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Building & Renovating

6 Things You Can Change In a Condo Unit

You don’t have to be stuck with your turned-over unit—there are countless design possibilities for your condo home

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Original Article: Katherine Lopez & Hannah Dormido Photography: Sam Lim & Miguel Nacianceno (main photos)

So you’ve finally invested your life savings into your first condo home. You’ve completed the down payment, secured all the legal documents, and been handed the key for the turnover. And when you open the door—the unit is completely bare.

Don't be surprised, as almost all condo units are turned over almost bare (and your broker should always show you a sample of the condo unit in its bare, turned-over state as opposed to the dressed-up model unit). And do not fret, as you can change the finishes, paint, and even the room configurations of most condo units, depending the building administrations’ rules and regulations. In some buildings with relaxed rules, the only things you can’t change are the electrical wiring, plumbing, and windows.

But first, know your building’s rules and regulations about unit renovations. “All units have their own specifications and limitations when it was built. There are areas especially on plumbing and electrical that connect each unit with each other na dapat hindi magalaw pag nag-renovate ka,” says decorator Grace Moslares. “Sometimes, there are guidelines that are not ideal for a unit owner, so they should determine this early on,” adds Joy Adriano, an interior designer. Joy suggests that the homeowner consult with an interior designer especially if there are rules that the unit owner does not understand, so that both of them “can interpret the guidelines for the owner and design around the restrictions.”

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“When all of these have been done, the contractor will be given a Notice to Proceed which outlines the scope of work to be done in the unit, as well as the duration of the contract as requested by the contractor,” says Joy. Here are six things that you can change in a condo unit—provided you run these by the building administration first.

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