boxes throughout.

When it came to picking our contractor my newlywed wife and I had vetted several different contractors through Sweeten. My background in architecture and my wife as an interior designer/lighting designer had us setting very high expectations for Darwin's crew. We designed and drew all the construction documents ourselves. We were quickly trained on all of the nuances of a co-op board and management company as this was our first purchase in Manhattan since moving from Dallas, TX a couple years ago. Although, it was a hard decision between Darwin and another contractor, we were drawn to choose Darwin because we felt he had an eye for detail. I scheduled a second sit down meeting with Darwin, we went through the renovation plans in detail and set a start date. We set a very rigorous schedule for Darwin's team to meet as we had to move out of our existing lease agreement and into the new co-op just 4 weeks after starting the project on the full gut renovation of our 1 bed 1 bath unit. Darwin and his guys worked hard to ensure we would be able to use the bedroom as a storage unit when our lease came due to store our things for a few days until the living room could be finished. We were able to stay at a family members home for about a week before we could move in. We lived under renovation for about another month afterwards until all of the renovations were complete. We worked closely with Darwin to ensure neither of us were delaying the schedule as my wife and I ordered and brought to site all of the finish materials, fixtures and appliances for the project. As you can imagine, we were very hands on throughout the renovation. Darwin sensed that and kept an excellent line of communication with us throughout the renovation and seeked our approval for nearly all decisions. All said, we were thrilled with the outcome of our new home and enjoyed the collaborative and professional relationship that we were able to have with Darwin and everyone in his crew.

As all renovations go there will always be some types of setbacks, delays, or mishaps. Fortunately ours were relatively minor and Darwin worked hard to ensure he was not delaying the project. We chose a 3rd party vendor to provide the countertops which ended up delaying the project about 2 weeks. Despite the delay, Darwin maintained his guys on site and worked with our delay to ensure that he had his sub contractors ready to perform as soon as we could get the countertops installed.

One of the main reasons we picked Darwin was because of his attention to detail that we recognized in his previous projects. That came to be true while working with him directly. There were numerous instances where we noticed something that needed fixing or adjusting and without having to ask Darwin's guys would fix even the slightest of imperfections. We reached the point towards the end of the project that Darwin would ask how we wanted a certain detail worked out and we would entrust his right hand man, Luis, to know how to make it look great without us having to provide any direction.