Everything You Need to Know About Condo Remodeling
October 20, 2015
One of the best things about choosing to live in a condo over an apartment is that you have ownership over everything “from the paint in”—or so you’d think. There are actually many limitations on an owner’s ability to remodel their condominium, but within those limitations there are a lot of exciting possibilities. You contractors at Harjo Construction are excited to help you get started on your condo remodeling project! We’ve done beautiful work for condo owners in the past, and would love to talk you through your plans!
Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your next condo remodel.
Navigating the HOA
Before you start buying design magazines, give your Homeowner’s Association Rules and Regulations a thorough read. Most condos are part of what’s called a “common interest development,” which includes a document entitled the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs). This document will usually describe what you can and cannot do with your property. For example, if you’re hoping to replace your carpet with hardwood or laminate flooring, you might have some problems; if the carpet is necessary for dampening the sound of your footfalls for your downstairs neighborhoods, you’ll probably need to also install all very specific kind of insulated padding. (Luckily, if you’re working with an experienced contractor like Harjo, we’ll be well aware of how to work within these kind of CC&Rs to find a compromise if one is possible).
If you can’t even always replace your floor, how can you know what you can change? Every condo and set of CC&Rs is different. We’d be happy to review your CC&Rs with you to determine your possibilities and potential work-arounds. If you want to remove a wall to open up your space or add a partition to create a room or nook, we’ll be able to determine what you can add or take away, and what might be structurally necessary. Kitchen remodels are one of the most popular projects for condominiums—it’s an upgrade that will instantly increase the value of your home by nearly the cost of the project, and replacing cabinetry, countertops, flooring, or appliances will make a huge difference in both your kitchen’s appearance and its functionality.
Working With Contractors
Some condo complexes that have specific limitations set for how often work can be done, during what hours, or how long a project can take. Oftentimes, condominiums will only allow construction work between 9am and 5pm during the weekdays, so as to minimize the effect construction sounds or traffic might have on other residents. So even if you’d like to do the work yourself or think you might be capable, you’re often not going to be able if you work a job with regular hours. You’ll need to help your contractor with booking parking, the freight elevator, the security system, waste disposal, and project containment, but they’ll be able to handle all job and site supervision.
Working with a professional contractor and their teams is often even more important in a condominium than in a single-family home because the space is limited, finite, and shared. Making the most of the unit requires an understanding not only of how to maximize space, but also how to work within the restrictions of multi-family housing. You’re rarely able to alter major systems (piping, waters or gas lines, ventilation ducts) and you must completely understand the structural support network of your home.
Work with Designers and Architects
The scope and difficulty of your project will determine whether you need a designer or architect. The difference between the two is that architects have a much more rigorous procedure for both licensing and education, while designers might just be home renovation experts who have on-the-job experience. It’s possible that for small projects you’ll be able to just work with your contractor, and a decent contractor will be able to give you an honest and thorough summary of what they can do on their own and what they’d recommend design assistance for. Architects can pay off in the long run in a number of ways with condo remodels, such as green specialization or in terms of developing a plan your HOA will be more likely to approve.
We’d love to help turn your dreams for your condominium into a reality. Contact us at Harjo Construction to discuss your project—our first budget we assemble is always complimentary!