Real Estate

Do I need condo board approval for small reno jobs?

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 2nd, 2020 10:55 pm
[OP]
Member
Feb 7, 2018
248 posts
313 upvotes

Do I need condo board approval for small reno jobs?

Question for people on condo boards or have dealt with condo boards for renovations.

I’m looking at putting more potlights in my new condo, specifically extending potlights currently in the entryway into the living area via a bulkhead. I’ve seen other units in my building recently sold that have this set-up.

Are potlights something that needs condo board approval before installing? If so - what is the process (new to condos), do I send a letter to the board? Do I have to draw out my plans and have a contracter & quote on hand? Also what is the average timeframe between submission and approval, am I looking at days/weeks/months here?

Follow-up Q for those on condo boards - what is the threshold for work that needs condo board approval? I would assume anything structural, plumbing, or major electrical - but would simple jobs like replacing shower door, light fixtures, tiling in kitchen/bath, replacing vanity or toilet, new blinds etc... require approval.
12 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 13, 2014
1645 posts
568 upvotes
Calgary
When i added retrofit potlights (no new connection, used existing lights in the ceiling connection) i needed to take permission from condo board and show proof that the pot light was installed by a master electrician.
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
3514 posts
2866 upvotes
Adding pot lights will almost for certain need condo board approval as it affects the electricity load of the condo and hence the entire building. Anything that has the potential to affect the major systems of the building - like electrical, HVAC, plumbing will need condo board approval. So, swapping out lights yes, as it is a safety issue if not done properly. Swapping out things like toilets and vanities - yup, as you are potentially changing the plumbing. A shower door most likely wouldn't require approval. Tiling yes as there may be restrictions on floor types and parameters around waterproofing wet areas. Blings most likely as many condos have by-laws on what type and colour of window treatments can be used in order to present a pleasing look from the exterior.
Sr. Member
May 3, 2013
643 posts
199 upvotes
Toronto
I would recommend just talking to your property manager. They would have a specific answer for your specific condo building. And even if no permission is required, the property manager may be resourceful in reminding you on other related restrictions such as what time renos can take place, etc.
Jr. Member
Jan 30, 2019
103 posts
63 upvotes
OP: what is the threshold for work that needs condo board approval? I would assume anything structural, plumbing, or major electrical - but would simple jobs like replacing shower door, light fixtures, tiling in kitchen/bath, replacing vanity or toilet, new blinds etc... require approval.

Replacing shower door, light fixtures, and replacing a vanity would most likely not require approval.
Tiling....I don't think so, but ask just in case.
New blinds do not need approval but many condos have a rule where the part of the blinds that is facing out to the window must be white or beige. Indoor colour of your blinds is your choice.

One more thing to find out....what are the times during the day/weekend that work can be done in your condo, for noise reasons.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
5698 posts
1759 upvotes
Ottawa
Our condo requires notification before any and all renovations. Basically, if someone sees any sort of contractor going in the building, they'll wonder which unit they are going to and why.

I've always just given a brief description of what was being done although for some things (e.g. flooring), they want a list of materials.
Sr. Member
Feb 19, 2019
847 posts
923 upvotes
Stouffville ON
First read the condo by-laws, you will find there most of the details will and procedures will be explained, secondly contact condo management.
Anything electrical is very likely to require approval. I also wouldn't be surprised if they required ESA approved electrician (If in ON) to do the work, that's despite the fact in ON the home owner can do their own electrical.
Full Time and Full Service Realtor
Member
Oct 26, 2007
298 posts
175 upvotes
Your just creating more work and delays for yourself... potlights are small and quiet job.. I did a reno where there was banging on floors day and night and didn't get any approvals and no one complained
Sr. Member
Feb 19, 2019
847 posts
923 upvotes
Stouffville ON
negotiater wrote: Your just creating more work and delays for yourself... potlights are small and quiet job.. I did a reno where there was banging on floors day and night and didn't get any approvals and no one complained
Just because nobody complained doesn't mean that's the proper way to go. Also when selling a unit the buyer's rep should insert the clause stating that the seller warrants there was no unauthorized work done on the unit.
Full Time and Full Service Realtor
[OP]
Member
Feb 7, 2018
248 posts
313 upvotes
Thanks everyone for your help here. I looked through the bylaw document that my lawyer fwded to me but nothing regarding renos/modifications to units. I will contact the property manager as @realtorhome suggested and also figure out the hours I can work as @CondoChic mentioned.
Sr. Member
Jun 7, 2017
942 posts
677 upvotes
BC
Ask for permission to upgrade your home?!? Omg, this is funny.
[OP]
Member
Feb 7, 2018
248 posts
313 upvotes
Furcorn wrote: Ask for permission to upgrade your home?!? Omg, this is funny.
Agreed, but when sharing 4 walls + ceiling + floors with neighbours I actually think it’s logical to have some level of oversight. The only problem is that there doesn’t really seem to be any set standards across the province/country - so what could be allowed in one building is not allowed in another. Also it seems as if some fairly minor improvements, in my view, still have to go through the board too which seems to be another avenue for them to flex their muscle.

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