With single family home ownership approaching the unattainable for many Canadians in large urban centres, condominium ownership in major Canadian cities at an all-time high. For many interested in condo ownership looking at older condominiums can be a great option. The trend among condo builders in the last 10 years is to build smaller suites whereas many of the older units are significantly larger and less expensive (albeit with higher condo fees), but may require some significant updating.
Updating a condominium residence is a much different undertaking than renovating a single-family home. Complexities such as parking, garbage removal, condo board restrictions, elevator and common areas use must be taken into account when planning a condo renovation.
It’s important to approach the board of directors with your plans for renovations before you start buying your materials or hiring contractors. Even if they deny your original idea for a renovation, they may be able to help you work out a project that abides by their regulations.
It’s critical to work with a renovation professional who has done condo work in the past as approach to getting a job done may differ greatly in a condo, where for example, plumbing behind walls cannot be moved. To answer some of our questions we turned to a condo renovation expert, Perfect Painters & Home Renovation Services.
- What kind of restrictions do you generally encounter when undertaking a condo reno?
You must abide by the condo rules, a specific sub floor is required for sound proofing and most renovations must be approved by the condo board prior to moving forward. Most walls can’t be removed as they are structural.
2. What things would you caution condo owners on when they’re planning a reno?
Permits and Condo approval take time and cost money. You must abide by the condo rules for scheduled work times as well and the use of the elevator. If you require a bin for disposal, most condo’s don’t have the place to leave a big bin, so we have to order one, dispose in 30 min and have it taken away.
3. Can I take down walls in my condo, or do any structural changes?
Most walls are concrete and are structural and may not be removed. Some may… it all depends.
4. What kind of flooring is best to lay in a condo?
Any flooring is fine for a condo, as long as a special sound proof underlay is used.
5. Can I alter the electrics or plumbing in any way (e.g., add overhead lights, change the layout of the bathroom etc.)
Yes, with drawings and approved by the board.
6. Suggestions for best practices when undertaking a condo reno?
Always make sure to have professional drawings done and have them approved by the condo board. Never try and do the work without the condo’s approval. It could cost you money and may be dangerous for the other condos in the building.
Renovating your condo can be lots of fun, but make sure you hire an experienced company to avoid heartache and wasted time and money. While you’re in the planning phases, be sure to check out our condo Pinterest board for loads of inspiration. And please do write a review when your job is done, it helps the whole community!