NYC Renovation Cost Per Square Foot

renovating windows

The typical cost of renovating a home in New York City ranges from about $100 per square foot to $200, although some projects can cost extensively more. Your estimate is based on numerous factors, including the materials selected for the update.

You’ll also have the construction costs, permitting responsibilities, and the risk of hidden issues that must get fixed to comply with local codes.

Dry spaces are the cheapest renovation cost, with some projects priced around $30 per square foot. On the other hand, a wet space like a bathroom is usually the most expensive remodeling project to tackle at $400 per square foot.

Kitchens qualify as wet spaces, although some NYC homes can see a 25% price reduction from the bathroom estimates.

What Are the Permit Costs in NYC?

Since NYC apartments can vary widely across the five boroughs, it is a unique set of challenges to manage when creating a blank estimate. Therefore, this information should always be treated as a ballpark figure instead of concrete.

There are some expenses associated with NYC renovations that are relatively steady. So if you’re thinking about an update, you might want to add these costs to your budget.

  • Asbestos Inspections. These permits are typically $500. If your building or home was built before 1990, there is a chance that this task might be required before any other work can be completed.
  • Electrical Updates. Many NYC homes have outdated wiring that requires an update. When a contractor is brought on for a renovation, they must bring things up to code if they discover something amiss. If you need electrical work, the permit is $900. 
  • Plumbing Adjustments. A plumbing permit in NYC can be anywhere from under $2,000 to $5,000. It depends on the extent of the upgrade desired and how much piping needs to be installed, repaired, or corrected. 

The permit costs are the beginning of the project. This expense line goes to the local government, not the contractor. You’ll want to speak with the agency you hire for the renovation to determine if you’re responsible for getting this administrative work done or if they will do it on your behalf.

What Are the Basic Costs of an NYC Renovation?

painting the wall in grey

When you request an estimate for your NYC renovation costs, the contractor will evaluate the scope of the work. Several elements are part of this process, so you’ll want to include everything about the work to the estimator to ensure the information is accurate.

Here are some items that get evaluated when reviewing the scope of the work for a new renovation estimate in NYC.

  • Basic demolition costs for each room or area.
  • Framing must ensure the load-bearing structure for the interior walls and systems is attached and strong.
  • Insulation and drywall, sheetrock, or plastering needs.
  • Electrical wiring, including updates to switches and outlets.
  • Plumbing needs, which could involve your heating and cooling systems.
  • Visible fixtures or materials in wet areas that require maintenance or replacement.

Many NYC renovations include the installation of new appliances. Please remember that anything you select for visibility, including tile, millwork, and electronics, can significantly alter the cost of your project.

What Can I Expect at Different Square Footage Estimates?

If you want to get the most out of your renovation budget in NYC, the best option is to look for updates in the $100 to $200 range per square foot. You receive the essentials without customization while sticking to the average project cost in the city.

Your materials are typically stock or prefabricated items. Some installations (such as countertops) might require sealing, staining, and finishing from a DIY effort to keep costs low. Cabinets are usually made from medium-density fiberboard.

Tiling runs under $10 per square foot at this price estimate. You’ll receive standard lighting, but the basics will be solid. 

You’ll receive more customization when you upgrade to a price range of $200 to $300 per square foot. Counters can be made from natural stone, while hardwood flooring tends to have wider planks. You can avoid a gut renovation to remodel within the existing walls in most homes.

For those who want complete customization, including structural work or layout changes, you can expect to pay $300 per square foot or more in NYC.

If you have a renovation project, you’d like to start, please feel free to request an estimate at your convenience. It helps to get three to five competitive quotes for your update to ensure you’re receiving the best price.


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