5 Things to Remember Before Renovating Your Condo

The longer homeowners live in property the more they notice projects they’d like to take on and updates they’d like to make. It may be something simple (like adding a new backsplash in the kitchen) or it might be a larger undertaking (like replacing floors or installing a new, modern bathtub). Whatever the project, revamping a home is always an exciting endeavor.

For condo owners, however, there are additional precautionary measures that must be taken during the renovation process due to various rules and regulations.

Alberta condo regulations vary from city to city, so it is important to review your local bylaws before getting started. You’ll also need to consult with your condo association as you will need their approval on any and all projects.

Failure to obtain approval from your condo board could result in legal action or having to retore the unit to its original condition at your own expense.

There are several other ways condo owners can protect themselves while updating a condo (in addition to reviewing bylaws and obtaining approval from their condo board). With the construction season approaching, we thought it would be a good idea to share some of our most-recommended tips.

Here Are 5 Things to Remember When Renovating a Condo

1. Structural Changes May Be Prohibited

Many condo associations are reluctant to approve condo renovations that involve adjustments to structural components like walls, windows, doors, and electrical systems. You’ll need to inquire about any condo construction rules and abide by the regulations set forth by your board.

If structural changes are made without the green light from your condo association, you will likely be held fully liable and responsible for restoring the unit to its initial state. You could also be liable for any damages to the framework of your unit or common property, injuries that occur during the renovation process, etc.

2. You Must Hire an Insured Contractor

It’s incredibly important to ensure any contractor you hire to complete your renovations is adequately insured.

You can confirm a contractor is insured by contacting the Better Business Bureau and making a request to see the company’s certificate of insurance.

If you hire a vendor that isn’t insured, you may be responsible to pay for any property damage caused by the contractor, as well as any injuries or incomplete work.

3. Permanent Air Conditioning Systems May Be Denied

This is one condo renovation that can be a point of contention. Condominium units—especially those on upper floors— can become unbearably hot during summer months without air conditioning. As a result, residents often consider installing permanent systems— but this isn’t always a viable option.

Some condo bylaws restrict the addition of such systems, either because they may affect common property (like exterior walls) or because other unit owners may subsequently be inclined to add these systems, resulting in inconsistent work and other concerns.

4. You Must Properly Dispose of Any Debris

Renovating a condo is often a messy process. Drywall, tiles, plasterboard, paint cans, carpeting, and outdated appliances are just some of the items you may need to discard.

But before you carry these remnants down to your community dumpster, you’ll want to consult with your condo construction rules. Most condominium complexes prohibit the disposal of these materials, requiring residents to deliver them to municipal waste drop-off facilities.

Thinking of leaving your items next to your community dumpster in hopes another resident will want them? Also not a good idea! Some condo boards will review camera footage and send fines to residents who leave debris in garbage pick-up areas.

5. Book Parking and Elevators in Advance

When disposing of debris, bringing materials into your unit, and transporting tools or equipment, you’ll likely need to park near the entrance of your complex and use the elevator.

It is always best to inform your condo association that you will require the use of the elevator and a parking location for these activities.

Housekeeping companies, as well as other condo vendors and local residents, may also require the use of the elevator. Coordinating in advance will limit the number of inconvenient disruptions and ensure you are able to complete your work in a timely manner.

Are you a resident of a Catalyst Condo Management property? Are you considering a condo renovation? We encourage you to contact us. One of our knowledgeable team members would be happy to provide you with the information you need to make your reno a success.