Residential Renovation 

Photo of a recently completed townhouse project of ours – a landmarked house in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn. Photo by Pepe Molina


At reBuild we transform 100+ year-old houses into homes for modern living.  We see every project as a new challenge, with its own goals and parameters; at such, it’s a separate design problem that deserves its own, custom, solution. Our team of architects and craftsmen has extensive experience in dealing with historic townhouses and brownstones, and typically takes on the entire process – from planning stage, through design development and permits and construction.

reBuild Workshop was founded with the conviction that an integrated, Architect-led design & build process can best serve our clients’ needs in realizing high-quality products, in a streamlined manner.  Among other things, we believe having a single team as the point of contact for the entire job offers efficiencies that translate to a better product. It offers also a better experience for the home-owner.

Our Process

Over the years working in projects of this type, we have tailored a process that reflects the specific project type opportunities and challenges; it’s informed from lessons learned from every project we complete, and is being constantly refined . This process provides a framework but is not rigid – it can adjusted on a project-by-project basis – depending on specific project or client’s needs.

Typically we’ll divide the work into three major phases. For each of these tasks reBUILD works closely with the owner to ensure the most successful outcome.


Phase 1 sets the project goals in terms of cost, time, and quality, as well as the basic design approach. In particular, we typically perform the following work:

  • Survey the property and document existing conditions;
  • Draw CAD floor plans – to be used as a base for the planning/design exploration
  • Pull area take-offs

Preliminary Design

  • establish goals, wish lists, precedents, and a preliminary budget;  explore all possible scope items and any alternates, and develop strategies to address the above;
  • Conduct probes at the site to get information that might not otherwise be visible.
  • Bring in selected team-members and sub-contractors to get feedback on the proposed work.

Preliminary filing strategy

  • Confirm the legal status of the property with the NYC DOB, and decide on the strategy for the permitting process.

Typical Timeframe:  4-6 weeks  [Note: when working on a newly purchased property, most of this phase can happen prior to closing] .

Projected Deliverables: Existing & proposed floor plans, 3-d sketches, preliminary project budget & project schedule, DOB and LPC filing strategy.



Phase 2 consists of refining the design, putting together the documents to be submitted for permits, and preparing for construction. It typically includes the following work:

DoB & LPC applications

  • We’ll put together the drawing sets and documents needed to file an alteration permit with the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) and Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC)
  • Work with our file representative to file the alteration permit or permit(s).

Design Development

  • Develop the design by refining the design of various project elements, select finishes and various materials and products with you.

Trade Buyout & Detailed Cost Estimate

  • Begin the trade buy-out process by refining construction costs for labor and materials; level and vet these, and compile a detailed cost estimate.

Order of Long Lead Items:

Order any equipment, products or systems that need long time to be fabricated or delivered to the site – or identified to potentially affect directly the overall project schedule.

Initial Estimated Timeframe: 5-8 weeks.   

Projected Deliverables: DOB Alteration Package, LPC permit, Refined Project Schedule & Project Budget, interior and/or exterior renderings, selected list of architectural finishes.



Phase 3 begins either with the completion of Phase 2, or in some cases earlier. In either case, before construction begins we need to have the refined project budget and schedule approved, as well as the appropriate permits issued.

Construction will typically proceed from site mobilization (workers arrive to the job site, bring tools and supplies) to “substantial completion” (typically when you may take occupancy of the property), and through Project Completion (the end of the punch list process, and project sign-off).

Sequencing of construction work in each project depends on what work is being performed – as required and agreed during Phases 1 & 2.