Strata Software for Self Managed Owners Corp

Renovating your apartment? 6 things you must do before you start.

Renovating is no easy job, and there are certainly many more considerations when renovating in an apartment complex. It’s easy to make costly mistakes if you don’t properly plan before you begin your renovation project.

Here’s what you should do before you start renovating, to ensure you’re as prepared as you can be and eliminate any major problems.


1. Check the bylaws or rules of the building

It’s important to check your building’s bylaws or rules as there may be constraints on when and how you can renovate your apartment. It is a good idea to check that none of the renovations requires Council permission as well. You don’t want to spend time planning everything, locking in your contractors and need to call it all off.

Tip: Submit preliminary drawings to the Owners Corporation or Body Corporate Committee for approval before spending money on the detailed plan.


2. Allow time for approval

Approvals from the committee and council may take some time to come through, it may also happen quite quickly, but you can’t count on that. Ask how long the suggested wait time is for an answer, so you can plan when you book contractors, purchase materials and set delivery times.

Tip: Before you begin, set up a timeline from start to finish for the whole renovation project. The last thing you want to feel is under the pump and not knowing what’s happening next. You can work with your contractors, to estimate how long things should take and deadlines for when you need things purchased and delivered.


3. Determine access to your apartment

It’s all well and good to plan to renovate your apartment, however, logistics on how everything will come in and out of the apartment whether you’re on the 1st floor or 31st floor need to be planned for.

Does the building have a service lift? Are trades staff allowed to access the public lift?

Tip: If unsure, talk with your Strata Manager or Building Manager to prepare a plan.


4. Let your neighbours know your plans

Don’t let your neighbours be caught off guard when they start to see multiple tradespeople in the building, noises throughout the day and potentially a little mess.

Let your neighbours know your plans to renovate your apartment, ensure you tell them you’ve got approval from the committee and you’ll be working within the permitted times.

Tip: Provide them with your contact details so if they do have an issue, they can contact your first without having to go to the Strata Manager or Building Manager or Committee with the problem, which could potentially escalate issues unnecessarily.


5. Hire a contractor that’s a good fit

Choosing a contractor can be a difficult task in itself, you want to ensure the person/business you choose understands your end goal, wants, needs and timeline. Always meet with a couple of contractors before deciding and see some examples of previous projects they have completed.

Tip: Ask for references from previous clients, this will give you a clear indication if they are a suitable option for your project. If they can’t provide references, you would have to questions why not? And they might not be the right fit for you.


6. Store all of the renovating documentation in one secure online place

Lastly, throughout your whole renovation, you will receive multiple pieces of information, including contracts, receipts, products used for your paint, tiles and light fittings to name a few.  Furthermore, there will be a lot of communication between yourself and your contractors, Strata Manager, Committee and neighbours.

This is all an important asset to you, which you may need in the future or could also be a key selling point should you decide to sell in the future.

Be sure to store all of this information and correspondence in one secure place, enabling you to refer to it when needed.

Tip: Have a look at StrataVault, it’s a secure data storage platforms, specially designed for apartment living. It will enable you to file all information and communication in an organised manner.

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