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6 Things To Consider When Renovating A Condo

December 16, 2021

Renovating your condo is fun, exciting, and can easily provide a great return on investment. However, unlike a stand alone home, the process for renovating a condo is quite different. From the rules and regulations of the condo board to working in small spaces, there’s a great deal to be aware of and consider before diving in.

So, to make your renovation a little easier, we’re going to break down the top 5 things that you should consider and know before deciding to hire a professional or renovating your condo yourself.

1. Know the Rules of Your Condo Board

We’ve worked on a great deal of Oakville, Burlington, and Milton condos and all of the condo corporations have had different rules and regulations. Before you start planning your dream kitchen or redesigning your entire space, it’s important to acknowledge what is allowed and what simply cannot be done.

If you don’t have a copy of your rules and regulations on hand, it’s best to reach out to your condo board and either ask what kind of renovations can and cannot be done, or get a copy of the rules. This is something that also comes in handy, especially for smaller items like when you're having to bring building materials up and down in the elevator! Which reminds us, when all is said and done, don’t forget to book out the elevator for your contract team. This is not a time when they can use the stairs.

2. Know What Can and Cannot Be Done to Your Unit

The next step is equally as important as the first, if not more so! Once you know what your condo board will and will not allow, it’s then essential to get a floor plan from your contractor, and to get the rules and regs for plumbing and flooring fixtures, to understand what can physically be done to your space.

We always ask for this from our clients so that we can see where the plumbing and certain flooring and electrical fixtures are, as well as what walls can and cannot come down. This vital information will help you and your contracting team see and plan out what realistically can be done during your renovation. 

It may seem like a lot of work to get these floor plans and to get the rules and regulations, but trust us when we say it will save you a lot of time and energy in the long run. No one wants to be half way through tearing down a wall just to realize it’s part of the structure. Do your due diligence.

3. Really Think About Why your Renovating

As some of the top builders and renovators in the greater Toronto area, we have learned to always ask our clients “who is this renovation for?” Are you looking to spruce up the place to further enjoy your home, or are you looking to flip the space and sell it within a few years?

This element really matters and it can help determine where to spend a majority of your renovation budget. If the goal is to make your home more appealing to you, then the budget can be spent wherever you like. But, if you’re investing in the space and hoping to make a great return on your investment, then it is probably best to spend the budget on areas such as the kitchen or the bathroom, where a bigger return will be found.

4. Narrow Down Your Complete Budget

Once you know what can and can’t be done, and you’re aware of who you're renovating the space for, the next step is to outline your budget. While this step is pretty straightforward, it’s important to know the maximum amount of money you want to spend so you can hone in on the renovations that you can afford, without accidentally going over budget. If you’re not sure of where you should be spending a majority of your budget, have an open and honest conversation with your contractor. They will let you know the rooms that provide the biggest returns as well as what items will be the most costly.

5. Utilize Accessories and Paint to Your Full Advantage

We’ve worked with a great deal of clients who believe that they need to fully tear down and rebuild each room to achieve the look and feel that they want. This is not always necessary! By updating countertops, changing out light fixtures and adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls, you can really update and transform a room.

So, don’t be afraid to play around with different accessories and paint colours during your renovation. They are the perfect tool for when your budget is on the lower side or if your condo corp has a great deal of rules as to what can and can’t be done. It may sound simple, but trust us, when in the right hands, it works.

6. Work with the Current Fixtures You Have

Moving around big fixtures like your shower, toilet, kitchen sink or dishwasher will easily and quickly drain you out of time, energy, and most importantly, money. Plus, in a condo, big renovations like that are typically not welcomed or applicable. Instead, work with your contractor to add in new elements that change the feel of the space.

We especially love playing with light fixtures, as lowering the light and changing out the fixture can quickly, and affordable, elevate the look. Adding in different textures, colours, and tiles also can work well too, saving you time and money. 

Renovating a condo is a huge undertaking, even if it is a small space! That’s why it’s important to work with a team that you can trust, and who knows how to make the most out of small spaces or dicey rules and regulations from the condo board. 

Just make sure you hone in on your budget and who it is that you're planning on renovating for. After that comes the fun part, as it’s all up to your team of professionals to understand your wants and wishes and make your dreams come true!

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