What renovations do you have in mind for your condo?
Maybe you want to revitalize the bedrooms with new hardwood flooring or rework your kitchen into a minimalistic paradise of gleaming worktops and immaculate tiling. These ideas (or almost any other you have) can breathe new life into your condo.
But if you rush into renovating without checking the rules, you risk facing fines or legal costs down the line. And that’s extra expense you can do without.
So, join us as we explore what you need to know about renovation requirements for condos in Ontario.
The first step in renovating your condo is to clarify your plans. Think about your ideas in a practical context. Is your vision for a new bathroom possible with the space available, or would you be better waiting until you have a bigger home to play with?
Determine what form your renovations would take and approach your condo board. A concrete plan will help them to understand what you hope to accomplish and make a fair decision. Most boards have a list of requirements that they expect condo-owners to follow. Obtaining board-members’ permission tends to be one of the most important.
Some condo-owners might try to bypass this part of the process and get straight to work. But failing to comply with regulations could lead to legal costs and orders to rework renovations to address violations. The overall expense and disruption involved would make a rushed project far more trouble than it’s worth.
That’s why it’s crucial to check your condo board’s renovation requirements before you pass the planning stage. It’s possible that board-members will grant permission for your alterations and let you start quickly. But certain changes (e.g. relocating your shower) may be unfeasible.
Your condo board may require you to pay a deposit or take out insurance before launching your renovation project. This is to cover any potential damage to shared spaces and facilities, such as hallways, elevators, etc.
A deposit will be repaid if your renovation causes no damage, and insurance mitigates costs if something does go wrong. But it’s ultimately the condo board’s decision.
Speak to a member of the board or the property manager before estimating the overall costs. The price of your deposit and/or insurance need to be included, or else you could exceed your budget.
Renovating a condo is noisy work. Drilling, hammering, sawing — all of these unavoidable sounds can become incredibly frustrating for neighbours.
Think about the people in the surrounding units before starting your renovations. Are some of them home during the day? Do any parents have new-borns who need lots of sleep? Will your work affect others’ quality of life?
Toronto’s noise bylaw states that construction-related sounds are unacceptable between 7pm and 7am Monday to Friday. This changes to 7pm to 9am on Saturdays. And no construction noise is allowed on Sundays or statutory holidays at all.
Again, some condo-owners may try to swerve these regulations. But complaints can lead to enforcement actions, so it’s best to play by the rules at all times. Be considerate of your neighbours’ right to a quiet life and inform them of your plans before you start.
This could be as simple as putting a polite note under their door or a brief chat in the hallway. Explain what you intend to do, when you intend to do it, and apologize in advance for any construction noise they may hear.
Completing your renovations quickly will help to keep any disruptions to a minimum. While you may be tempted to handle small work yourself, hiring a professional construction team is generally the most sensible option.
A reputable firm with the essential equipment and experience will be able to finish the work to a high standard sooner than you can working by yourself. It’s easier than going solo, and you’re less likely to cause damage and face costly repairs.
Changing regulations in the wake of the pandemic crisis are another key element to consider when planning condo renovations. While there was confusion about what construction work was allowed to continue at the peak of the situation, restrictions are being eased.
But it may still be difficult to understand exactly what non-essential condo renovations are permitted for some time. Fortunately, your condo board should be able to keep you updated on what is and what isn’t acceptable.
Social distancing may be in effect while renovations are underway. All work should be conducted safely as required, which could include wearing masks and cleaning equipment more often.
Your building’s regulations may mean you need to adjust your renovation plans. This could be a minor aspect of the work (such as your choice of flooring) or something major (e.g. repositioning a toilet or sink).
Whatever the case, remember that your entire renovation plans may not be ruined. A few tweaks to your idea could still help you to create the condo of your dreams. But if you become frustrated and try to act against the board’s requirements, you might land yourself in hot water.
This is where working with a reputable construction firm is so advantageous. A team with years of experience and successful projects behind them could identify the ideal solution to your problem. Taking advice from professionals might enable you to renovate your condo beautifully, with a few small changes to your original vision.
Hiring an experienced construction team is the simplest, quickest way to create the condo of your dreams.
Focus on Flooring provides a variety of services, including flooring installation, drywall installation & repair, general construction, water damage restoration, and more. Just get in touch with our experts to learn more about what we can do to transform your condo today!