Condo Demolition: Things To Consider
Whether it’s changing out a vanity, replacing your floors or an entire gut job, demolition is the first step. There’s a lot to consider, especially when it comes to condo demolitions. I’ve put together a list of things to consider before getting started!
Talk to property management early on. Discuss your plans. Ask what their condo demolition requirements are. I’ve outlined standardized demolitions, but every condo corporation has different procedures.
It’s common to fill out a Renovation Request Form. Once returned, there’s no guarantee. Your request could be immediately approved or be forwarded to the board of directors. It could be denied. I’ve seen requests take up to 6 weeks for a response. Don’t assume your vision can be done on your schedule. Consult property management first.
Be nice! Property management can make your life hell. Treat managers with respect. Be patient. You want them on your side!
Don’t forget the elevator! You might have your contractor booked, their details in order. You think everything is ready until you get there & the elevator is booked.
This should be one of the first things you check before any demolition. You’ll need access to an elevator that’s been put in service. You’ll likely have to provide a damage deposit.
You may not think it’s a big deal if you forget, that you’ll use it quickly with someone else… but there are no guarantees. I’ve seen people turned away. I’ve seen delivery trucks or contractors have to leave because there’s no elevator access.
Always be prepared!
Property management will ask you for your contractor’s credentials. This is standard & anyone who questions it would make me concerned. Reliable, reputable contractors won’t have a problem providing credentials.
It’s standard to provide the following, per contractor:
- WSIB Clearance Certificate
- Liability Insurance Policy
- Business License
- Trade Qualifications
They may also ask for written confirmation that debris or materials will be disposed of at an off-site location.
Parking and Access
Condos don’t have the same parking freedom houses or townhouses have. That’s obvious… but what isn’t obvious is what to do about it.
If you have an elevator booked from 12-3pm but contractors are beginning demolition at 10am, they’ll need to park somewhere for those 2 hours.
1. Ask property management if there’s an elevator booking before yours. If not, ask if the contractors can park early. It’s not common that they’ll have access to the loading dock, but worth a shot!
2. Find out the height restrictions in underground parking. Check the height of your contractors’ vehicles & include any ladders or accessories.
3. Source local parking lots & street parking.
Most condo contractors are familiar with parking limitations, especially in downtown Toronto. But having it figured out for them is always a nice gesture. It shows you care as a homeowner or project manager!
Generally demolition work is allowed from 8am to 7pm Monday through Friday. If they allow work on Saturdays, times may vary. Sundays & holidays are off the table for most condos.
Ask the property manager for condo working hours.
Maximizing Your Time
Need a plumber to disconnect a sink? Also have an electrician coming in for electrical work? Maybe you’re having a heat pump serviced & cleaned. Schedule as much as you can within the same time frame to maximize efficiency! Just make sure scheduled contractors won’t be in each other’s way. If they are, you’ll not only run into problems, but potentially extra billable time.
Noise complaints are inevitable. Some buildings will post notices for residents warning them of upcoming noise from major demolition/renovations. But that isn’t the norm.
There’s no ideal time to hear a jackhammer… Whether it’s 11am on a Tuesday or Friday at 5pm, neighbours will probably complain. It’s just part of the process! If the condo is aware of the demolition but haven’t notified neighbours there’s not much you can do. If you’re concerned, it never hurts to let them know yourself.
Removal and Disposal
It’s unlikely the condo will allow your contractors to use their garbage bins. Generally they’ll have you sign an agreement to dispose of all debris & materials offsite. Nothing can remain on site overnight. It’s very important you communicate this with your contractors beforehand. Give an adequate idea of the scope of work to ensure they bring enough resources.
Good Luck & Happy Demo Day!
Everyone is responding to this pandemic in different ways. The one constant is that we all need to preserve our mental health. That takes a different form for everyone and maintaining it is different for everyone. But whatever you do, make sure you’re listening to what your needs are right now. Make sure you make time for you.
If you have suggestions for other tips that have helped you stay sane I’d love to hear about them in the comments!
Lara Stasiw • Real Estate Agent & Home Design Connoisseur
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