Kits Condos: Renovating

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Things to do when Renovating your Condo

So you want to renovate your Kitsilano condo? Not a bad idea – taking a space you have a making it your own, through your choice of colours, finishings, layouts, price range and more. Renovating a condo is something no one would call easy, but it’s very do-able with some focus, a good sense of design, and a proper plan.

What some people overlook when it comes to renovating a condo space is how is can affect the other owners in the building, collectively: the Strata Corporation. Though not a difficult process, you have to ensure that the Strata Corporation is satisfied with your design plans and that you adhere to their rules (otherwise you can be fined).

Read the Strata Bylaws

The first thing to do once deciding that you want to renovate your condo unit is to to read the Strata Bylaws. These documents should have been given to you when you purchased the unit, otherwise they will be available from the Strata Council or the Property Manager. These Bylaws will dictate the hours that you’re allowed to renovate (typically weekdays, and Saturday daytime), the type of flooring you’re allowed to use (older condo can limit flooring that may cause a nuisance to those below you), any precautions you have to take during the renovation (such as renting the elevator on certain days, lining the hallway floors with tarp to prevent a mess, or using certified labourers).

Get Renovation Approval From Strata

The second thing to do once deciding that you want to renovate your condo unit is to get approval from the Strata. This includes sending the Strata Corporation (typically you address this letter to the Property Manager, who passes it on to the Strata Council). This letter has to list the type of renovation you’re doing (i.e. replacing cabinets, moving the plumbing lines, adding more ceiling lights, installing a different floor, removing a wall, etc), who is doing the renovation (typically certified contractors) and when you expect this renovation to begin and end. You should also state that you are aware of the Bylaws and will adhere to them at all times.

Acquire Renovation Permits

Often, once the Strata Council approves your initial plan for a renovation, you’ll have to provide them with the City of Vancouver permits to certify that everything will be done to code, and often permits of the plumbers, engineers and electricians that are doing work in the suite. What happens in your unit can affect the building as a whole (imagine if the renovation causes damage?) so they need to know what’s planned and that it will be done by professionals.

Consider Renovation Insurance

Lastly, consider looking into renovation insurance if you’re doing a big renovation involving moving plumbing lines or really re-configuring the layout. Extra insurance is a small price to pay to guarantee that you’re covered is a major leak occurs or something happens that damages other units.

If you decide to use a Renovation Project Manager, they will typically take care of all of these tasks for you since most condos have the same requirements.