Home renovation can always be a challenging process. It would be more complicated when you want to renovate a condo. Because condo renovation has important considerations and falls under regulations that can limit your renovation plan. But if you have a good condo renovation plan, it can be fun!! Here we review the best tips for renovating your condo in Toronto.
As a Toronto real estate agent, I would like to inform you about all the probable regulations about condo renovation in Toronto. Then, I will tell you all the important tips you can use for renovating your condo. If you have a detached house to renovate, you can find useful tips about house improvements here. Now, let’s get back to condo renovation tips.
Living in a condominium apartment means that you can remodel things inside your unit, like painting the walls, changing the flooring, redecorating the bathroom or your kitchen. But the exterior design is your restricted area. As soon as you buy a condo, you are legally obliged to follow all the condo rules and regulations. The condo board controls all the renovation approvals.
However, the renovation or remodeling policies and guidelines are different in each condo board. I know you want to implement all your favorite designs to your condo, but you cannot break the regulations. So, before starting to plan your renovation ideas, ask about all the limitations which may affect your planning.
Generally, the regulations include some rules about which hours or days in week you can do the job. And also when your renovation contractors can use the elevator or which materials are allowed inside the elevators and so forth. The most tricky and limited parts in condo renovation policy is for plumbing and electrical systems. Most of the time you’ll need permission for moving toilets, showers, or sinks.
So, it is recommended to ask about all the restrictions before starting your condo renovation project.
Important tip: Renovation is a good way to improve the structure or furniture of your condo and add the property’s resale value. However, remember the fact that when you are going to sell your renovated condo, the buyer will ask for copies of documentation related to all the permits and records of everything you’ve done in the condo unit.
The next important issue you may want to consider before planning your renovation project is to determine for whom you are going to do it. In other words, what is your purpose for renovation? Are you renovating to live or to resell? These two can change the whole plan.
In simple words, if you are planning to live in your condo after renovation, you can totally remodel the space the way you like or feel more comfortable based on your priorities. But if you are planning to resell the condo after renovation, you should make more cost-effective changes based on investment return. In this case, you better change some key areas, such as painting the living room walls or changing the kitchen cabinets.
Important tip: According to Toronto’s noise bylaw, you are not allowed to make any construction-related sounds between 7pm-7am Monday to Friday and for Saturdays 7pm-9am. Besides, it is not acceptable to make any construction noise on Sundays or statutory holidays in Toronto.
Now it’s time to get to work! Use the following tips to enjoy the condo renovation process.
Create a renovation plan for yourself
After you checked all the condo management board guidelines, you are now completely informed about renovating restrictions on what you can or cannot do. The first step of condo renovation would be the accurate site inspection. In this phase you will verify the location of water or plumbing, thermal and electrical systems. Then you can estimate the required materials and budget.
Afterwards, you can calculate a realistic time schedule for all the upcoming changes depending on all of your priorities. Whether you want to renovate your condo to be more comfortable for you or you want to add to property’s resale value, the changes would be different.
Please don’t forget to notify your neighbors in advance about your renovation project. Certainly, you don’t want to make them upset and complain to the condo management.
What changes you can make
Renovating your condo means customizing it based on all your favorite styles. Use the following tips to create the best living space in your condo. With the rise of the condo prices in Toronto’s real estate market, condo renovations have become even more popular.
Painting the walls
There’s no doubt that the most common change you can make is painting the walls. Choosing the new and cheerful color for the walls can not only brighten the space but also delights the future buyers. A smart choice of colors for different parts of your condo as well as other renovations will make a significant difference and give a lot of life to the space.
Again, you should consider that for whom you are painting. If it’s for you, so there would be no limitations, paint the walls with your favorite dark green or bold purple red, who cares. But keep in mind that bold colors or overdesigned walls, especially large walls of living room, can be overwhelming after a while and make your space seem smaller.
On the other hand, if you are painting to resell the condo, you better choose some bright and more neutral colors that will suit everyone. Besides, using neutral colors makes it easier to fit the furniture. If you want to give your condo a modern look, use dark colors just on one smaller wall.
People usually think the kitchen is the heart of the home for families. So you may like to change the kitchen environment to be more comfortable for your family members. For example changing the sink drain, ventilation or the kitchen floor can make a huge difference. It is not suggested to change the sink location, because extending the pipes and ducts would be very challenging and expensive or even against the condo rules.
Changing or updating kitchen cabinets can be another option for condo renovation. You can change the cabinetry or electronic appliances in a way to save more space. Use every small space to install pull-out racks. Changing the countertop can also help saving the kitchen space, especially in small condos. It is a major thing in the kitchen and people usually notice it first. You can use granite, soapstone, different wood tones or butcher block counters.
Changing the kitchen flooring is so common in condo renovations. You can use new tiles, hardwood flooring or laminates with so many different designs. Using large tiles on the kitchen floor gives a sort of outdated look to your condo. If you want your kitchen to look modern, you better use bright color on the kitchen walls and dark color tiles on the flooring.
Condos usually have small bathrooms as well as renovation limitations for changing the location of pipes and ducts of shower/tub and toilet drains. As a result, your hands may get tight to make big changes. But you can still make the desired changes to create a more pleasant space in the bathroom.
You can use modern clear panels for shower stalls. Avoid using shower curtains, they make the bathroom space seem smaller. Change the tiles and paint the walls. Dark tiles on the bathroom floor makes it look more shiny and glossy. You can also use wood or laminates for the bathroom floor.
Now that you cannot change the pipes, you still can change the place or size of showers, tubs, and sinks. Installing granite countertops can also make a huge difference. But the most important tip for bathroom space is to keep it clean and tidy. A messy vanity with all the towels around makes the space look smaller. So use baskets and dividers to keep everything in its proper place.
Living room renovation
The living rooms are the largest space in condos for comfortable communication and entertainment. You can use any aesthetic design to make it look different. But try not to lose the cohesion of your condo space.
For living room flooring you can use everything you like to renovate the space, such as carpets, hardwood, laminate, granite, and marble. Fit your furniture to your living room space. The size of your furniture, artworks and even bookshelves is very important to give a friendly vibe to your condo living room. Using large couches or bookshelves takes a lot of space. Choose colorful vases, cushions and rugs to cheer it up.
Again, paint the large walls of your condo living room with neutral colors to easily fit every piece of furniture with it. If you like dark colors, just paint one of the walls with dark color. Brighter colors give your living room a clean and passionate look. Exposed brick can also be your fun DIY renovation project. Just don’t forget to use darker bricks on bright color walls and brighter bricks on dark color walls.
One of the best renovation ideas is to renovate balconies in Toronto condos. These summer days are the best time to redecorate your balcony. Just with some easy changes you can have more fun on great days of spring and summer. There are many ideas to design and renovate your balcony, even if it is small.
Best one in my opinion is that you can work on greenery. Pack your balcony with lush plants. Also, you can add some herbs to make great smells. Besides, using your wall space for planters makes your balcony feel amazing.
Similarly, put a table, chair, built-in seating, or even floor pillows. In addition, lighting up the terrace can be a great idea to spend some time out and have a coffee with your friends or family. To do so, you can also use an outdoor pendant or sconces.
If you have enough space, hanging a chair or hammock is also amazing for creating a delightful atmosphere. Adding some shade would be a great idea too for the times of sunshine or rain.
One of the most important things you can do for your terrace is to have some privacy. Elements like screens, curtains, or room dividers can bring this privacy to you so that you can enjoy your outdoor experience on your balcony. Considering a spot for having a more comfortable time can be a great idea for curling up with a book or soaking up the sun.
Read More: Design Toronto Condo Balcony in Summer
Renovating your condo with proper planning can be the best way to show your character and lifestyle. There is still the last and important tip for renovating your condo: the whole process of condo renovations usually needs a longer time frame due to all the condo regulations about working hours and noises. So, the condo would be so messy, chaotic and even unsafe and you cannot stay there during renovation. Try to stay with your family or friends for a while to alleviate the stress of renovating your condo.