How to Complete Your Condo Renovation on Time: Common Problems | TRB


Condo renovations may seem like a simple task. Many think it’s easier than renovating a home, as you don’t have many of the worries a traditional home renovator would have. Things like unexpected knob-and-tube wiring are just not something to even consider. Or replacing the roof when you didn’t plan on it. But a condo renovation vs. a home renovation can still come with its own set of challenges.

Although you won’t have to deal with a number of big-ticket items like roofing and unexpected wiring that needs to be changed, you will still deal with common renovation delays. Regardless of how meticulous you’ve planned, delays are inevitable – here are some of the things to keep in mind as you go through your condo renovation.

Common Problems When Renovating a Condo

Elevators in Condos

Condo renovations need to take elevator times into consideration. Having a dedicated elevator on service-mode for three months isn’t feasible so travel time is something to have on your radar. Most elevators can only hold so much, so demoing is going to take longer than expected. Renovating a house allows you to put a bin out front and simply toss everything – renovating a condo needs to be coordinated with your condo building management, and with the least amount of inconvenience to your fellow neighbours.

Tip: Add an extra day or two to your demo plan with your contractors as a buffer. If you don’t need it – great. But adding in the time will help manage expectations for all during the condo renovation.

Installing Hardwood Flooring in a Condo

Hardwood flooring should be a simple item to install, but as we experienced, if you’re upgrading your flooring, it’s going to take extra time. We selected a stunning herringbone pattern for our flooring which took an incredible amount of pre-planning and mapping. Worth it? Absolutely – it’s one of our favourite parts of our condo renovation, but we didn’t account for how long it would take, causing a 5-day delay on other items.

Tip: Anything you think will add flair to your design usually takes extra time. Make sure you speak with installers and contractors about your plan well in advance of the materials arriving.

Ordering Furniture For Your Condo

During your condo design process, we can’t stress enough how critical it is to order your furniture early on. There are bound to be delays in delivery so planning as early as possible will only benefit you in the end. Also, measure, measure, measure. You don’t want to order a 108” sofa to only find out later that it won’t fit into your elevator. But if something this catastrophic happens, work with your suppliers. They’ve usually encountered a similar situation and have various options to resolve the problem.

Tip: Although furniture seems to be one of the last pieces to your condo renovation puzzle, make it a top priority during the initial stages of planning and design.

How to Complete a Renovation Project on Time

With all delays comes costs. Renovating a condo or a home is no different. Your contingency budget should be a healthy one. Speak with your designers and contractors about what they typically encounter and plan accordingly. It’s easy to get carried away with stone, bathroom fixtures, flooring, custom shelving – the list goes on and on. Pinterest is a dangerous thing, so make a list of priorities. Where are you willing to overspend and where can you save money?

Karin Bennett has a great motto that we uttered to ourselves each time we wanted to blow the budget:

Tip: “Big statement pieces, but few statement pieces”.

Should you Remodel the Kitchen or Bathroom first? 

Investing in kitchen stone that really gives a wow-factor is a must. Especially in a condo where the kitchen is almost always the focal point of the main living area. It’s also somewhat affordable to go big on your kitchen island, countertop and backsplash because it’s not a giant kitchen you have to dress.

Bathrooms are also a place where you can splurge and save at the same time. Porcelain tile is a great alternative to marble and quartz.

Our Top Condo Renovation Tips: Get the top 10! 

Tip: Think about how you can achieve the same look with porcelain. It will make a major difference in your budget but still achieve a magazine-worthy finish.

As your condo renovation rolls along, there will be many ups and downs. You’ll be overwhelmed one day and thrilled the next. As things start to come together, you’ll see your vision come to life – it’s exciting to see all of the phases, but nothing is better than heading into the home stretch.

If you’re interested in learning more about condo renovations and the process, stay tuned for more about our adventure over the coming weeks!


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