Managing In-Suite Renovations

July 2017

Renovating the home to make it what you want it to be is important.  People renovate to improve lifestyle and enjoyment of the home, and add value when the home is sold.

Kitchen and bathroom renovations are the most popular and complex of all renovations.  They may also be the best investments that can be made in a home.

Louis Evagelou, President of Toronto Decorating Corporation, explains that “When owning a condo, renovations require a different approach to avoid complications.”  He provides suggestions for making your in-suite condo renovation project a success.

Advance Planning

The first step in any condo renovation is to contact the property management office.  Determine what condo rules apply to your planned renovations.  Certain material standards may apply or some materials prohibited.  There may be restrictions on when work can take place.

Condo buildings can have different requirements relating to kitchens, bathrooms or other projects.  It may not be possible to change the size of a room or relocate plumbing to move a bath or kitchen.  These changes may have implications for other suites in the building.

The management office can advise if your plan could be problematic because of how the building is constructed.  They may be able to refer you to contractors with experience working in your building.

Working within restrictions there is flexibility to update flooring, cabinets, colours and furniture to create your perfect home.

Contractor Agreement

Enticing as it may be to pay cash in return for a discount, risks are considerable.  Having a written agreement documents when a project is expected to start and how long it should take, the agreed upon price, description of the final product and any special instructions.  All work should be in compliance with municipal, city and provincial codes.  The contractor should agree to remain in compliance with condo rules pertaining to work schedule, cleanliness and use of materials.

Should anything go wrong, insurance is essential and should be part of the agreement.  The insurance policy should include the condo corporation, its residents and employees as those covered on the policy.  In the event of a dispute, this document may prove indispensable.


Review final plans with the property manager before any work is undertaken.  Receive approval to proceed and ensure management concerns are addressed before commencing renovations.  Some condo corporations will require that certain standards be met with regard to sound control or waterproofing.

Work with Condo Management

Renovation work is an opportunity for condo management to inspect internal building elements.  Opening a wall is the ideal time to visually confirm the interior is dry, pipes are in good condition and valves are operational.  Should problems be found, it is in your interest to have condo management find and rectify these problems before completing your renovation.

Your renovation work is likely to disturb neighbours.  Provide them with advance notice of your renovation plans including timing and work that may be disruptive to them.  This allows your neighbours to plan accordingly during periods when elevators may be in use or to avoid excessive noise.