What can't I do when renovating my apartment?


You can’t take out structural walls or ducts as this affects others in the building and is also common property.

When renovating your apartment, you can’t add extra rooms. You also can’t affect the structure of the building as they are there for safety areas and support the whole building. You also can’t remove ducts as

Aesthetically from the outside you can’t change the look of the building by painting the deck, changing the decking and so on.

You may be able to make changes if there is a lot of room but resource consent and owners committee approval is required prior to the change being made.

If changes are being made – the building manager must know and hours of work must be completed from Monday to Friday so as not to disturb others.


Good day, Andrew May here from the Apartment Specialists. You want to renovate your apartment. What can't you do?

Now, very quickly, you cannot add extra rooms. For example, you cannot add rooms and what I mean by that is what people are going to sleep in. Adding more people to the apartment. You cannot take a one bedroom and turn it into a two bedroom.

Number two, you cannot affect the structure of the building. For example, affect others' safety and that an obvious one. Taking out concrete walls and pillars. These structural elements, especially the pillars are actually common areas. You don't own them and It might be in the middle of your apartment, but it doesn't belong to you. You can't touch that because it's actually supporting the whole building.

Number three, you cannot take out ducts. These are columns which have wiring going through or airflow. Why? Because it affects others and you don't actually own it, even though, it's in the space of your apartment.

Number four, you cannot aesthetically affect the appearance of the building. You cannot paint your deck pink if your building is grey. Basically,  you can't affect others negatively in any way. If you think you are or could be, that means you need the owner's committee approval. Which means you take the plans of what you want to do to the owner's committee and ask for their approval first.

You could be able to take out that structural wall, but you will need a structural engineer to prove that you want to renovate is not structural. You may be able to turn your one bedroom into a two bedroom because it's very large, but you will need the owner's committee approval. It doesn't mean you can't do it. It just means you need approval and there's a possibility you can't.

If you are going to buy an apartment, or where you have intentions to do modifications that are along these lines, make sure you get the owners committee's approval before going unconditional.

Now, the last one, is when you are doing any renovations. Always make sure you alert the building manager so they know what's happening in their own building.

Also, make sure you are doing any work between work hours. That is generally 8:00 in the morning to 5:00-5:30 at night and Monday to Friday. Why? Because, if you are going outside those hours, you will be affecting others and generally that is why Saturdays and Sundays are days, you probably would want to avoid. Obviously, you can ask your neighbours in your complex if that is okay if you need to change that.

I hope that helps. Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists.


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What can't I do when renovating my apartment?