The final cost for the gut renovation was $1.5 million, about $376 per square foot.


The 3,960-square-foot Astoria property was configured as a two-family home when the owners, Melissa and Caleb, purchased it for $1.6 million in the fall of 2020. The homeowners wanted to transform it into a single-family home that would better suit their needs—meaning a full gut renovation and significant layout changes were needed—a major undertaking.

Here’s how Melissa and Caleb decided on a contractor that would deliver their dream home—and how that vision was realized.



The guest bath seen before (top photo) and after.


Why they chose to work with Bolster 

Prior to their renovation, the homeowners had done their research and were debating between a traditional renovation route (first engaging an architect, then bidding out their project to hire a contractor for the build phase of the project—known in the industry as Design-Bid-Build), and a design-build firm. 

The homeowners discovered Bolster through positive reviews from previous clients who had renovated with Bolster and were impressed by the company’s Design-Build service offering and their data-driven approach. 

This approach allows homeowners to control their scope and budget every step of the way, and the company’s granular pricing process uses proprietary data to help homeowners make informed financial decisions. Unlike traditional contractors, Bolster holds itself accountable for any surprises through the Bolster Promise, which covers the financial cost of any unforeseen circumstances not found during Bolster’s due diligence. Homeowners can expect flawless communication, white-glove service, and full visibility into project milestones and budget over the duration of their project. 

Ultimately, the homeowners decided to renovate with Bolster, which also has a full team of specialists to guide the new homeowners through the entire renovation process. Bolster’s team includes an architect, design professionals, contractors, and an experienced construction crew that’s now grown into family for the homeowners. 



The living room before (top photo) and after.


Bolster’s Design-Build process 

The team guided the new homeowners through the entire process—everything from sketching concepts for easy understanding to shopping together for hardware and making recommendations on where to spend freely or cut costs.

Melissa, who works in tech, prioritized safety and energy efficiency as well as sustainable upgrades, including cutting off the existing gas line to the kitchen and adding an induction stove and stovetop; replacing all old outlets, and plumbing and electrical updates. 

As is customary for two-family and single-family conversions, converting the former two-family residence into a one-family home also included removal of the second-floor kitchen. This was converted into a luxurious primary bathroom for the homeowners’ primary bedroom suite. The result is a beautiful, spa-like bathroom which incorporates bold black tile and striking metallic finishes. 

With the flooding that followed Hurricane Ida in mind, the homeowners also prioritized flood-proofing the basement and appreciated Bolster’s transparency on total costs for this endeavor.

The Bolster team added a rooftop leisure space, as well as an open kitchen—the couple’s favorite room in their renovated home—which features a bold, colorful palette and Moroccan tile. An advanced AV system with built-in speakers was also added at the request of Caleb, who works in tech. 




The mudroom before (top photo) and after.


How much the renovation cost

Melissa never felt pressured or oversold by Bolster. Rather, she was impressed by how the Bolster team provided a very transparent process, communicating regularly to provide real-time updates, which was essential when the homeowners were traveling during their renovation. The result is a stress-free renovation that delivered a home in a neighborhood that they love and will enjoy for many years to come.

In renovations, the main cost drivers to consider are the quality of finishes, the complexity of the project, the scope of the project, and the area being renovated. 

For a large-scale gut renovation of this size and scope, the renovation cost $1.5 million in total, or roughly $376 per square foot 

The main cost drivers, as in most renovations, were mechanical ($91,250), electrical ($120,000), and plumbing ($102,000). The homeowners also chose to invest in custom millwork ($86,000), doors and windows ($119,000), flooring ($55,500), and roofing ($39,000). 

The Bolster Smart Renovation Zero-Risk Guarantee

How can a design-build firm guarantee a Zero-Risk renovation?

Bolster has pioneered Smart Renovation. We apply quantitative analysis along with our proprietary technology solution to identify and quantify the performance risk on every renovation project. The result is a personalized strategic approach to each renovation that allows us to absorb 100 percent of the homeowner’s risk. Your home will be beautifully designed, and delivered on-time and on-budget. That is our guarantee.

Smart Renovation & Zero-Risk means that Homeowners are now free to dream.

To start your major home renovation project visit

The Bolster Promise video


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