What are typical projects in your office?

We specialize in large scale townhouse renovations. Our office is currently working on a number of gut renovations in the Brownstone Brooklyn neighborhoods of Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Fort Greene and Crown Heights. These types of projects typically include all new electrical and plumbing, central air, new kitchens and bathrooms along with necessary structural upgrades and repairs. Most projects also include new rear decks and some also include facade restoration along with front and rear garden design. We are also designing townhouse roof additions on the Upper East Side and Harlem. Our office also offers interior design services to help clients decorate and furnish their homes.

What services do you provide?

BHA is a full service architecture firm involved in all aspects of a renovation project from start to finish.

House Survey
The first step in the renovation process is to measure and draw up the existing floor plans of the house. We photograph and document details such as moldings, windows, doors, exposed plumbing and structural elements.

Schematic Design
During this phase, we present a few initial design sketches to the clients. Revisions are made based on client meetings and feedback to arrive at a final scope of work. We then prepare a preliminary budget and timeline.

Design Development
Building upon the approved schematic design, we further develop the design concept in this next phase. We draw up preliminary architectural and millwork details and make initial selections for materials, fixtures and fittings. At the end of this phase, we submit drawings to the appropriate city agencies, such as the Landmarks Department and the Building Department for approvals.

Construction Documents
During this phase, we put together the detailed drawings and specifications necessary for construction based on the approved schematic designs. We coordinate and incorporate work from any consultants involved in the project. At this time, final decisions are made on materials, appliances, cabinetry and fixtures.

Bidding and Negotiation
During the bidding process to select a contractor, we prepare bid documents and conduct pre-bid walk-throughs on site with approximately 4 prospective bidders. We then assist clients in evaluating the bids. Competitive bidding often yields the best pricing, but some clients may elect to pre-select a contractor instead of bidding out to multiple contractors.

Contract Administration
Once construction begins, we conduct weekly on-site meetings with the contractor and client to monitor progress. We review samples and shop drawings as well as requisitions and chance orders submitted by the contractor.

How much does a renovation cost?

Many factors are involved in determining the cost of a renovation project. Pricing depends on multiple variables such as the overall scope of the project, the condition of the existing house, the quality of selected finishes, schedules, bidding out the project to multiple contractors vs. hiring a contractor up front, the general climate of the real estate market, etc… It’s difficult to estimate project costs without all the details, but as a general reference point, interior renovation projects in our office have a construction cost of roughly $250 per square foot.

During the schematic design phase, we put together a preliminary budget to help our clients determine if the desired scope of work matches their budget. If the preliminary budget numbers generally align with the client’s budget, we move forward with further developing the design. If the preliminary budget numbers are much higher than the client’s budget, we help clients identify areas within the overall scope of the project to eliminate in order to bring the cost down. Ultimately, the construction cost will be determined by the contractor’s bid and not by the architect.

Additional expenses on top of the construction cost are filing fees for the building department and professional fees for the architect, expediter, and any other consultants that may be required (i.e. mechanical engineer, structural engineer or A/V consultant).

How do we choose a contractor?

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How long will the renovation take?

The main factors that determine project timelines are scope of work, how long it takes for the
Building Department to approve and issue permits and the overall bidding process. Other variable such as client turn-around time, lead time for materials, contractor’s responsiveness also influence project schedules. While it’s difficult to generalize how long a renovation will take because of the unique circumstances of each project, a typical gut-renovation project may take approximately 12-14 months.

Do you provide interior design services?

Yes, blah blah blah