Successful Condo Renos

by Rachel Laurendeau on June 26, 2012

If you are living in a condominium that needs upgrading, you may be putting it off for fear of the dreaded condo board. Most condo buildings have by-laws and regulations regarding renovations, so before your home remodeling can even start, you’ll need to go through a few extra steps to make sure you are working within their parameters.

While simple things like painting, replacing flooring, appliances and fixtures typically do not need approval, larger renovations typically require authorization.
The regulations vary from building to building but they typically cover things like the roof, plumbing and any common areas that are owned collectively by the condo residential group. Looking through your condo associations’ covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&R) document should clarify what is or is not allowed in your building. If you still have questions after reviewing the CC&R, talk to someone from your board for clarification.

The condo board’s regulations are not in place to impede improvements, but rather to help guide owners and avoid disputes. Renovations are typically encouraged and welcomed since your home improvements improve your resale value which, in turn, benefits everyone in your condo complex.

Points to Consider

  • The construction workday may be restricted by what time of day work can start or must stop.
  • Where will demoed and other waste materials go for trash removal? Your contractor may have to bring in a bin or may have to haul it away daily.
  • If you aren’t on the main floor, it can be tricky getting large quantities of materials up to your home. Check to find out the dimensions of your building’s freight elevator and whether it needs to be booked ahead or if it is available at any time. Some buildings restrict hours or only make the freight elevator available on certain days of the month.
  • Depending on your circumstances, perhaps you’d like to leave a note for your immediate neighbors telling them the date that your remodeling will start. This small, thoughtful gesture could go a long way in improving people’s patience with a bit of renovation noise.
  • Due to the extra considerations needed during a condo remodeling, not all contractors are keen to take on condo home improvements. Make sure your general contractor or trades people have a copy of the regulations pertaining to your building

Your condo board will have a number of regulations in place in regards to remodeling but don’t let this prevent you from getting started on creating the home of your dreams.
Green Tip: Energy saving home improvements like sealing older windows or replacing them with high-efficiency windows, insulating your attic, and installing low-flow plumbing fixtures can save substantial amounts of money each month on decreased energy and water costs.

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