Apartment living has many benefits and with many people choosing to downsize from their large family home, we are seeing a growing demand for renovating those that are outdated and in need of a refresh. While many aspects of an apartment renovation may be similar to that of a home renovation, there are a lot of of unique factors that need to be taken into consideration –
As a part of our new Ask Darren series, we sat down with him to discuss some of the unique aspects and considerations to keep in mind when renovating apartments to ensure a successful project.
1.Planning is paramount
It goes without saying that careful planning and consideration is vital when it comes to renovating apartments. The planning you do now, WILL definitely save you a lot of heart ache (and money) down the track. We always recommend getting a builder who is an expert in apartments and experienced in project managing them. Some steps involved in the planning process are;
- Reach out to the building manager or appropriate representative
- Understand the body corporate regulations
- Engage a hydraulic and/or structural engineer if required
- Contact the heritage council for a heritage listed building if applicable
2. Abide by Strata By-Laws and complex renovation guidelines
Strata by-laws cover a range of issues and every apartment or complex will have specific renovation guidelines that you need to abide by. As a part of your planning process you should contact the appropriate representatives and discuss the intended renovations and get yourself a copy and ensure you understand all your obligations. The most common guidelines to understand being….
- Have a solid understanding of working hours on weekdays and potentially weekends
- Note when noisy machinery work can be conducted on site
- Ensure appropriate padding and protection in the lifts
- Ensure all other common areas are kept clean – ensuring the health and wellbeing of not just your clients but all the tenants in the building
- Submit plans for approval if necessary
3. Assess your access
Gaining access to apartments can often be the most challenging part of a renovation. During the design process you will need to consider people, products and services coming in and out of the building. Such as…
- Certain products (particularly large) getting into the apartment.
- Is there a service lift? What is the size?
- Also consider the size of door openings and stair wells.
- Close proximity parking for trades and their required tools
- Will street parking for cranes be required? (In which case you will need to apply for council)
- Consider where the skip bins will be placed. If the standard bins are too big finding an alternative e.g. trailer
4. Acceptable acoustics
Every apartment renovation guidelines we have dealt with, there are strict acoustic guidelines which play a significant role in the design of apartment buildings. Some things to consider here are-
- Understanding the decibel rating for noise prior to the removal of any flooring etc.
- Check what products are a like for like swap out (meaning you can’t change your carpet to timber flooring)
- Using a regupol underlay and acoustic glues under flooring to assist in maintaining the acoustic rating within that apartment
- Engaging an acoustic engineer to perform a ‘tap test’ to ensure everything remains as per acoustic guidelines.
To see Darren’s full Q&A video jump on over to our instagram!