The Do’s & Don’ts Of Renovating Strata Units
Unlike a regular home, renovating an apartment or strata units can be difficult. There will be a lot of restrictions as imposed by the building by-laws. If you are planning to do a remodel, be sure to understand the difference between a single property, a common property, and the other important technicalities.
In most cases, people love to upgrade their floor coverings, bathroom, and kitchens. However, you need to know if you are allowed to make alterations on these areas of your apartment under the regulations imposed by the Owners Corporation through the Executive Committee. If you fail to take these into consideration and you decide to continue with the remodel without approval, you might end up having to change it back to its original condition. This could be depressing, annoying, and not to mention a complete waste of money.
Because we understand how frustrating this can be, we have listed some guidelines that you can follow to help avoid such as circumstance.
Know What You Own
The first thing that you have to do is to know what you own. You should understand what the boundaries are, which include the boundary walls, floors, and ceiling. They also include the windows, doors to a balcony, and outside of the front door. Because these boundaries are part of the building’s structural integrity, you have to ask for permission if you wish to alter any of these parts.
As mentioned earlier, the front doors, balcony doors, and other entry and exit ways from the unit to the external area are considered as a boundary door. It means that they are common properties that fall under the responsibility of the owner’s corporation. Meanwhile, you own the internal doors and you can make changes to them without seeking the approval of the owner’s corporation.
Tiles, in general, are considered common property because they are attached to the slab, which will be taken care of by the owner’s corporation. Meanwhile, the carpet is an individual property and you can make changes to it without any problem. Be sure to prepare accordingly if in case you want to switch from a carpet to another type of floor covering. You need to ask for permission if you want to lay out timber flooring in your apartment unit. Be sure to check your by-laws and give proper notice to your neighbors. You do not want to be bombarded with a lot of complaints, which could force you to use your old carpet.
There are also some restrictions on the changes that you can make to your walls. In most cases, you will be allowed to repaint them and drill holes in them for your cupboard and picture hooks. If the project will affect the structural integrity of the wall and impact the noise insulation, you have to get the approval of the EC or your building manager.
Although windows are considered as individual property, your owner’s corporation may have set in place certain restrictions on the color and styles that you can use. There are instances wherein the EC want all units to maintain a consistent appearance especially externally. Be sure to prepare some samples that you can present to the building manager or the EC.
The light fittings are considered individual property but there is no harm in checking. There are certain things that need to be considered. These may include determining whether the fitting has a transformer and knowing whether the common property considered is the bottom of the slab or the suspended ceiling’s bottom.
All of these means that you need to read through your strata by-laws before you put on your renovation hard hat. While checking what your limitations are, you might want to check out the works of successful developers like Joe Nahas. He is the man behind one of the today’s iconic development, the Liverpool project sees The Paper Mill come to life. You will surely find great inspirations that you may be able to use for your planned apartment renovation.