I follow your posts, and wonder if you'd be willing to answer a few questions. I'm just about to buy a new apartment in the city. It's a pre-war co-op on the UWS, and will require a lot of work -which I won't be able to afford to do all at once.. I'm trying to figure out "who" I need to help me. I need someone to knock down walls between kitchen,maids rm and living room, repair old wood floors, paint replace moldings, door frames, and window casements . I also want to bury wires, take care of electrical, etc. Do I need a general contractor? Do I need an architect? Do I need to meet with a kitchen designer? Will these people come to the apartment and consult? Should I expect to pay for consultations? Is there any way I'd want to hire the workers myself, to avoid paying a general contractor's premium? Any advice?
Thanks for following my blog and emailing the mailbag! How exciting to renovate a New York City Prewar apartment! Looks extremely charming! Has great bones!!
Pre- war apartments can have unusual floor plans and space limitations so I understand why you want to open up the kitchen, adjacent maids room and living room. This will definitely expand your space and make the apartment feel larger. Be aware, when you start to open up walls you may run into some pesky surprises like unwanted wiring, plumbing, or structural elements that may create design challenges. For this reason, I think it is important to hire a general contractor/architect team or design/build contractor to help solve these kinds of challenges. It’s a bad idea to hire different remodeling people and try to run the job yourself!!
If you hire a design-build contractor, they can also take care of the kitchen design and cabinetry design. I would recommend you work with your contractor on an early kitchen design layout while you are in the design development phase. Are you moving appliances around? If so you may want to reconsider doing the kitchen earlier than planned. Moving appliances to new locations affects plumbing and electrical. You will want this done while you are knocking down walls. If you do not plan to move around appliances, then you can pull in the kitchen designer (whoever you choose) later after the construction is done.
I hope I have been helpful. If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me again.