Why Brooklyn townhouse owners turned to Bolster for just the build portion of their renovation project
- Build-only is best for owners and architects who already have building approvals in place
- It's also a good fit for owners who may be worried going over budget on design
When a couple bought their Crown Heights townhouse, they began to reimagine how it could best function for their family. They wanted a beautiful, design-minded home that would serve as both a stunning and welcoming space.
In 2022, the Brooklyn homeowners decided it was the right time to begin their renovation. They engaged the architectural team at NAINOA Architecture & Interiors for the design portion of the project. The architects referred them to Bolster, a data-driven design-build firm in NYC that has experience with brownstones and townhouses, for the build portion of their project.
This is the type of project that Bolster refers to as Build-Only, an exclusive service for vetted architects and homeowners who have a full Construction Documentation set and full building approvals. Build-Only is different from Bolster’s Design-Build process in a few key ways. Build-Only with Bolster is a good fit for homeowners with the following:
1. The right documents: Build-Only is best for architects and homeowners who have a full Construction Documentation (CD) set and full building approvals in place.
2. Budget concerns: The project has a CD set or a Design Development (DD) set, and homeowners may be worried about the design going over budget.
3. Need for a true renovation partner: Homeowners who want a risk-free renovation with a firm that can focus on the project’s planning and delivery, in partnership with their architect.
4. Bid clarity: Comparing multiple bids is hard and time-consuming.
Anyone exploring this type of service with a traditional contractor (known as design-bid-build) is familiar with the lack of standardized and detailed pricing. Bolster’s Build-Only process is designed to promote alignment between the homeowner, their architect, and the Bolster team. Bolster’s data-driven Build-Only approach demystifies construction costs to help homeowners break ground risk-free by performing a detailed review of homeowners’ architectural documents to avoid information gaps (and added costs). Bolster provides side-by-side bid comparisons to other contractors’ estimates, and together, the three parties work together to find areas of opportunity to reduce costs and scope.
With Bolster on their side, the homeowners signed a Build agreement with Bolster in April 2022 and the team was able to break ground on the Build portion of their renovation the following month.
The renovation process
The homeowners worked with NAINOA to design a space that was open and inviting with striking design details, such as bold wallpaper for their powder room and a small section of their dining room, as well as stunning light fixtures. The homeowners also chose to draw the eye to the fireplace in the living room and added an on-trend staircase with floor-to-ceiling steel beams.
With design locked in, the Bolster team got to work on the build phase of the project. The homeowners chose to keep their floor and kitchen untouched, which helped them prioritize their budget for the things they really needed and wanted.
Millwork is an item where homeowners can choose to go high or low with their investment. In this case, the homeowners elected to invest a decent portion of their build budget in high-quality, custom millwork ($101,200), which went towards custom cabinetry and storage, a dining room credenza, and staircase system.
The homeowners also invested heavily in doors, windows, and walls ($72,800) which included the fundamentals like sheetrock as well as the finer touches like wallpaper, molding, and tiling.
Finally, the homeowners invested intelligently in upgrades to their home’s electrical ($31,850), plumbing ($10,800), and mechanical systems (namely, adding HVAC, which totaled $21,650).
Throughout their renovation, the homeowners received regular updates from the Bolster team via a customized Slack workspace as well as Bolster’s proprietary Homeowner Portal.
The final cost
The total cost of this Crown Heights townhouse renovation was $423,890, or $414 per square foot.
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 bolster.us
The Bolster Promise video
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