1110 South Avenue, Suite 78
Staten Island, NY 10314
(718) 569-5002

Home renovations can be exhausting, expensive and stressful. In this article, I’ll walk you through some tips that will help streamline your plans and give you a sense of direction.


What’s your budget?

Your home renovation strategy depends on your budget. Will you seek an economical renovation or a lavish makeover? Setting a budget upfront will help you tame your imagination when you start pinning on Pinterest or saving screenshots from Google images. What’s your budget? Write it down, save that number on an excel sheet or use an app like HomeZada or BuildShop to help you manage finances and keep you organized.


Why are you renovating your home?

Are you selling the home? Is it your spouse’s idea? Trying to make space for a new member of the family? Does your cat need a catio*? 

Since this is a huge project, being very clear on this (your “why”) could make this project something you look forward to or something you dread. Here are some common reasons for renovating:

  • I want to make my master bedroom look bigger
  • I just purchased a new home and want to make it my own
  • I want to sell my home and get top dollar for it
  • I want the living room to look brighter
  • I want to have a spacious terrace and throw dinner parties 
  • I want my dog to have more space to wander around
  • I want to have a kitchen that will motivate me to cook more often 

Once you have that down, write down your goals. For example, if you want to renovate your kitchen, before you start Googling, ask yourself if you want an island in the middle, a breakfast nook or an oversized sink.

*What’s a catio you ask? I’ll let the cat daddy explain here:


Do your research

Research the best home renovators and construction companies; ask friends for their recommendations and call or email businesses for quotes. Check out examples of their work online. In an effort to increase business, many companies are now sharing their work on social media. Add that to the endless reviews you’ll read on Yelp, Google, and Facebook and you might never come out of that rabbit hole. 

To help manage your time, create a research To-do list and print it out (or write it out). And set a time limit to how much research you’re willing put in and respect the deadline. To shop, use an app like Handy or Porch to help you select carpenters, wall hangers, painters, etc. in Staten Island.

Best Apps to Help Streamline Your Home Renovations written by Staten Island real estate lawyer

Best Apps to Help Streamline Your Home Renovations written by Staten Island real estate lawyer

Before you tap the “shop” button, research the legalities and laws related to home improvements and repairs. There are multiple laws and regulations imposed by the NYC Dept of buildings with regards to certain home renovations or construction upgrades which you need to consider and you may need to obtain relevant permits. A local contractor or architect can guide you here and once you have an idea of how you want to renovate your home, run them by your real estate attorney in Staten Island. For an example of how doing this could save you a headache down the road, read about why our client, Natasha’s home didn’t close the first time here.

Where do you start? 

If you don’t know where to start, think about renovating the entryway to your home. Focus on enhancing the curb appeal of your residence then move on to the finer details (like that door that creaks). What is it about your home that sets the first impression? Put yourself in the shoes of an onlooker by viewing your home from across the street and walking to the door. Ring the doorbell, open the door and enter. Do this a few times and be completely present with all your five senses and intuition.

What’s the first thing you see upon entering your home? Are there too many blank walls? An app like Homestyler can help you visualize your home if you were to add, say a vase, a piece of furniture or art.

What about the lawn? Does it smell good? Does it not smell at all? How do you want it to smell? If you’re renovating to get top dollar on the sale of your home, remember, just because you don’t care about flowers, doesn’t mean that a potential buyer will feel the same. Hire a landscaper and get his or her professional opinion. Be mindful of these things and remind yourself why you’re doing this. There are plenty of professional landscaping businesses in Staten Island.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

A fresh coat of paint is one of the best tips to give your house a budget-friendly makeover without breaking the bank. With an app like TapPainter or ColorSnap, you no longer have to run to the store to buy paint samples. These apps will save you time and money by letting you snap pictures of your rooms and change the colors of the walls. Pour new life into your house, experiment with dark and romantic color schemes to give your home some character. Or glide on over to the opposite end of the color spectrum and experiment with bright palettes.

“Thinking of painting interiors? TapPainter lets you visualize interior spaces and explore new colors before you buy paints.”

Kitchen Renovations 

When it comes to boosting the market value of a house, kitchen renovations work wonders at wooing buyers and investors. Even if you have no plans to sell, undertaking kitchen renovations, installing a new kitchen island, granite countertops and making spacious cabinets will prove to be a worthwhile investment. Find inspiration and hundreds of ideas in an app like Houzz or Pinterest.

cat standing on kitchen counter - Best Apps to Help Streamline Your Home Renovations in Staten island written by Staten Island real estate lawyer

Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

Other apps 

As I said, this project could be something you look forward to or something you dread. To make it fun, use an app like Magicplan which uses the pictures on your camera to create a floorplan. To measure the size of your rooms, use Roomscan, an app that also creates floor plans. 

Do you have any favorite Home Renovation apps? Tell me what you like about them.

I hope these tips will help you get started on renovating your home. My wife and I just purchased a new home here in Staten Island so this subject has been on my mind for some time. If you can take away one thing from this article it’s this: Write down your budget and the reason you’re taking on this project. From my personal experience, doing this has helped manage expectations and the finances of our own project in our new home.

Best of luck in your future project!

Click here to return to the main News section.

This information, based on New York law, was provided courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher J. Arrigali, P.C.  It is intended to inform, not to advise. No one should try to interpret or apply any law without the assistance of legal counsel.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

If you’re not ready to contact Chris, let’s stay in touch. Our newsletters are sent out every 6 weeks (or so) and are filled with Chris's insights about NY real estate trends.

You have Successfully Subscribed!