Are you practically salivating at the thought of renovating your condo unit’s kitchen. Before you purchase a single item to begin your project, and before you pick up the phone to start calling contractors, you’ll need to find out what your condo association’s rules are for remodeling. And, you can believe that there will be a lot of hoops for you to jump through. Condos are master-planned. So, while you own your condo, you’ll have to deal with issues such as:
– Changing the structure of the unit fixtures
– Changing the wiring and the plumbing
– Changing the basic structure of the unit
Your project could possibly interrupt or weaken the wiring, the plumbing and the structure of other units surrounding you. For example, it’s very common for your plumbing pipes to be connected within the building to the pipeline of other units. This means that you won’t be able to move your water fixtures or plumbing lines. You probably won’t be able to add new fixtures or plumbing lines, either.
Understand that your condo association will worry that your remodeling project might devalue your unit, and the property as a whole. They’ll want to make sure that your remodeling project is in line with how the units on the property are being marketed. They’ll want to ensure that your remodeling project will attract the type of buyers that the association is marketing to. In short, your renovations should not only add value to the unit, it should also add value to the property and marketing efforts as a whole.
And, your condo association might be concerned about more than structural changes to your kitchen. They might even regulate whether or not you can paint your walls, the type of paint you can use on your walls, or the color of paint you can use on your walls, or not. They’ll regulate you on the amount of hours you can work on your project within the course of a day.
This is only fair: Your neighbors won’t want to hear construction noises at all hours of the day, or night. They might not like hearing noises or enduring the revolving traffic of contractors while they’re trying to enjoy their weekends, either. Also, you’ll need to find out how long your project can continue on for.
Again, your neighbor’s patience will wear thin if your noisy project continues on for weeks, or months at a time. Find out if you can work on your project continuously, too. You might be required to break up your project in phases, in order to meet the condo association’s requirements for the length of time allowed on a project. To this end, you might find yourself phasing out your abilities to use your kitchen, too.
And, by the way, if the condo board allows you to make major structural changes such as removing walls, boards, molding, partitions, etc., then you’ll need to purchase a municipal permit, in addition to abiding by any rules and regulations that the condo association places upon you.
And, depending on the city that you live in, you’ll need to inquire whether or not your building is landmarked. Because, if it is, then you’re going to have to pay a visit to your local preservation board. And, you might find yourself stymied by this step.
If you’re able to get clearance from all of the affiliated boards and departments to start your project, you’ll need to make a list of contractors you’ll work with. If your project is minor, then all you’ll need to contact is an interior designer. However, if you’re installing granite countertops or any other sort of countertops, cabinets, fixtures, then you’ll need to make a list of installers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc.
Of course, you could also reach out to a general contractor, who usually hires their own team of vetted professionals. And, if your kitchen makeover requires structural changes, you’ll need to sit down with an architect.
After you’ve hired everyone, and after everyone is on the same page regarding what needs to be done, you’ll need to make new eating arrangements. The fact is, unless you’re having some painting work done, granite countertops installation, or some other task that can be completed within a day, you won’t be able to use your kitchen for quite some time. Depending upon your project, you won’t even be able to use your refrigerator!
Experts say to count on being without the use of your kitchen from 6-8 weeks, but again, depending upon how involved the project is, you might have to go without using it longer. Remember that your condo association might make you break up your kitchen renovation project in phases. This will definitely tack on more time that you’ll be without the use of your kitchen. You’ll probably need to find temporary quarters to live, until your kitchen renovation project has been completed.