Debunking Common Exterior Building Restoration Myths for New Condo Board Members

building restoration myths for condo boards

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Congratulations on your new position as a condo board member! While you might be excited about your new role, it comes with a lot of responsibility, including assisting with condo renovation responsibilities like exterior building restoration projects. Here we help debunk common exterior building restoration myths to help you ace your first capital expense project like a pro.

Myth: Exterior Building Restoration Only Address Cosmetic Issues

The truth: Exterior renovations address building envelope structure.

Although the exterior restorations your condo undergoes should also improve the curb appeal of the building, they also address envelope structure issues. It’s not enough to “makeover” exterior walls. You want exterior restorations to look good and improve the performance of the building envelope. When done right, exterior restorations improve curb appeal and the structural elements below the attractive, new façade.

Myth: All Exterior Building Restoration Involves the Same Work

The truth: Every restoration is different.

Building restorations always start with a thorough assessment to address the specific challenges of the building. Although the steps of a restoration project are the same, including an assessment, initial design, detailed design, tendering, and construction, every building is different, with its own needs, design, challenges, and of course, budget. The assessment is a critical step in the process, as it allows the contractor to develop a plan based on repairs, replacements, materials, and design requirements. This step also provides an estimate for costs based on the exact work required.

Myth: Exterior Building Restoration Mostly Focus on Windows

The truth: Exterior restorations address exterior walls, foundations, roofs, windows, and doors.

Building restorations address all elements of the building exterior and property, not just elements of the building itself. So, while restorations often include envelope coatings and windows, they also address issues with concrete work for parking lots and common area balconies/patios, masonry detailing in areas such as common gardens, railings on things such as exterior stairs, the roof, foundations, and more. Restorations address all potential threats to the structure as well as possible impacts on underlying systems, such as the HVAC system.

Myth: Exterior Restorations Focus on Repairs

The truth: Exterior restorations are integrated projects that often include complete replacements of exterior components.

Although there are many repairs during the exterior restoration process, such as fixing damaged, cracked, and loose caulking and sealants, major work is required to address issues such as deteriorating concrete and metal elements, damaged masonry, concrete replacement for balconies, faulty balcony doors, and more. Major cosmetic and window replacements are also often recommended due to the deterioration of masonry and external coatings, poor energy efficiency, water/air leaks, etc.

Myth: You Can’t Restore Historic Buildings

The truth: Historic building restoration is not only allowed but is designed to preserve and repair the building’s original characteristics.

If you live in one of Toronto’s historic loft refurbishments, there are several types of building restoration methods to maintain the characteristics of the building. Historic restorations address the new use as a residential building to make appropriate restorative repairs fit for comfortable living while restoring the original architectural details. So, while the restoration must follow heritage best practices to protect the building, it also improves function, making it safer and more energy efficient.

With a better understanding of the exterior restoration process, you can help ensure your restoration projects go smoothly.

The condo experts at CPO Management Inc, a full-service property management company in Toronto and the GTA, have had tremendous success helping condo corporations implement exterior restorations and improvements resulting in cost savings via improved building function and performance. Reach out to us today to learn more about our condo services.

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