Patricia's Construction and Contracting Blog: Tips for Novices to Experts

Renovating an Apartment: What Restrictions Do You Need to Consider?

by غزل موسوی

Home renovations are not known for being quiet, although this is perhaps less of an issue in the suburbs. When your neighbour is renovating their property, there is added distance between your home and theirs which helps to dilute any noise pollution. This is not possible if you happen to be renovating your flat or apartment. Your neighbours are just through the wall, meaning that they'll be all too aware of the renovation work. So when you are renovating your flat or apartment, what are some special considerations that need to be taken into account?

Your Local Council

Your first port of call should be your local council. They will be able to tell you if planning permission is required for your renovations. They will also be able to tell you about the applicable noise restrictions for your area, which will give you an idea of the times in which work can be performed. Please be aware that this information is not necessarily exhaustive, as there might be even more local restrictions.

Your Building Management

You need to contact your building management. This might be an actual building manager, a strata management company, or a building tenant's association. You need to find out about any additional restrictions that they place on renovation work. As an example, they might have noise restrictions that differ from the hours of work that are permitted by your local council. These restrictions might even mean that the required work will take longer, increasing the cost of the renovation. This expanded timeframe means that you might need to amend any planning permission that needs to be granted before the work can commence. They can also tell you about any potential issues with the nature of your renovation, although this may not be an issue because your renovation is unlikely to affect any common areas. If there are any issues, these can, of course, be negotiated and your planning permission amended as necessary.

Your Neighbours

While your local council will be able to give you any necessary information in writing, this is not necessarily the case with your building management. You need to request that any restrictions are presented to you in writing, if no written legislation currently exists. This simply protects you in the event that a neighbour makes a noise complaint. You should also enquire about whether there's a procedure for informing neighbours about your renovations (the management company might send them a notification, for example). If no such procedure exists, you might wish to directly inform your immediate neighbours of your intentions, being sure to tell them that the work will only be carried out during permitted hours. You would probably appreciate being told if they were the ones renovating their apartment, so afford them the same courtesy.

The only key difference between renovating your apartment as opposed to renovating a detached home is the possibility of additional restrictions. By finding out about these additional restrictions, you can ensure that your project runs as smoothly as possible. Work with local building contractors to come up with a plan that fits all the restrictions placed on your project.