You Want to Do What?: Dealing with Your Condo Association

Renovation Quick Tip

If you are doing a remodeling project within a condo complex (whether it's 20 units or 300), don't forget to check in with your condo association. Do it before any construction starts to make sure your grand vision is in line with what these friendly overlords will allow.

Each association has its own set of rules and restrictions (often referred to as CC&Rs) to prevent individual condo owners from going hog wild during remodels, and potentially impinging on other owners' safety and comfort. Some are stricter that others, but cover things like:

• work to the systems inside your condo, such as ventilation or electrical;

• changes to the structure of the space, i.e. removing walls;

• matters outside, such as parking and dumpster use during construction;

• choices in certain materials;

• guidelines around dangerous pollutants, such as lead paint and asbestos.

In the case of my family's Florida vacation home, I am only doing basic cosmetic changes, which means that no plumbing needs to be moved or walls need to come down. Before we got rolling, I had to fill out a short application, describe the scope of work, and provide our contractor's license number. Pretty easy stuff. As the process moves forward, I am also responsible for clearing the type of sound and moisture barrier I'll use underneath any hardwood floors. Decorating choices are fair game though, so those hot pink cabinets and teal carpet I have planned are all good to go.

In short, the more you change, the more they'll want to know. Ask a bunch of questions in advance, provide what they ask for, get their official stamp of approval, and you should have no worries down the road.

Happy renovating!

(Image: Shutterstock)

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When Dabney's not writing around here, she's digging through other people's attics for fun and interesting stuff, or running around with her bloodhound Friday. Originally from the East Coast, she's still shocked to find herself living in Missouri.