Remodel Your Boston Condo and Have Fun Doing It!


Tips for a Successful Condo Remodel

Embarking on a remodel gives you a blank slate.

It’s your chance to transform your Boston condo, and there are countless options for upgrading your space.

But like any project, there’s a lot that goes into a condo remodel. Before you get too far into planning your upgraded space, there are a few things to consider–and doing so will help ensure the condo remodel process is more fun than stressful.

4 Steps to Prepare for Your Boston Condo Remodel

  1. Hire a Designer and Contractor

An important first step in your condo remodel is finding an experienced designer and contractor in the Boston area. Consider hiring a design-build contractor who would handle your entire condo remodel from the initial concept through completion, and work with you to make your vision for your remodel a reality.

  1. Secure Approvals and Permits

Because condos are controlled by homeowner’s associations or boards, you may need permits for certain renovations, especially if they are significant or impact common property like electricity or plumbing. Your contractor should help obtain the necessary approvals and permits not just from your HOA, but from the City of Boston as well. Many aspects of remodeling projects, such as replacing your windows, require a permit from the city. Taking care of this more tedious step early on will keep things running smoothly and remove any complicated hurdles during the remodel.

  1. Define the Purpose of Your Remodel

There are different choices you should make based on whether you’re remodeling your Boston condo to put it on the market, or to create a space that functions better for you.

  • You’re putting it on the market. In this case, you’re better served investing on changes that will add value. These changes can range in scale – a full kitchen upgrade might be essential to add resale value to your home or maybe upgrading your appliances is sufficient.
  • You’re remodeling for yourself. In this case, it’s worth it to invest in changes that meet your needs. Perhaps you are looking for unique built-in storage layouts and a non-traditional kitchen. Maybe you’re interested in painting your walls with bold colors that suit your particular taste.

Making choices that make sense for your end goal will help the entire project reach a successful outcome.

  1. Set Your Budget

Once you begin exploring the possibilities for your condo remodel, it’s easy to want to say “yes” to everything and fill your space with all the bells and whistles. If you consider what you really need, you’ll be more confident in your choices and won’t face any “buyer’s regret.” When helping our clients create a budget we always recommend setting the highest number that you’re comfortable with. Then, take 20% off and leave that out as a contingency plan. Depending on your end goal, there are two budgets you should set:

  • The remodeling budget. Setting a budget for your remodel early on will help keep things in perspective and allow you to seek out less costly options that can achieve the same effect, such as lower-grade granite for your countertops or give you confidence in picking the highest quality materials for long-lasting luxury.
  • The furniture & decorating budget. Once your remodel is complete, you’ll want to enhance it with more of your own personal style and furnishings. Setting this budget from the start will ensure you’ll have fun playing interior decorator in your new space. For this budget, follow the same strategy of deciding on a maximum then taking 20% off that number.

With these initial steps complete, you’re ready to begin remodeling your Boston condo. But when the project starts, there are other considerations to be aware of that will help ensure a successful, beautiful result.

3 Considerations During Your Condo Remodel in Boston

  1. Know When to Spend and When to Save

Even though you’ve set your budgets, the real work comes when you begin making purchase decisions. When should you spend a little and when should you go for the less expensive choice?

  • Invest in: cabinetry. Putting good money behind quality cabinetry instantly upgrades the luxury and longevity of one of the most used rooms in your home. You can try to simulate new cabinetry by undertaking a DIY project and applying a new layer of paint, but this almost always needs to be redone in a year or less.
  • Save on: plumbing fixtures. These have a relatively good ratio of price to quality, allowing you to improve your washroom without breaking the bank.
  • Invest in: flooring. Your floors take a lot of beating. Pets, boots, spills…the list of abuses goes on! Choose flooring that’s easy to maintain & makes a unique statement, like a stone kitchen floor (it is one of the largest parts of your home, after all).
  • Save on: flooring alternatives. If you’re really looking to cut corners, make sure you don’t use laminate. At Sleeping Dog Properties, Inc. we recommend quality vinyl as a better cost-friendly option since laminate is very prone to scratches and damage. You can also opt for ceramic tile instead of stone to achieve a similar (albeit less high end) effect.
  • Invest in: Appliances. Splurging on appliances is a good idea whether you’re putting your condo on the market or planning to stay awhile. Quality appliances will last and help increase the value of your home.
  • Save on: door hardware. It’s easy to achieve a luxurious feel without overspending on doorknobs and hinges.
  1. Choose Design Accents That Fit the Room

Interior design is a fun part of the remodel process, but also carries several important considerations. Your selections for accent designs should be based on the size, shape, and function of the room. For example, higher ceilings and darker finishes require more lighting; smaller rooms can be made to look larger with built-in shelving or the addition of storage. Consider hiring an interior designer if you feel a little lost making selections on your own.

  1. Think Long-Term for Non-Fixed Items

Even if you’re not planning to move any time soon, consider as part of your condo remodel items you can take with you. Invest in quality furnishings or decorative accent pieces that would come with you to your new home. You’ll appreciate having higher-quality items no matter where you’re using them.

Remodeling your Boston condo is a large undertaking, but it can be easier and more enjoyable if you consider the necessary steps to take before and during the project.


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