Doing Reno's in an apartment condo

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Posted by: from Edmonton
4/10/2010 at 4:41:48 PM

Hello all!

Looking for some advice. We have purchased a loft in downtown Edmonton. It is a converted 1950's warehouse. A completely open space that has an existing kitchen and bath located in the middle of the space. The living space and the kitchen are located in the front half of the space, with the bathroom right behind the kitchen with the only window on the outer wall of the living space. The open concept bedroom is located in the back of the loft and is quite dark. This is also where the front door is located to the loft. Think big open rectangle

The plans are to rip out the kitchen and renovate, take out bath tub and insert steam/shower combo, extend the size of the bathroom and put more electrical in the entire apartment. Plan to build a demi wall there to separate the bedroom from the front door with closets and insert some kind of window closer to the roof in the walls of the bathroom and kitchen to get light in the back of the loft from the one window at the front of the loft. 14 foot ceilings in 1350 square feet, concrete floors - really neat space. Whew.

Where to start...

We have never renovated before, we have the supplier for the kitchen cabinets lined up that will do plumbing and electrical for the kitchen.

Would you folks advise that we get an architect to review the space or would it be enough to get contractor that will bring our ideas to life?

Is doing reno's in an apartment condo present different challenges than a house renovation and should that define the contractor I get?

Any advice will appreciated!!


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Date/Time4/11/2010 at 4:38:18 PM


To start, congratulations on your new purchase!

Renovating a condo/loft convert is absolutely different than residential renovations. To start, you'll need approval and permissions from the condo board on all aspects of the project. You'll also need to pay special attention to fire codes and regulations in a multi-unit environment. It's also highly unlikely that you'll be approved from making any structural changes to the space. ie moving or putting in a new window, as this can effect the entire building, and not just your space.

It is always advisable to have proper plans drawn up by an architect, or designer. Depending on the schemes it may be advisable to have an engineer approve them for loading specs.

All of this will save you time and frustration when it comes to obtaining permits from both the city, and the condo board.

I hope this helps, best of luck, and if you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email.


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Gerry in Edmonton
Date/Time4/12/2010 at 3:22:09 PM


Appreciate the reply!! To clarify the "windows" will be in the interior space, just to bring more light into the back of the loft - not on any exterior structural walls. In the meantime, we have elected to not incorporate anyway.

In my efforts to be as descriptive as possible - I succeeded in just being more confusing - sorry about that!!

Your reply has helped me convince my husband that the services of and architect or designer is necessary to at least do the drawings to go to the condo board and work with the contractor - my thanks again.

To anyone - when considering a contractor - should we be looking for ones with experience with multi-unit environments or can any great contractor understand the challenges of working in a space where there are neighbors, condo boards etc considerations?

Note that we are not planning on starting the work until November (this is when construction can start) - just trying to get as educated as possible before we tender any services, get permits etc in June or July. Once that time arrives - I will definitely utilize this site to get a great contractor.

Thanks - Gerry

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Rybka Construction in Hamilton
Date/Time2/2/2011 at 10:13:44 PM


was reading about your future condominium remodeling project. I think that very helpfull will be to submit your existing floor plan on your web site and let us look at and talk about changes and how to redisign everythink. You have a lot of time and more general contractors will respond to your remodeling project

Greg/ rybkaconstruction

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