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Housman Condo Renovation

Jul 13, 2021

5 min read

    Design

There's always a reason for every renovation. Know that we always take them into consideration. :) See one of our house renos below!

Notes about this condo renovation

Master Bedroom Ensuite

Stand-up rainfall shower stall with two hand-showers that worked like body jets. Giant freestanding soaker tub to the left and floating vanities with quartz countertops on the right. Wall to ceiling tiles to manage the walls exposed to moisture with a mounted heated towel rack on the back wall.

Walkthrough Closet

The walk-through bedroom closet hallway is lined with floating built-in cabinets and shelving units, shoe racks, and multiple pull-outs for accessories like ties, belts, and scarves. The floor is epoxied concrete.

Master Bedroom

The master bedroom was narrow and wide, yet it can still boast a king-sized bed with side tables. Dimmable chandelier and warm LED potlights set the mood. Within the room, we used a glazed ceramic tile used along a concrete pillar and under the window to create an obscure reflective surface to enlarge the space while avoiding the harsh interruptions from structural components.

Living Room

We showcased a naval blue feature wall for the living room with the Verner Pantone Spiral Gold light fixture overtop of the epoxied concrete floors. The room had three banks of dimmable lights to create a cinematic effect with a flat ceiling. Like the bedroom, we used a glazed ceramic tile to mask the concrete pillar and add a reflective surface to enlarge the space. Also, the standard baseboard heaters throughout the unit were painted with grey metallic automotive paint to make them sparkle while controlled by a Nest Thermostat. Architectural ceiling beams were hidden with drywall to keep the vision for the room clean.

Kitchen

As you can imagine, the entire project focused on reflective surfaces to create the allusion of space with the limited square footage we were working within. An induction stovetop kept the glossy cabinet and quartz countertops clean, along with other stainless steel appliances. We installed the built-in microwave and oven from the other side of the kitchen, along with a pantry, followed by a hidden recycle center with pull-out bins. You can also see the orb lighting we used for the kitchen island.

Entryway

With the epoxied concrete floors throughout the space, it looked like you were on the water's edge without any sand to get on your feet. The entryway has a Japanese-style raised leather flooring deck. The intention was for individuals to take off their shoes before entering the rest of the unit. Leather flooring was gentle on your feet, welcoming you back home. A simple wardrobe was installed to allow for coats and shoes. The guest bathroom also included a stand-up shower, floating quartz vanity, and pendant lights.

Starting your condo renovation?

Planning to upgrade your condo with a professional renovation? Remember: just because you are working only on the interior of your unit does not exclude you from strata bylaws. An owner must obtain written approval before altering a strata lot. Adjoining walls, flooring, plumbing, and electrical are examples of items in a renovation requiring approval. In addition to the Act, each condo strata will have its own schedule of bylaws and approval process. So what is the best way to navigate through all these rules? Follow these simple steps.

Before you start, talk to property management

Get a clear understanding of the bylaws and the renovation approval process. Most often, the management company will act on behalf of the strata with your builder. These days, if the next strata meeting is weeks away, a common request is to seek council approval via email, eliminating the need to wait. Regardless of the strata process, time must be accounted for in your plan for approval.

Create a worklist

Your strata will want to see your plans for the renovation project. Some councils require extremely detailed information, others not as much. Rule of thumb: break down the renovation into projects, e.g., bathroom update; new kitchen. Then, under each item, list work to be done, e.g., new kitchen: demolition; removal of existing cabinets and appliances; non-structural wall removal to open kitchen to the living room; installation of kitchen island; new appliances and cabinetry; painting walls; new flooring; new electrical; use existing plumbing. Breaking out the work will provide a clear picture of the intended renovations and serve as a checklist for potential issues.

Be flexible

When renovating kitchens and bathrooms, ventilation, plumbing, and electrical will be factored in determining if your renovation is possible. Approaching your renovation with flexibility is recommended as there will inevitably be a bylaw or restriction unrelated to structure, but a bylaw you must adhere to. Make sure to read the bylaws with your builder before the process begins. Chances are you are not the first to renovate, and there will be a lot of information on what is and is not allowed.

Work from your list

Dates, timing, insurance, and permits are just a few things required by the strata. Working from the renovation list, your builder will be able to provide required records and timelines for starting and completing each job along with the required insurance, etc. Depending on the work to be done, access points to your unit within the building and the street will be required. The bylaws will provide information on access rules, working hours (noise bylaws), demolition removal processes, etc.

Photos from start to finish

It’s not just the pretty pictures that count. Be sure to capture each stage of the condo renovation, including the messy days when walls and floors are torn out and opened up. Images provide a catalog of the state of the original condo, the steps taken, and the work completed – a great source of information not just for the strata council but also on the final walk-through before signing off.

Working with a professional builder, who knows the strata rules, will expedite the process and protect you from potential do-overs. It’s a simple plan.

This article was last updated on Dec 8, 2021

    Design

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