Thursday, July 24, 2008

What They Don't Tell You On HGTV

Notice for current/future co-op owners:

Planning to renovate your apartment? Combining two studios into a one-bedroom duplex? Here are some tips to help you out!

Make sure that you can afford to wait at least SEVEN to EIGHT months for anything to happen. Expect lots of red tape, unexpected delays, confusion, disappointment and a lot of frustration. In short, fucking chaos.

You will need the cooperation of the following people if you expect to see this through:

- A licensed architect
- A licensed electrician
- A licensed plumber (even if you are only removing an extra stove)
- Your co-op board
- Your co-op board's architect
- Your building's managing agent
- The Department of Buildings
- The city of New York
- God (optional, depending on your beliefs)

It will be a maddening ballet of emails, faxes, open checkbooks, blueprints, prayers, and alcohol.

Also note that at least one of the two architects will play the diva card and refuse to contact the other directly, further delaying the process, even though it just inconveniences them in the long run.

Common side effects of Home Renovations include:

- headache
- upset stomach
- nausea / vomiting
- insomnia
- dizziness
- weight gain
- hair loss
- agitation
- burning sensation in buttocks
- severe mood swings
- thoughts of suicide
- death


Hamamama said...

Project Duplex - the perfect name for the reality show...8:00 on Bravo.

Chris said...

"Watch what happens."

We actually tried to find a TV show that might want to highlight us, but that never went anywhere. I mean, the camera adds TEN pounds!

joe*to*hell said...

these facts i also learned the hard way
thankfully, i turned them into a business, project managing these very kinds of, learn a little something and come work with me

Steven said...

Worst of all is that shit don't come cheap. said...

I'm hard-pressed to find a reason as to why THIS situation would cause a burning sensation in ur buttocks, but I would totally watch the bravo show.

Slinky Redfoot said...

i sent this to my friend. It's like a haiku for people renovating their apt.

Never Say Uncle said...

Nailed. I so feel your pain. However, I strongly recommend adding "tough ass lawyer" to the list of people that you'll need the cooperation of. Ours cut that 8 months down to 3 by scaring the hell out of our board and best of all it only took him 2 hours of work to do. Good luck!

Chris said...

Joe - Is the pay any good?

Steven - The trick is to do a lot of the demo work yourself. And if you're a clumsy lazy fucker (like me) you're doomed.

Niko - Burning sensation in buttocks = "pain in the ass"

Slinky - I'm doing a poetry slam next week. Stay tuned for details.

Never say Uncle - Good advice. We're actually thisclose to getting the green light, so I'll keep that in mind for when we buy the rest of the floor, like Madonna.

Never Say Uncle said...

Give a shout if you need any names in the NYC area. We scored with a great reasonably priced Queens based bull dog of an attorney, our engineer/expediter (brooklyn) was like greased lightning with the buildings dept. (he also knew how to blow the buildings architect just the way he liked it) and we've found some great contractors too (hard to believe but true).

Be careful with that demo work, there's all kinds of crap under that top layer of paint.

A few last things, I recommend buying your tile and hardware (knobs, hinges, etc) in Chinatown - within a block or so on Broome Street from Elizabeth to Bowery you can find anything you need at great prices, check out lighting on the Bowery too but prices are a bit better online and we found to be a surprisingly helpful resource.

Chris said...

Thank you, Uncle. I don't know if we have a contractor lined up, so I might just take you up on your offer.