Almost post-pandemic renovation by New Yorkers - by C. Jaye Berger

October 06, 2020 - Front Section
C. Jaye Berger

As the Pandemic seems to be slowing down, New Yorkers are showing that nothing can stop them or slow them down when it comes to renovations. Some people were stopped in the middle of their work when the pandemic began and are now getting back to it. Others, have given up on New York City and have headed to the Hamptons and Upstate to start renovating there. One person I often talk to in business now says he resides in California and works remotely with his clients in New York City.

Wherever you fit into the group of would-be renovators, the same rules about renovations still apply. You cannot dive into the deep end without having an attorney on your team who knows this area of the law and can review or draft the necessary contracts.

An architect client has a client chomping at the bit to commence a new multi-million dollar house. The contract must be negotiated and basic requirements met, before work can begin. Permits are needed, as well as surveys and technical reports on things such as soil reports. 

Even if it is only an interior renovation, there may be alteration agreements with co-op associations and insurance issues to lock in. Co-op buildings now require safety plans for workers.

Don’t rush to sign a contract and engage in demolition before you have worked out the design, materials and products to be used and the costs. If you don’t, the project will come to a screeching halt and you may the one creating delays and damages, since co-ops require work to be completed in a ceratin number of days or they can request daily delay damages.

C. Jaye Berger is an attorney and the principal of her own firm in Manhattan.

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