need renovation stories / a reader writes for help

how far could $150/ft go?
A faithful reader wrote in off-line asking for help in ball-parking the potential renovation expense in buying a loft that would need a lot of work.

More precisely, he said:

I have mostly been looking at recently refurbished apartments, but have recently expanded my search to include apartments that would require either partial or full renovations. Like everyone, I like nice finishes, but my tastes are not extravagant. I think the finishes on this apartment are about what I would be looking for – certainly nice, but not over the top. [that is #3A at 16 Hudson Street]

Based on your experience, could you tell me what range of cost I could expect to gut renovate a traditional loft in Tribeca? Do you think it would be possible to do nicely (but once again, not extravagantly) for $150 / sq. ft. for a 1750 sq. ft. loft ($250K in total)? Kitchen, two bathrooms, central air, etc.

Also, if you have any architects whose work you really recommend for something like this, I’d be grateful for the recommendation.

My response (below) won’t be as helpful to him as Actual Information from Actual Loft Renovators. Anyone care to share facts about what they spent on a renovation, or what they were quoted?

I told him: “Short story is that you *can* do a renovation for a buck and a half per foot, *depending*…. The quotes I have seen for installing central air (assuming it is do-able at all, and the compressor doesn’t have to go on the roof) were less than $50k for less than 2,000 sq ft. I find that kitchens are often easier (cheaper) than baths – that’s where The Big Money will go. The rest is cosmetics, up to the limit of your budget, with built-ins and fancy stuff if there’s room.

And I gave him the contacts for 2 loft architects I know.

(C) Sandy Mattingly 2007

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  1. […] $220/ft, which fits nicely into the ballpark analysis revealed in my December 10, 2007, need renovation stories / a reader writes for help, that a no-problems gut renovation at less than uber-condo level could be done around $200/ft. How […]

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