NYC Renovation Q's

Here’s how much a gut-renovated living area with custom millwork costs

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After living in her Upper West Side co-op for fifteen years, Margaret, a tech executive who is often on the go, realized it was time for an upgrade. Understanding that she envisioned herself in her beloved home for many years to come, Margaret knew that, despite the space seeming "okay" from afar, her apartment needed a facelift. Margaret opted for an entire gut renovation and treated herself to modern, high-end finishes like custom cabinetry.

She contacted Bolster, a New York City company that empowers homeowners to control their major renovation by delivering industry-leading expertise and a radically transparent online platform, to create a new vision for her space. While Bolster gut renovated the entire co-op, today’s focus is on the living area, which is 400 square feet in total. Below are the detailed costs of what it took to re-imagine Margaret’s brand-new space, which is now perfectly architected for entertaining, lounging, tea-sipping, and everything in between. Note that General Conditions Costs include management, labor, profit, overhead, workers comp, and general liability.

  1. Custom Cabinetry and Millwork
    Cabinets and shelves galore! The new millwork provided much-needed storage space while elevating the design of the living area for a more sophisticated and modern look.

    Materials: $25,000
    General Conditions Costs: $10,000

    Total Millwork Cost: $35,000

  2. Drywall repair and painting
    Margaret’s walls were beginning to show their age, so the Bolster team completed the rehabilitation, repair, priming, and painting of her space using Benjamin Moore products throughout.

    Materials: $6,000
    General Conditions: $2,400

    Total Wall Repair and Painting Cost: $8,400

  3. Flooring
    Margaret wanted to give her flooring a little TLC––the wood was looking a little beat up after fifteen years of wear and tear. The Bolster team sanded, stained, sealed, and finished the original flooring, revealing the wood’s original grandeur.

    Materials: $2,500
    General Conditions: $1,000

    Total Flooring Cost: $3,500

  4. Electrical Work
    In keeping with electrical code, Margaret’s electrical infrastructure was updated and modernized, and the team installed brand new fixtures throughout the space.

    Materials: $5,000
    General Conditions: $2,000

    Total Electrical Cost: $7,000

NYC Renovation Calculator

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About Bolster's NYC Renovation Calculator: Bolster's Renovation Calculator enables you to easily calculate the estimated cost of a major New York City renovation. All you'll need to know is 1) the scope, complexity, and type of your project, 2) the quality of your desired finishes, and 3) the area being renovated. [Hint: Bookmark this page for easy reference!]

About Bolster: Bolster is a New York City design-build firm that delivers a seamless, radically transparent renovation experience--beginning with a line-by-line cost estimate that empowers you to plan your scope, budget, and schedule.

Standard: The quality of the finish is acceptable with attention to detail but reliant on big-box store sourced cabinetry, MDF etc. 

Mid Range: The quality of the finish is good (grade A) with attention to detail but reliant on big-box store sourced cabinetry, MDF etc.

High Range: The quality of finish is high (grade AA) and customized with fine finishes and materials being used that can last years, if not a lifetime.

Upscale: The quality of finish is the highest possible (grade AAA) and labor-intensive, with every surface bespoke, new, and beautifully finished.

Low: Simple design, no layout or structural changes, elevator in building.

Medium: Average design, moving of some systems and/or structural changes, no elevator in the building.

High: Complex design, complicated engineering, lots of logistics (e.g. boom lifts, suspended scaffolds, etc.), dangerous working conditions.

Small: Changes to surfaces only (e.g. painting, tiling).

Medium: Small + Changes to the finishes themselves (e.g. removing plaster, replacing flooring etc).

Large: Small + Medium + Changes to the building's infrastructure (e.g. replacing all systems, walls, floor joists etc).

Design & Build: Full architectural services including schematic design, design development, construction drawings and approvals from the DoB and full build services.

Build with some Design: Full build services and some design with minimum compliance.

Build Only: Full build services with no design input (performed by another architect or not required at all).

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Factoring in other costs like site protection and final cleaning, the total cost of Margaret’s updated living area came to $54,850. To uncover the detailed cost of the final project, click here to view the winning bid.

Every year, New Yorkers waste over $700M following the usual renovation process.

Bolster has uncovered the drivers behind these inefficiencies and has developed a proprietary solution that applies to every home renovation project. Bolster is the first company to bring radical transparency, analytics, and accountability to the entire process. They promise that every project is thoughtfully designed and beautifully delivered for a fair price, on time, and on budget. To start your major home renovation project, visit