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Why Renovating A Condo Can Be A Real Headache

Scott McGillivray breaks down how to approach a reno for a house vs a condo

Renovating a Condo vs a House
Approvals and Permits
  • House: For any house renovation you must adhere to the proper building codes, and you need to get approvals from the city by way of permits and inspections.  This will ensure that the structure and everything in it is safe and sound.
  • Condo: Condos have a lot of rules and policies about what can be renovated – both for the sake of safety and the disruption to other tenants. Because of this you will need to submit a proposal to the condo board telling them what you want to do and when. While traditional building permits may not apply in some buildings, the condo board has final say.

Layout and Functionality
  • House: When it comes to renovating a house, if you can afford it, you can do it. You’ll need to go through the right channels and get the proper permissions from the city, but if you want to take down walls, add rooms, or switch the layout around, you can usually do it.
  • Condo: When it comes to layout, what you see is pretty much what you get.  Whether it’s a bedroom with an odd angle, or a seemingly random column in the middle of the living room, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to change things. Structurally, what you see is what you get. That said, it’s always worth checking with the condo board because in some cases (while it may come at great expense) there will be the ability to move things around a little bit.
  • House: With a house there are very few limitations as to what materials you can use.  Occasionally there may be roadblocks due to structural or other issues, but for the most part you can do whatever you want.
  • Condo: You’re somewhat at the mercy of the condo board when it comes to materials.  The reason is for the safety and comfort of the building and other tenants.  For instance, some condos don’t allow hardwood floors due to noise transfer.
Return on Investment
  • House: When renovating a house, good ROI will always be achieved as long as the renovation is in keeping with the quality of the rest of the house and the rest of the neighbourhood.
  • Condo: When renovating a condo, good ROI will only be achieved if it’s in keeping with the quality of the rest of building. If you do a high-end renovation in a building where all the other units are rundown, you won’t see a great return,
  • House: House styles are radically different. You’ve got ranch style, Victorians, colonial, side split, bungalow, townhouse - the list goes on. When it comes to designing and decorating a house the options are endless – and it can be overwhelming.
  • Condo:  Condos are a lot simpler than houses and generally have a smaller square footage. This can be a bit limiting when it comes to design. It requires a bit more creativity – for example, furniture that does double duty, and shelves that go all the way to the ceiling may be necessary.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Coming Up

Tue 30 Marilyn’s Big Little Experts! 
Wed 31 The latest fitness trends