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Top condo renovation no-noes

Condo owners face unique challenges when renovating their homes. If you're considering upgrading your space, you'll need to address these six concerns:

  1. Your project must be approved by your condominium association. Working with a contractor accustomed to dealing with condominium constraints goes a long way toward getting your plans rubber-stamped and avoiding fights over the color of your new sinks.
  2. The renovation must involve minimal disruption to your neighbors. Most associations restrict the hours that your builders can work to avoid noise complaints. You'll need to address parking for your crew. (Expect howls of protest from others if your builder takes up the bulk of guest parking every day for weeks--especially during the holidays when people throw parties and host family get-togethers.)
  3. Structural changes are difficult. If your floor plan resembles a hamster's Habitrail and you want light and open spaces, weight-bearing walls and utilities could prevent your builder from opening things up.
  4. Getting the debris out of your condo daily is a must. Unless you like sawdust in your bed.
  5. Staying out of the way is more difficult in smaller condos. Your confined space may feel like a college bar on 50 cent beer night--for weeks at a time.
  6. Mistakes could cost you--whether undertaking the work yourself or paying a builder, you may have to post a bond with your condo association, which should be returned to you once the work is complete and everyone has approved it. Many associations impose fines for work not completed on time.

All of these concerns can be alleviated by using a contractor with lots of condo experience.