An apartment building is a separate state with its laws and regulations. Of course, it is subject to generally accepted government requirements, but there may be additional obligations for each resident within this ecosystem. For this reason, sometimes renovating an apartment in an apartment building becomes a little more difficult than in a private house or a small two-story building with few apartments on the floor.
Preparing to renovate an apartment in an apartment building
In an apartment building, you are surrounded by a large number of people who are usually not very happy about the renovation in the apartment next door. In order to have as few disputes and sidelong glances as possible, we advise you not to ruin your relationship with the residents of the apartments located nearby and still follow the rules prescribed in the articles of association of your building. In our TOP, we have collected both the items prescribed in the legislation and the so-called unspoken rules of a good neighbourhood:
- Schedule, schedule and schedule again. Usually, noisy work can be done only at certain times and days. For example, weekends and holidays are often taboo for renovations, and you can generally work within 8:00-18:00 hours. However, there are exceptions to this in different cities and residential areas. Somewhere it is still possible to carry out work on Saturday, but somewhere you will have to take a break for a daytime quiet time.
We also recommend taking breaks from noisy work for at least a couple of hours a day. Your neighbours also want to take a break from the increased volume, and perhaps they have small children or elderly parents who find it very difficult to be in the constant noise from the perforator.
- Garbage cannot disappear on its own. Whole mountains of construction waste always accumulate. Sometimes it seems that it was possible to take out the whole apartment in these bags brick by brick, but there’s still no end. Never leave your garbage (now construction, and later household waste) on the landing. Firstly, it clutters up the passage, which is prohibited by law, because during an emergency evacuation, your bags with excess plaster can cost someone their life. And, secondly, your neighbours are unlikely to be very pleased to walk and trip over your bags near the door. Collect them inside the apartment near the exit and take them out at once to a place specially designated for construction waste. If you didn’t manage to catch this “boat” and the management company no longer provides the service for the removal of construction waste, you will have to order a car from a specialized company yourself. An additional rule is also a ban on the removal of this type of garbage without protective packaging in passenger elevators.
- It is forbidden to transfer room radiators to the loggia. Often this method is used for additional heating, however, there are more humane ways not to freeze in winter on the balcony without disturbing the heating system of an apartment building. In this case, floor heating or electric radiators/heaters are perfect.
- Floor heating also has its peculiarity when installed in apartment buildings. The only possible option is the electric type of heating. It is forbidden to use warm water floor heating, as it will work at the expense of the general heating system, which means that you will not be able to calculate the volume consumed and pay for this type of utilities.
- A real fireplace is a luxury reserved only for a private house. Only artificial and eco-fireplaces can be installed in the apartment. We advise you to leave a live fire for the country house or the next picnic in nature.
- Use only available space. Adding yourself a few extra square meters from the common vestibule is a very bad idea. It will ruin your relationship with both neighbours and law enforcement agencies.
It is also prohibited for residents of the first floor to use the basement area and for residents of the last floor to use the attic for these purposes.
- Only a residential area can be located above the residential area. You can’t move the kitchen over your downstairs neighbours’ bedroom. This option can only be considered if your apartment is located above a non-residential area (relevant for the first and second floors).
Renovation of an apartment in an apartment building in accordance with the law – what is allowed to do without prior notice?
As the owner of an apartment in an apartment building, you have the right to carry out the renovation and make any changes to it, provided that they do not violate the rights of the owners of other apartments and non-residential premises in this building. And that these innovations will not violate the rules for the operation of the building and sanitary requirements. Basically, changes that do not require approval will concern only visual minor renovations (re-papering, changing the socket), in most other cases, you still have to visit the appropriate authorities and possibly even change the design of the premises.
Please note that any type of renovation and/or restoration in an apartment, which is located in a building, which is a monument of national or local importance, is possible only with the obligatory receipt of permission from state bodies. This means that carrying out any work without official papers concerns only regular apartment buildings that are not related to historical buildings.
Notification to the building owner and chief or building permit?
As we wrote above, it is mandatory to obtain a permit for construction work from state bodies if your apartment is located in an architectural monument. However, if you are renovating an apartment in an apartment building that has nothing remarkable, then only the following items apply to you:
- Replacement of old window units (windows, double-glazed windows). The architect in your area should be sure to give you a plan that will indicate what type of windows are allowed in your home.
- Replacement of batteries and heating radiators.
- Changing the electrical wiring.
- Sound, steam, hydro and thermal insulation (applies to both internal and external works).
- Any changes regarding the walls: relocation, demolition.
- Changing the number/size of rooms and utility rooms.
- Creating a new or enlargement of an old opening in the wall.
- Glazing of balconies and loggias. The same rule applies here as with the changes that concern windows.
- Any work that entails changing the facade of the building. This item is especially important if you are renovating an apartment in an apartment building since it is your neighbours who may be unhappy with your ideas for renovating the appearance of the common property.
Purchase of materials
When you turn to our construction company Euromed-Bud, we take care of all the tasks of purchasing and delivering materials. We cooperate only with suppliers proven over the years and hundreds of renovations. All you have to do is approve the estimate for the materials, and we will do the rest for you: we will go to the warehouse, load it, bring it to the site and unload it without any additional control on your part.
Renovation works sequence
The correct sequence of works greatly simplifies renovating an apartment in an apartment building. It will not differ from work in a private house or a building with a small number of apartments. The plan will look as follows:
- If this apartment is not in a new building and not without interior finishing, then the first step will be the dismantling of wall and floor coverings.
- Also for the secondary option, the replacement of old air conditioners, window units and the front door is relevant.
- Work on levelling ceilings and walls. This stage is usually included in the renovation plan for any type of housing, as developers rarely make surfaces perfect.
- Arrangement of water and heating pipes. If necessary, batteries and heated towel rails are replaced. In parallel, electrical work can be carried out.
- Installation of drywall structures.
- Levelling the floor and installing floor heating.
- Plasterwork for walls and ceilings, their preparation for applying the finish coat. In parallel, tiling can take place: finishing the toilet and bathroom, as well as grouting and priming the ceiling and walls.
- Final work begins with the application of any top coatings: paint, wallpaper, etc. When the walls are ready, you can deal with the ceiling, floor and doors.
- Installation of lamps, sockets, air conditioners, switches, skirting boards, etc. This also includes the installation of built-in furniture and kitchen units.
- General cleaning.
This plan will only be approximate for any type of housing; you can write down the works in more detail only after a personal consultation. Some of these items will be superfluous for your apartment, and some may be missing.
Storage of furniture during the renovation – choose an independent warehouse
If the work is carried out in secondary housing, there are two options to secure the existing furniture and appliances for the time of renovation. The first is the use of a protective film. This is the strategy that apartment residents use most often, but this option is far from perfect. Construction dust can still get into the most unpredictable places and there is still a chance to ruin expensive furniture.
The second, more successful option is to take your property out for a period of ongoing renovation. It is good if you have vacant premises or your friends/relatives are ready to provide you with this kind of assistance. But what if there were no such good-natured people? Then you need to choose a suitable warehouse. We will certainly advise you on reliable places where your belongings will remain intact, however, if you want to search by yourself, then pay attention to:
– the temperature in the warehouse (it should be around +20°C)
– optimum level of humidity
– security (the availability of video surveillance and the ability to monitor your things online).
Where can you find a construction team?
Before doing any kind of renovation in the apartment, we advise you to find the right construction team. Often, in pursuit of a desire to save money, the search for individual craftsmen who will deal with various renovation tasks begins. However, with such savings, you always run the risk of ending up with additional costs for reworking and correcting errors. And most importantly, no guarantees are given for such work. Our company Euromed-Bud gives official guarantees for any type of work, which means you will not worry about the quality of their performance.
The key to a peaceful life in a new or renovated home is a good relationship with your neighbours. Do not forget that when renovating an apartment in an apartment building, you risk ruining these relationships, which means you need to think through and coordinate any types of work in advance if they can bring discomfort to other people. Someday it will be your turn to listen to the neighbour’s puncher and enjoy other noisy works, so it’s better to protect yourself right away and peacefully resolve any conflicts that arise.