A home renovation in a condominium (or co-op) property is not like renovating a single family home. And there is more to it than simply the difference between interior only and interior plus exterior renovation. If the process is new to you, learning as much as you can will be extremely valuable as you consider next steps.
In order to make your condo renovation experience as hassle-free as possible, consider the following tips:
1. Understand HOA Rules and Regulations
HOAs are not unique to condominiums, of course. But the restrictions will be different and possibly more demanding. Read your HOA documents carefully, and check with your building manager to discuss restrictions that may be in place.
Your condo association should have a contractor renovation guide. Consult this to find out requirements around things like changes to electrical, sprinkler systems and other infrastructure. They may have approved companies to work with, as many potential renovation changes could affect the safety of the entire condo unit.
A smaller condo may have fewer restrictions. A larger condominium community may have policies and procedures that are more detailed and less flexible.
2. Ask the Right Questions
When interviewing an architect/design/build company, it is important to ask the right questions.
Before anything else, find out if they are qualified and open to condo renovations. Switching out a shower head is one thing, but if you are looking at making some big changes, a full-service company is your best bet. A full-service renovation company will provide architecture, design, construction AND construction management. This soup to nuts approach will ensure that the renovation proceeds according to HOA regulations, and doesn’t aggravate your neighbors or disrupt the community.
Just like with HOA regs, do your research. Find companies in your area with a proven track record of condominium renovations.
When you interview a design and renovation company, don’t be afraid to ask for their advice and expertise up front. Is what you are envisioning practical and doable? Do you have the right budget for what you are hoping to accomplish?. The quality and specificity of their answers will tell you a lot about what type of renovation experience you would expect to have with them.
A few more questions to ask each company you interview:
How they price out and determine a project timeline
how they will protect your property during construction
what precautions they will undertake to prevent disturbing neighbors
how they will approach securing all of the permits to ensure the project is delivered on time.
3. Manage Expectations
Expectations around timeframe and costs are among the biggest challenge for condo owners considering a renovation. Approvals from HOAs and local government are often a big X-factor. If you’ve hired a well-regarded design/remodeling company, understand that they will give you the best information they have on the permitting process and HOA approvals based on their experience in the field.
Be sure to get a written checklist from the company you hire detailing your responsibilities and their responsibilities. This should include a project timeline for all facets of the design/build process.
In many cases, it is best - if not completely necessary - to live elsewhere until the remodel is completed. So talk with your builder about those expectations as well.
What Dreams are Made Of
Condo renovation can be exciting, as renovation dreams become the reality you live in every day. The key to a smooth and efficient luxury condominium renovation experience for you lies with your choice of renovation company.
A full-service company will set clear expectations and take responsibility for outlining the project and following up on all the details during the planning stage and throughout construction. A company that understands the rules and process for condo renovation and communicates clearly with you will ensure a successful project.
If you are considering a condominium renovation, please reach out to us to discuss your project. Additionally, you could download the company backgrounder titled How Gilday Renovations Integrated Team Delivers the Home of Your Dreams.