Electrical Upgrades to Pre-War Homes
Gut renovating a pre-war home in Manhattan or Brooklyn comes with its own specific considerations.
One common example is upgrading electrical supply and service.
If you are gutting a pre-war apartment where the most recent renovation was in the 1980s or earlier, such as in the case of an estate sale, there may be a need to bring additional voltage and amperage from the street.
Keep this in mind when going from window A/Cs to central, adding a Washer/Dryer, or fitting out a kitchen with industrial-level appliances such as a six-burner Viking or dual 36″ Sub-Zeros.
120 Volt/60 Amp service may be the legacy level. Classic 6, 7 or 8 cooperatives, for example, may need an upgrade to 240V/200A. A neighbor’s recent work on your floor may save you the time and money, but not always.
Bringing up added service is an owner’s responsibility, and can cost $5,000-$10,000 per vertical floor. The benefit is that you won’t blow circuits with simultaneous use. Just make sure to budget for this.
Proper electrical distribution, with dedicated circuits, as well as GFI outlet boxes in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry areas, are all also key.