Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA's blog about New York architecture

Architecture.Simplified

Do I need to hire an architect for my New York apartment renovation?

 You don't need an architect, if you are just changing kitchen cabinetry. Photo by  Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

You don't need an architect, if you are just changing kitchen cabinetry. Photo by Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

 You don't need an architect to change toilet and lavatory in place. Photo courtesy of FZAD

You don't need an architect to change toilet and lavatory in place. Photo courtesy of FZAD

By Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

Do I need to hire an architect for my apartment renovation?

The answer is not so black and white, maybe you do, maybe you don't.

  1. Are you well organized? No? Then continue............
  2. Are you patient? And I mean patient! No? Then continue................
  3. Do you enjoy the process? No? Then continue........................
  4. Do you like to manage people? No? Definitely continue..................

If you don't have the four qualities named above, then you should definitely hire an architect or an interior designer in the least.

When do you need an architect:

  1. If you are moving or creating partition walls (i.e rooms)
  2. If you moving or creating doorways
  3. If you are moving plumbing and gas
  4. If you are dropping ceiling
  5. If you are moving or creating new windows and perforations in facade
  6. If you are making any structural alterations
  7. If you are installing interior stairs
  8. If you are combining apartments
  9. If you are changing an exit into the building corridor
 Yes, you need an architect to drop the ceiling soffit above. Photo courtesy of FZAD

Yes, you need an architect to drop the ceiling soffit above. Photo courtesy of FZAD

 You definitely need an architect if your apartment is in the state above! Photo by  Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

You definitely need an architect if your apartment is in the state above! Photo by Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA

Most other things can be handled by your Contractor, though neither he nor your building co-op/condo may want to. They may still need you to hire an architect.

When you don't need an architect:

  1. If you are changing kitchen cabinetry
  2. If you are changing wood, tile or other flooring in same location
  3. If you are painting
  4. If you are changing plumbing and gas fixture in same location
  5. If you are replacing windows in same location with same type of window
  6. If you are rewiring the apartment
  7. If you are changing light fixtures in same location 

There are also several grey areas, and write to me at rsaheb@rsredevelopment.com if you are unsure.

The renovation process is long and cumbersome. I definitely believe in hiring an architect (if you need one) or an interior designer (if you don't need an architect), to make it smoother and more enjoyable.

By Ritu Saheb, Architect, AIA