Q&A with Jean: What Is an Alteration Agreement?

Sweeten’s Founder + CEO Answers Your Renovation Questions

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Welcome to #9 in our series, designed to bring clarity to some of the mysteries of renovating! Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or a serial renovator, each project brings with it a new set of circumstances and new questions, and Sweeten is here to be a source of knowledge and reassurance. 

QUESTION: What is an alteration agreement?

JEAN: If you live in a co-op or condo building in New York City, you’ll have an alteration agreement. In the document, your board lays out all of the rules and guidelines for renovating in your building to ensure there is minimum disruption to your neighbors while a renovation is in progress. This can include rules on the allowable work hours (to limit noise) and when the freight elevator will be open for deliveries or materials. When you’re buying, or if you’re thinking about renovating in a co-op or condo, you should read your alteration agreement immediately before talking to a general contractor; you’ll need to share those guidelines right from the start.

Another important piece of information usually found in the agreement is how much insurance your building requires. This amount is usually from $1 million to $3 million, which you’ll want to relay to any contractors you’re speaking with in order to make sure that they have that coverage in place before they even step foot inside your home. If you post your project on Sweeten and include this amount in your profile, Sweeten will make sure to only match you to contractors who can cover the requirement.

If you have more questions on the topic, check out our blog post Renovating? Here’s How to Navigate a Co-op Board.

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Looking for more advice from Jean? Be sure to check out the eighth installment in this series, Q&A with Jean: When should I start planning for my renovation?

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.

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