Renovating your condominium
Renovating a condominium unit is more complicated than renovating a freehold home. While you need to find a good contractor and good tradespeople for a home renovation, the choice of materials and finishes will ultimately depend only on your taste and your budget.
It is not the same when renovating a condominium suite or a condo townhouse. Aside from simple work, like painting or changing light fixtures, most jobs require an approval of the condo corporation. It is very important to start with talking to the corporation and informing them of the work you are planning to do.
Most of the time the condominium management will provide you with a list of approved materials. They may have a list of approved contractors as well. They will require that the work is inspected, and will often ask for a substantial security deposit which will be released only once the job has been finished, inspected and approved.
You will need to submit requests for permission for the jobs to be done, and wait for a written permission before the work is started.
It is extremely important to keep all the permits safely stored while you own the unit. They will be necessary if you decide to move and sell your condo. Most of the offers will have a clause stating that you have not done any renovations requiring a permit from the management without obtaining such permit.
Some of the difficulties in renovating a condominium apartment are getting the materials delivered to the unit, removal of the waste, and managing the timing. Removal of the waste will ahve to be Often the hours when the tradespeople can work are limited to between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. If the building has a limited number of visitor parking spots, getting parking for the tradespeople will also be a challenge. And not all desired changes are possible to make, for instance most condo ceilings are a concrete slab, so installing pot lights may not be possible.
If you are planning to purchase an old condo unit which would require substantial renovations, it would be wise to contact the condo management ahead of making an offer and satisfy yourself that the work you need done may get their approval.