So you’ve got the keys to that new condo… congrats! However, your mind has already started thinking about changes you’d like to do to make the space more appealing to another buyer, or to improve the functionality for your own purposes.
However, there are some things you should know before you hire a contractor for condo renovations. Jumping into a project without having a clear plan or knowing the rules can end up costing you a lot more time and money down the road.
Here are 6 pitfalls to avoid:
- Not thinking high enough. Many condo units may be smaller in footprint than a single family dwelling, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t lots of space to go up instead of out. When you’re remodeling a condo, remember to think about all the opportunities there are for shelving higher on the wall for books, art and more.
- Accidentally removing essential walls. So you want to open up a bit more floor space in your 900 square foot condo… that’s fair. But don’t try to take down any walls yourself without knowing the rules for renovating a condo, or without the advice of an experienced contractor. You could void warranties, face fines, not to mention put yourself in potential danger.
- Changing exterior features without permission. While you can probably go ahead and paint the interior of your condo a bright pink if that’s your thing, you shouldn’t make any changes at all to the exterior of your condo – even the colour of the window frames – without consulting with the building’s administration first.
- Not Knowing Timing for Plumbing. When you’re remodeling a detached home, you don’t have to worry so much about when the plumber has to shut off the water to modify pipes if you’re adding a shower or relocating an appliance that uses water. When you’re remodeling a condo, you’ll want to know exactly when you’re able to shut off the water supply, because there are pipes involved that you don’t necessarily own.
- Buying wall units that won’t fit. When you’re buying a wall unit or a even a new mattress for your detached home, usually you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting it through a front or back entrance. However, unless you want to carry a 300-pound piece of furniture up a staircase in a multi-residential building, you need to know what the condo building’s elevators can handle space-wise and when you can book use of the elevator so it lines up with the delivery.
- Making the space too cramped for comfort. Not having a clean plan of where to place furniture and other items can lead to a conundrum – not having adequate space to move around. You should always aim to leave walking corridors of at least 70 cm when you’re thinking condo renovations, unless you enjoy walking into solid objects. Don’t forget about leaving adequate space around dining tables to allow for easy movement of chairs.
Knowing the rules of renovating a condo and having a contractor that’s experienced with dealing with condo regulations will go a long way to making the process smoother!