New York City is the biggest urban center in the U.S., and also one of the oldest trade hubs in the country. Its heart in Staten Island has a mix of contemporary architecture, classic Art-Deco like the Chrysler Building and famous landmarks like the Empire State Building, and Lady Liberty herself stands just off shore.
Some architecture in the city is much older, and dates back to the days of the founding fathers and the War of Independence.
This means that whether you’re renovating in the heart of the City, or building far to the outskirts of the metropolis, there are a great many considerations to take into account, laws to consider and restrictions which you’ll need to know before doing any DIY. The one thing you’ll want to do in the Big Apple, is take the time to consult an Architect about what it is you really want to do.
- A good architect is an invaluable asset on a building site, because they are capable of creating blueprints which a builder can work from. They understand spaces, design elements and structure as well as knowing in-depth building engineering techniques.
- An architect is more than just someone who knows about buildings or designing them. They will also know what weather patterns are the norm in any city. It’s important to know because this will inform certain aspects of the building being designed or renovated.
- Price rates for architectural design are equivalent to wages, which at national average stand between $2100.00 to just over $8000.00, though there are bespoke firms who do very specialized work who will likely charge more. Each architect is unique, and will charge either an hourly rate or a rate per square foot, or combine factors by which to charge for their service.
- Because they spend so much of their time in and around building sites, they know all of the best materials, and where these can be obtained as well as where to get it at the best price.
- Similarly, architects also know of building contractors and sub-contractors, and will often have a few on call which they have worked with previously. They also know decorators and interior designers who will be key in helping you finish building or renovating your home.
- The current going price for New York is hugely dependent on where it is you want to build. Building in Manhattan is the most expensive, with price ranges averaging $1750.00—$2000.00 per square foot. As you move outward these prices drop, with an average of $200.00—$400.00 per square foot in the outer city limits.
- The house size per square foot in New York is also area dependent, since the city is so large and the areas so diverse. On average, A New York apartment or townhouse stands at 1200 feet, but there are studio and bachelor pads between 500 and 740 square feet, these usually being single bedroom units.
Because of its age, the city of New York has a myriad of building regulations for old and modern buildings which have to be adhered to. This means that having an architect on board for your project is an absolute must and you should consider it a requirement, as they will know most, if not all of these regulations.
Title 1 administrative codes - Refer to anything from mandatory smoke detectors to elevators internal workings. These regulations define most of the regulatory statutes which are in place, and cover material, electronics, building site safety regulations, as well as laws regarding vacant lots and abandoned buildings. Every year new laws are suggested and adopted or repealed, and this ever changing environment is sometimes difficult to follow.
Other codes to know—Building, energy, fuel, mechanical and plumbing all have their own city codes, so it is important to have an expert in the field who can advise you on what your options are to do any building or alterations to or on your property.
Taxation—City tax is actually quite low, with an average effective property tax of just 0.72%. The statewide property tax average in New York is 1.5%.
Seeing these is just an indicator of just how many laws exist in terms of building legislature in New York City. You can find out more about these, as well as determining the viability of any building you may want to do by contacting your local city council.
The city of New York is probably one of the most well known skylines in the world today. It has been in countless films and television series, as well as world news time and time again. Buildings like Grand Central station and the New York Library are built in the classic grey stonework of Post Colonial architecture, but there are many, many more modern buildings which we all know.
Common Styles in New York—Art deco is probably most notable in the city center and business districts, in famous buildings like the Empire State building, Rockefeller centre, Radio City Music Hall, and the Chrysler Building, along with hundreds of smaller apartments which were built around the same time. This is one of the defining features of New York architecture.
Best Types of Structure—If you are in the city center, you will very likely be looking at an apartment, in which case this doesn't apply to you, but outside of this, standard townhouses in slightly denser populated areas or a two or three bedroom, suburban single family home is the norm.
Best Materials—The materials which fit a project best are going to be defined by the scope of the project at hand. If you’re going to be renovating your property, then you may need to stick to a similar material depending on the age of the building, in which case concretes and woods will be the most common.
We recommend making sure you have an architect on your side if you’re going to do any building work in the Big Apple, for your own peace of mind and to make sure that your project goes as smoothly as possible.