If you’re considering adding an extra room to your condo, don’t be too quick to begin construction.
Before any big remodel project, especially one that involves converting one bedroom into two, you must first receive the go-ahead.
Homeowner associations (HOAs) are responsible for maintaining and managing condo communities. These associations have tight control over establishing rules that unit owners must follow, especially when it comes to remodeling.
Before beginning any renovations, including adding an extra room to your condo, it is critical to examine your HOA’s condo renovation rules to see what is permissible. You can find these guidelines laid out in the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs).
Many CC&Rs require board approval before moving forward with any structural remodeling.
Homeowners associations generally try to grant unit owners as much freedom as possible, as long as they don’t upset or violate the rights of community members. The rules are in place to keep the community as safe and peaceful as possible.
If you disregard or violate your HOA rules and regulations, be prepared to face fines or legal action.
If condo owners want to add or remove a wall within their unit, they need permission from the HOA because this type of remodeling is considered a structural change.
So what exactly is considered a structural change in a condo?
In many HOA bylaws, when defining structural change, a standard clause reads, “Nothing shall be done in any unit or on the common areas which may impair the structural integrity of the building or which may structurally change the building.”
Essentially, these definitions mean that a structural change involves changing your condo unit’s original floor plan and knocking down walls.
Anytime you change your unit’s layout, you need to run your design plans by HOA to ensure the safety of your unit and the entire building. Many associations ask homeowners to file an architect’s plan for any alterations on a unit.
If you add an extra room to your condo, this will involve changing the original floorplan of your unit and knocking down walls, therefore this renovation constitutes a structural change.
While it is likely that your HOA will allow this type of structural change, they need to be in the loop of this process, especially if it will be a loud and possibly disruptive project.
If you are serious about adding an extra room to your condo, don’t delay speaking with your HOA. The quicker you can get approval, the sooner you can begin your dream home renovations!
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