There’s nothing more exciting than sprucing up your condo with some fun, new renovations that have been hanging out in your mind (and on your Pinterest board) for months. We get it. But, before you release the contractors onto all your exciting condo renovation ideas, take a pause to address some key variables that you won’t find on Pinterest. Work these considerations into your plan to make sure you’re making informed decisions about your property, your future and the details of the renovation, as well as getting all the required approvals and avoiding any messy issues down the line.
Keeping your options open is always a smart idea in our book. Don’t forget that your condo is so much more than just a place to lay your head—it’s an asset, with resale value that’s only going up in this high-stakes Hawaii housing market. Even if you’re not planning on selling, anything can happen in the future: Think an unexpected move for a dream job, parents taking a health turn that means moving in with you, or an amazing deal on a larger or more convenient home that you don’t want to pass up. So, take a pause before you go for an unconventional renovation that will lock you out of a higher resale value, such as too-edgy paint jobs, or those open kitchen shelves. (We love them, too, but your average buyer may still rather have lower maintenance cupboards.)
Sorry to burst your bubble, but it really isn’t always only up to you when it comes to the final say on your reno operations. Your condo board probably has a host of rules and regulations as to what’s allowed and what isn’t, from outside aesthetics (often, they’d prefer you don’t disturb the facade of the building, which can include colors of window treatments) to which walls can and cannot be demolished. Make sure you work with them early so you’re not stuck with costly adjustments down the line.
Wet Above Dry
If you’ve gone through a condo renovation before, you may have heard whispers of the wet-over-dry rule. What it’s referring to is moving a wet space (bathroom or kitchen) over a space that is dry in lower units (living room or bedroom), creating a new source for water leakage that could become a persistent problem in the future—and so is often avoided.
Sure, you’ve fallen in love with the airiness of the open floor plan, or can’t get enough of the too-cool industrial-style kitchens complete with concrete floors and stainless steel shelving. You saw a hot, edgy aesthetic at the trendiest new restaurant in town and you want to adapt it to your digs. The only problem? It’s a trend. And while the latest and greatest may look all-so-appealing right now, not every sexy trend has staying power, which will leave your look feeling old, dated and potentially juvenile down the line. Instead, opt for classic, toned-down choices that have proven staying power and will give you bang for your buck for years to come.