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Old 04-27-2021, 08:18 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,477 times
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Hi -

We are considering renovating a home in Scarsdale to add a second level to the house. Has anyone done this and have recommendations on what to do? We will be engaging the architect we worked with previously when we lived in NYC but not sure about all the Scarsdale town rules and such. Mainly our 2 big questions are cost and time--ball park what can we expect to spend and how long would this take given all the papers that need to be filed. I'd also appreciate if anyone has had experience dealing with Scarsdale's building department. I wonder if its as slow as the one in the city.

Thanks
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Old 04-28-2021, 05:22 AM
 
131 posts, read 190,120 times
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would suggest finding a local architect, or at least one who has dealt with scarsdale town in the past. will require going in front of the board of architectural review (BAR). they're not slow. actually fairly efficient, but their motive will be to extract every single penny out of you and more. will also need to send out certified mail to everyone within x yards of your house to notify them of impending construction, etc.
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Old 04-28-2021, 05:29 AM
 
1,055 posts, read 1,074,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincenzo1984 View Post
Hi -

We are considering renovating a home in Scarsdale to add a second level to the house. Has anyone done this and have recommendations on what to do? We will be engaging the architect we worked with previously when we lived in NYC but not sure about all the Scarsdale town rules and such. Mainly our 2 big questions are cost and time--ball park what can we expect to spend and how long would this take given all the papers that need to be filed. I'd also appreciate if anyone has had experience dealing with Scarsdale's building department. I wonder if its as slow as the one in the city.

Thanks
You absolutely should pair your architect up with a local one who has experience in Scarsdale and is known to the building department and the board of review if you are in subject to it. Cost depends a great deal on the plans. Also, you are doing this at a time when construction wood has risen over 200% in the past year. Best of luck to you and I hope your home is all you dream it will be.
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Old 04-28-2021, 10:58 AM
 
2,199 posts, read 1,567,421 times
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Be aware that there is a wood shortage right now so if you plan to do the project right away you're going to be paying significantly more. I recently wanted to do a roof repair and a normally $20 sheet of plywood is $80, and normally $3 2x4s are $9. Other building materials are higher too but the wood is the most stark.

Similarly, labor is off the charts due to the housing boom. So if you can live in the house as a 1 floor for a while you can probably get the work done cheaper in the future.

We called an architect to add a floor over a garage and he told us that our project is probably 50% more expensive right now than it would have been last year, so we've shelved it for a while. He ballparked the cost at $200k in normal times or $300k now. The $200k would have been a stretch but marginally worth it, no way for the $300k. This was to add just shy of 1,800 square feet of living space over a garage; no bathrooms.
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Old 04-28-2021, 02:07 PM
 
2 posts, read 922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCresident2014 View Post
Be aware that there is a wood shortage right now so if you plan to do the project right away you're going to be paying significantly more. I recently wanted to do a roof repair and a normally $20 sheet of plywood is $80, and normally $3 2x4s are $9. Other building materials are higher too but the wood is the most stark.

Similarly, labor is off the charts due to the housing boom. So if you can live in the house as a 1 floor for a while you can probably get the work done cheaper in the future.

We called an architect to add a floor over a garage and he told us that our project is probably 50% more expensive right now than it would have been last year, so we've shelved it for a while. He ballparked the cost at $200k in normal times or $300k now. The $200k would have been a stretch but marginally worth it, no way for the $300k. This was to add just shy of 1,800 square feet of living space over a garage; no bathrooms.
Oh, Wow! That's significant. We are in the process of purchasing in one of the river towns and we were thinking of renovating before we move in, but now I'm reconsidering that plan. I feel like we are already paying a premium on the home, it makes sense to hold off on renovations till the prices come down a little.

Does anyone know if renovation prices typically come down at a certain time of year? Or is it strictly a housing boon renovation price increase we are experiencing (rather than a time-of-year price increase)?
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Old 04-28-2021, 02:30 PM
 
602 posts, read 364,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greengrass10 View Post
Oh, Wow! That's significant. We are in the process of purchasing in one of the river towns and we were thinking of renovating before we move in, but now I'm reconsidering that plan. I feel like we are already paying a premium on the home, it makes sense to hold off on renovations till the prices come down a little.

Does anyone know if renovation prices typically come down at a certain time of year? Or is it strictly a housing boon renovation price increase we are experiencing (rather than a time-of-year price increase)?
2 other things to account for this.
1) With COVID, production of a lot of items slowed down dramatically and as COVID restrictions were lifted, a lot of the production hasn't been able to keep up with the demand so prices have gone way up.
2) No one wants to say it, but we are in a period of rapid inflation. When you are pumping that much money into the economy with stimulus payments, infrastructure spending, low interest rates so people are borrowing like crazy, money devalues and prices go up to compensate for it. Pretty much everything US Dollar denominated has been in a bull market for this reason.
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Old 04-28-2021, 08:38 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,477 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCresident2014 View Post
Be aware that there is a wood shortage right now so if you plan to do the project right away you're going to be paying significantly more. I recently wanted to do a roof repair and a normally $20 sheet of plywood is $80, and normally $3 2x4s are $9. Other building materials are higher too but the wood is the most stark.

Similarly, labor is off the charts due to the housing boom. So if you can live in the house as a 1 floor for a while you can probably get the work done cheaper in the future.

We called an architect to add a floor over a garage and he told us that our project is probably 50% more expensive right now than it would have been last year, so we've shelved it for a while. He ballparked the cost at $200k in normal times or $300k now. The $200k would have been a stretch but marginally worth it, no way for the $300k. This was to add just shy of 1,800 square feet of living space over a garage; no bathrooms.
Thanks for sharing this. Definitely gives me pause on the floor addition. We can make do for a while in the current set up.
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Old 04-29-2021, 04:15 PM
 
2,199 posts, read 1,567,421 times
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Originally Posted by Dabaomb View Post
2 other things to account for this.
1) With COVID, production of a lot of items slowed down dramatically and as COVID restrictions were lifted, a lot of the production hasn't been able to keep up with the demand so prices have gone way up.
2) No one wants to say it, but we are in a period of rapid inflation. When you are pumping that much money into the economy with stimulus payments, infrastructure spending, low interest rates so people are borrowing like crazy, money devalues and prices go up to compensate for it. Pretty much everything US Dollar denominated has been in a bull market for this reason.
Thank you for saying this. I've been screaming this and people are retorting "it's deflation we're worried about, not inflation". Umm hello- we just printed $6 trillion without raising taxes. Now we're raising taxes, but only to spend more money (which is net neutral to the money supply).

The dollar is in the toilet right now compared to the other currencies.

The only thing that is going to stop this is the Fed raising rates, but the fed is so political now I don't know if they'll admit to the problem until after the mid-terms which are really, really far away. I'm thinking these prices are here to stay until we see a shock from interest rate increases.
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Old 04-29-2021, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Harrison
835 posts, read 2,214,076 times
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In addition to the other issues, I absolutely recommend finding an architect and a contractor who work in Scarsdale a lot. Bonus points if they know people on all the boards you'll have to go through. We did some work in Scarsdale at one point, with someone who had never worked in the town before. Soooo frustrating and took ages. When we moved to Mamaroneck, we hired someone local who used to sit on the BAR and walked into meetings waving and saying hello to all the board members. Totally different experience.
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Old 06-01-2021, 08:54 AM
 
23 posts, read 13,934 times
Reputation: 11
Now is a terrible time to reno a house. Like everyone else said wood is insanely expensive not to mention finding workers isn’t easy, you could wait months even over a year. Your also over paying for homes right now and interest rates are rising so your not getting that to help offset other rising costs. I’ve seen people spend 15-20% more on houses that need work in the area after getting into bidding wars, then they get assessed more on taxes and come to find construction costs to be insane. A lot of people are over strapped who rushed these Covid moves. Anyways, New York taxes are insane and will be even worse once all this Covid money dump is digested more. Oh New York, I love ya but we can’t take on more taxes
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