Renovating your Kitsilano Condo or Strata Unit

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So, you want to renovate your condo in Kits? There are a few things you need to know about the process, with the biggest one being that you need permission first!

Given that you own the unit in a shared building, where changes you make can affect the structure of the building itself and the livability of your neighbours, all Stratified Buildings (so any condo or townhouse complex) requires that you first ask for permission. This renovation request is hardly a request – most Strata’s will allow the renovations as long as you follow the rules set out by the Strata itself and the city. So part of this renovation request is you indicating that you will follow the Bylaws relating to renovations in the building, while the other part of this renovation request is you providing approval from the City for a larger renovation that requires structural, plumbing or electrical work.

Strata Renovation Requests

Every Strata can have different rules – check the current Bylaws for the building – but in general, they require that you:

  • -perform the renovation on certain days during certain hours (that is, for loud tasks. Feel free to paint anytime).
  • -ensure that your garbage and debris is taken care of separately from the Strata’s garbage
  • -protect the hallways and elevators from damage
  • -use qualified tradesmen for work to the major building systems
  • -get a City of Vancouver approval for anything that requires a work permit, which is for work to the plumbing, electrical or structure

City of Vancouver Renovation Requests

You will need a City of Vancouver permit in order to move or add to the electrical or plumbing fixtures, remove walls, enclose areas, and more (see the City’s website for more information: Building and Renovating). In order to get this City of Vancouver permit for renovations, you will need to get drawings done of the space indicating what the space currently looks like and what it will look like, have structural engineers analyze the space to ensure that the walls you want to remove can be done without negatively affecting the structure of the rest of the building, pay for the permitting fees and worst of all: wait for the permit to be issued. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

You want to get a permit for any major renovations that you’ve done as it ensures that it’s legal (something that is discovered to be done without a permit needs to be rectified) and to protect the value of your renovation when you go to sell your home. Any Buyer who is using a competent Realtor (see: Us!) will ask for information regarding the renovation to ensure that it was done legally, otherwise, the Buyer can face issues in the future.


Renovations often take longer than what you expect, and often cost more than what you expect. If you’re renovating your Kits condo in order to sell, give us a call before you put in the time, money and effort to ensure that it’s the right renovations for the sale of your property. When we work with Sellers, we want to make sure that the renovations you’re doing will give you the best return, and after being in this business for as long as we have, we’ve learned a thing or two about what Buyers are looking for in properties, what’s worth it, and what isn’t.