When it comes to a renovation of a co-op in New York, what does it take besides an approved building permit?

Starting the Paperwork

The first thing is that you have to plan and get the paperwork started as well. Getting the ball rolling as soon as possible is going to ensure that you have the best shot at things going through.

Details are usually important, so you’re going to want to start the process when you know more about how you’re going to renovate. When you know this and have your vision of what you want to do and are certain, then it is a good idea to contact the managing agent and find out what the building’s alteration agreement’s policy is and get a copy.

This will outline all of the rules regarding what you can and cannot do. You will be able to stay up to date about the changes and can change the ideas you have for renovation according to that. Standard issue for renovation application is to find that an alteration agreement may not clarify what types of changes are possible. Your board may have a REBNY alteration, more current, and will help the process of application go along smoother.

Even if this is the case you may even have to wait months before being approved. Remember that some types of renovations may not make the cut such as installing stone floors or a bathroom in a poor spot.


Boards really like to work the rules. They like to make sure that contractors and their subcontractors have the right qualifications for your building. A variety of contractors, plumbers, and electricians need DOB certification to work. Even when you’re hiring a skilled company they need to be licensed.

Insurance Everywhere

Mistakes happen, so be sure that it’s all protected if the process doesn’t start. You’ll want a certificate of insurance that says they can work. Older buildings may need EPA’s certification to deal with the lead. Contractors will need compensation insurance and disability.


Contractors need permits for certain renovations and you need to know which ones they have and need! Figure out the details of what you want to do and what you will need to do in order to have it. Be patient as this can be a process.


Leave some space in your budget to handle the renovation. These can take more money and time than you originally anticipated they would. A denied application means that you have to examine why they turned you down and try to finish it.

Could Renovation Work For You?

Renovation is often a big commitment. Are you sure that you have the energy to take it on? It can be a lot of work but it is also frequently worth it. Make sure that you go by the book and see what you have to do and you can’t go wrong. Renovation may involve a lot of effort, but at the end of the renovating day, it might just be time and money and your effort that is well spent.

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