top of page
  • Writer's pictureStreets & Avenues

Getting Your Renovation Approved by Your Co-Op or Condo Board in New York City: A Detailed Guide

Embarking on a home remodeling project in New York City can be both exciting and daunting, especially when living in a co-op or condo building.

By Streets & Avenues

Renovating your home is never an easy task, especially in New York City where you have to abide by strict rules and regulations set by the co-op or condo board. Before you start your renovation project, it's crucial to understand what guidelines you need to follow to get your renovation approved by the board. In this guide, we will discuss the necessary steps you need to take to get your renovation project approved by your co-op or condo board in New York City.

1. Mistakes that are often made:

When attempting to get your home remodel approved by a New York City Co-Op or Condo board, it's essential to be aware of potential pitfalls that could hinder your project's progress. By understanding these common mistakes, you can better prepare yourself and avoid unnecessary delays or rejections.

a) Not reviewing the building's governing documents: Before starting any remodeling project, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with your building's bylaws, proprietary lease, and house rules. These documents outline the specific requirements and restrictions for renovations within the building. Failing to review and adhere to these guidelines can result in your project being denied or halted.

b) Inadequate planning and documentation: When submitting your renovation plans to the board, make sure they are detailed, accurate, and professionally prepared. This includes architectural drawings, material specifications, and any required permits. Incomplete or unclear submissions can lead to delays and additional requests for information from the board.

c) Lack of professional guidance: Navigating the complexities of a co-op or condo board approval process can be challenging. Using the services of an experienced architect, engineer, or contractor familiar with the unique requirements of your building can help streamline the process and ensure your project complies with all necessary regulations.

d) Ignoring neighbor concerns: Renovations can be disruptive to fellow residents, so it's essential to communicate your plans and maintain open lines of communication throughout the project. Ignoring their concerns or failing to address potential issues may result in complaints to the board and possible delays in approval.

e) Not obtaining proper insurance: Most co-op and condo boards require that homeowners obtain specific insurance coverage for their renovation projects. This typically includes general liability, workers' compensation, and property damage insurance. Failure to provide proof of adequate coverage can lead to delays in approval or even denial of your project.

f) Starting work before receiving approval: It may be tempting to begin your renovation as soon as possible, but starting any work before receiving formal approval from the board is a significant misstep. Doing so can result in fines, legal action, or even being forced to undo any completed work.

By being aware of these potential mistakes and taking the necessary steps to avoid them, you can increase the likelihood of obtaining your co-op or condo board's approval and move forward with your remodeling project more smoothly.

2. Hire an Experienced Architect:

An experienced architect can help you prepare the necessary paperwork and drawings needed for your renovation project's approval. They have a clear understanding of the building's guidelines and can create a renovation plan that meets them. Having an architect on board can significantly increase your chances of getting your renovation approved by the board.

3. Get Your Contractor's Paperwork in Order:

Before presenting your renovation plan to the co-op or condo board, ensure that your contractor has all the necessary paperwork in order. This includes insurance certificates, licenses, and building permits. Having these documents ready shows the board that you have a professional contractor who follows the building's guidelines.

4. Be Transparent and Communicate Effectively:

When presenting your renovation plan to the board, be transparent about every aspect of the project. Ensure that you communicate your plan effectively and address any concerns the board may have. Being transparent and honest can increase your chances of getting your renovation approved by the board.

5. Be Prepared to Compromise:

Remember that the co-op or condo board's primary concern is the safety and well-being of the building's occupants. They may have concerns about your renovation project's structural integrity or environmental impact. Be prepared to compromise and make necessary changes to your renovation plan to get the board's approval. In the long run, compromising can help you achieve your renovation goals while keeping in line with the building's guidelines.


Getting your renovation approved by your co-op or condo board in New York City can be a challenging process, but following the guidelines and taking the necessary steps can increase your chances of success. Remember to be transparent, communicate effectively, and be prepared to compromise to get your renovation project approved. With careful planning and the right team of professionals, you can achieve your renovation goals while keeping in compliance with the building's guidelines.



bottom of page