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Living in a metropolitan area usually means you are living in a condominium building, an apartment, or a multi-family house. Most people rent, others may buy, and some actually do both! What the majority of people don’t realize is that just because you live in a condominium or an apartment complex, doesn’t mean you can’t make enhancements to your unit! Although it’s not as straightforward as making updates in your own house, transforming your condo or apartment into a space you love is not impossible.

Here are a few extra precautions to keep in mind when doing a home improvement project in an apartment building or condo:

Keeping Your Neighbors Happy

Every building is set up differently, but keep in mind that when you are performing work in a building with common areas, all of the other tenants are essentially living through the same construction. There will be some level of disruption in the building, so it’s important to be respectful, and do what you can to keep the project from dragging on. Plan ahead and be diligent about sticking to the rules so you can complete the work in the allotted time frame, keeping your neighbors at ease.

Planning Ahead On-Site

If you plan to hire any outside help, it’s crucial to meet on the job site before starting construction, to review the details of the project plan. At TCC, we schedule a job preview, where the Production Manager, Salesperson, and Lead Carpenter will meet with the client to look at the space, and review any additional building regulations that the production team deems important. This time is also used to answer any outstanding questions the client, or building manager, may have for our team.

Deliveries & Trash Disposal

While working in a building like this, it’s important to know where exactly the unit is located and come up with a plan of action when delivering materials, and disposing of any trash.  If the elevator is needed to access your unit, the elevator will have to be completely protected with padded blankets to avoid any damage.  There are certain guidelines you must first follow regarding deliveries & disposal of materials, and building managers are serious about enforcing them.

Protecting Common Spaces

Much like the elevators, if there will be heavy traffic through any common areas or hallways, those areas will also need to be protected. We’ve learned that it is imperative to speak with the building manager before any production begins, to fully understand the building’s do’s and don’ts. There are a multitude of building rules and regulations including limited work hours, parking restrictions, noise volume, protection of common areas, that need to be discussed ahead of time.


Doing any home-improvement project in a living complex requires a city permit, but in condos, apartments, or townhomes, there may be additional permits that need to be pulled. It’s important to contact the city to obtain a permit for any home project, which could be as small as the removal of a few wooden boards! Do not skip this step – there are many downsides to not pulling a permit. When you work with us, we’ll take care of the permitting for you.

Additional Insurance Coverage

Depending on the building’s guidelines, they may also require extra insurance for the people that will be completing the work. Be sure not to skimp out when it comes to having correct insurance coverage for a project in a commercial building, you don’t want to overlook this piece either. That’s one major upside of working with a professional, licensed, and insured contractor…you won’t have to worry about it!

As you can see, there are a few additional variables to keep in mind when it comes to making updates to your apartment or condo. While there aren’t any crazy hoops you’ll need to jump through to do construction in your unit, there are certainly a few extra steps you want to be sure you don’t miss. At Tom Curren Companies, we’ve worked in a variety of living complexes, so we know how to professionally handle the areas of the project that will require extra attention. If you’re looking to make updates in your unit, give us a call 617-969-4900!


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