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If there’s one complaint buyers often have about condos, it’s that they can have a very “cookie-cutter” feel to them. They usually have similar layouts and finishes. So, what better way to make your new suite your own than by some renovations to reflect your own tastes?

While this can go a long way toward making your new space feel like home, in Canada, renovating your condo is a little different than renovating your home. Here’s what you should know:

Be aware of noise regulations
Many condos have strict rules about the timeframes they allow loud noise. This might be after 9 p.m., before a certain time in the morning, or not on weekends. If your renovations call for some loud construction, make sure your contractor is aware, so they can time the work to reflect this.

Make sure your contractor is condo-friendly
Believe it or not, certain contractors don’t want to work in condo settings. Whether it’s because they’d rather work on larger projects, or they find elevator bookings and city parking too much of a hassle, not everyone is going to be able to handle your needs. Make sure you ask your contractor if they have experience in this area.

Not everything can be changed
Remember that in a condo building there are common elements that can’t be altered. These might include things like front doors, windows or balcony features. You might run into other obstacles too, like concrete pillars or support beams that can’t be taken out.

Your condo board might want written confirmation of your plans
Some boards require a list of your planned renovations before approval, especially if they’re significant. Check with your management office so that you’re clear on procedures.

Plan parking in advance
Unlike a detached home, you likely won’t have a driveway to let workers park in for the day. One option is to park elsewhere yourself and offer your condo’s parking spot to the contractor. This becomes more of a problem, however, if there’s more than one worker. If visitor parking in your building isn’t available, be prepared to pay for public parking for each worker.

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