Whether you’re renovating an entire New York City brownstone or a studio apartment, the cost is based on the square footage of the space being renovated, the level of finishes, plus additional costs including any co-op/condo board fees and temporary housing.
For a basic gut or non-gut renovation, the average cost in NYC is $100 to $200 per square foot, including labor and stock materials (with gut renos at the higher end). Expect to spend $200 to $400 per square foot for higher end renovations and all the way to $800 per square foot in extreme cases—depending on the quality of finishes and fixtures and the extent of customizations.
This figure also depends on the current state of the property, with prewar co-ops and brownstones often posing their own unique problems, such as awkward layouts that don’t work well with modern lifestyles and/or outdated plumbing and wiring.
As no two projects are going to be exactly the same, per-square-foot averages are slightly less predictive. That said, understanding how the per square foot number is computed helps you appreciate what you will be paying for—and what’s going to be extra.
Your cost may vary depending on:
- time spent on the designs
- complexity of approvals and permits
- skilled labor and actual construction costs
- materials and finishes
- amount of customizations
- unspoken costs (see below).