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How to Manage Owner’s Renovations

All you have to do is turn on the TV these days to know how popular kitchen and bathroom renovations have become. Backsplashes, stainless steel appliances, subway tiles, granite countertops, glass-enclosed showers, soaking tubs – the list of enticing upgrades and additions now available seems nearly endless.

There are a lot of factors to consider, though, before launching a kitchen or bath renovation, including an understanding – and acceptance – that these can be very complex renovation projects. Fortunately, with proper planning, vigilance and with a bit of luck, they also can turn out to be some of the best investments a homeowner can make – with minimal disruption and hassle for boards and managers.

Plan Early

As exciting and fun as it can be, planning early for a kitchen or bath renovation does not, unfortunately, mean spending late nights on Pinterest or leafing through glossy home renovation magazines. The most practical step is to contact your property manager and get a copy of the building’s alteration agreement and to learn more about what is expected and required for a successful renovation project.

Check Every Box

Before getting too involved in the project, it is important for the building’s architect or engineer to review it and come back to the manager, property owner, or unit owner with a list of objections or questions.

There may be some special details that the board will need to consider, in particular when residents want to expand the size of the kitchen or bath. “Some buildings won’t allow it,” Weinstein says. “Others will want waterproofing or sound alterations to reduce the potential for water damage or the risk of increased noise.”

Working with a contractor

Nothing makes a unit owner break into a cold sweat faster than the thought that their renovation project may not be done properly. What could be worse than an inspector coming through after everything has been sealed and cleaned up, and demanding costly repairs? To avoid that, it is imperative to ensure that contractors are working in line with all codes and requirements.

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