What to Consider When Remodeling a Condo

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of northerners purchasing homes in Florida has more than doubled, according to a recent article published in the New York Times.  As we progress into fall, new contracts for single-family homes and condominiums continue to rise in south, central, and western Florida. Many of our clients are northern transplants who find themselves purchasing outdated condos in Florida due to its prime beaches, stunning coastal views, and the allure of not having to pay personal income tax.

Renovating these condos is a top priority, whether the new owners want to resell them, rent them, or make them a second home. In short, there are plenty of ideally located, conveniently priced condominiums that are just begging for an upgrade. However, remodeling a condo can come with its own unique set of challenges and limitations. To help ensure you aren’t hit with any unpleasant surprises when remodeling your condo, here are three very important things to consider:

Hire a contractor who knows the rules. As we just mentioned, remodeling a condo can come with its own unique set of challenges and limitations. Why is this worth repeating? The answer is simple—your condo association board of directors (BOD). It’s important to understand that remodeling a condo involves knowing the relevant policies of your condo’s BOD. Not being familiar with these policies can cause massive changes, delays, and setbacks. It can also lead to hefty fines.

At Neelz Contracting, we have a stellar reputation when it comes to working with BODs and abiding by their specific rules. Prior to beginning any work, and during the entire renovation process, we consistently ensure your remodeling dreams can be achieved without contradicting any BOD rules and regulations.  For example, many condo associations have designated months out of the year that contractors are allowed to work, with the other months considered “season” where no construction can occur. We always abide by these BOD rules and make sure to complete all work during the months when construction is permitted. We are licensed and insured, something that is required by every BOD, and we only hire sub-contractors that are licensed, insured, and approved by your BOD.

Municipal permits are different than BOD permission. The word “municipal”, in this instance, refers to any city or county building requiring remodeling permits. Municipal permits are completely separate from permissions from your BOD, which only refer to legal agreements between the two of you. While it’s rare to need a municipal permit to replace carpet with hardwood flooring in your single-family home, it’s not uncommon to need one when remodeling a condo. Neelz Contracting is registered with all building departments throughout Martin and Palm Beach County, and we know exactly which permits will be needed for each renovation we complete.

Try to avoid issues you can’t fix. You’ve just found a perfectly sized condo in the right neighborhood, but what if you encounter remodeling pitfalls that stem from the condo building itself? Perhaps a wall you want to knock down is imperative to the structural integrity of the building and can’t be removed? Maybe your condo building, however beautiful it may look on the outside, harbors a leaky roof or a 30-year-old elevator that needs replaced? Before purchasing a condo to remodel, be sure to read all BOD documents and disclosures, as your home inspection won’t cover the building itself in detail.

When you’re ready to remodel your condo, give us a call. We are licensed and insured, and we have firsthand knowledge of the complexities involved with BODs and condo remodeling. If you’ve already consulted an interior designer for your condo remodeling project, we are happy to work side-by-side with them. Or, if you prefer, we can recommend professional interior designers whom we work with regularly.

Contact us today for a free estimate at 561.275.5671 or estimating@neelzco.com.

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