Forum: Reno nightmare as upstairs flats combined


You can feel the sense of dread in one of our posts to the Forum this week.  A builder has bought the top two flats in a small block and is planning to knock them together, albeit without removing load-bearing walls.

And even though the renovator appears to be doing it by the book, there are a lot of unanswered questions as the proposal for the necessary by-law is basically a yes or no proposition.

What questions should the owners ask before they rubber stamp this major reno, asks our Flatchatter?

Without knowing what the detail of the proposal presented to the general meeting will be, it’s hard to know where to start.

Firstly, I would want strict limits on the hours worked – not before 8.30 am or after 5pm and not at all at weekends would be reasonable.

Remember, the renovator is a builder by trade and they will be able to call on tradies all hours of the night and day, to do the work when it suits them.

I would want the noisiest work to be restricted to the minimum number of days during which those residents worst affected could be relocated temporarily at the builder’s expense.

I would want cast iron guarantees that the rest of the block would be indemnified against damage from vibrations of drills.

And I’d want assurances that the flooring in the renovated apartment wouldn’t drive the downstairs neighbours mad due to inadequate noise insulation. And that’s just for starters.

It’s quite possible that the committee in a small block has never considered these issues before.  And it may be that the builder has taken all this into account already. 

But surely all that should be made clear before a hammer is swung and a brick removed. You can read about that HERE.

Elsewhere on the Forum

  • Can our project manager claim commission on the full cost of work, including GST?  That’s HERE.
  • I’ve just discovered from Flat Chat that, as secretary, I’m supposed to maintain the strata roll.  What other duties am I expected to fulfill?  That’s HERE.
  • The strata manager and committee won’t let me see the details of a loan we’ve taken out.  Also, we haven’t had an AGM for two years. What can I do?  That’s HERE.
  • Here’s an old chestnut:  Who pays to repaint a ceiling after it’s been damaged repairing common property?  That’s HERE.
  • Is there any Canberra-based organisation that can not only offer advice but will campaign to change strata laws in the ACT?  There sure is – look HERE.

How to ask and answer questions

Anyone can read our posts any time but now there are several easy ways you can search, access, ask questions and reply to others’ queries. 

The best way these days may be to click on “Forum: Your Qs & A’s” on the top menu bar on a computer screen or on the drop-down menu (three lines) on the right of the screen on phones and tablets, under the Strata Choice ad.

Then click on the topic title that interests you, and off you go.  

Alternatively, you can look at the list of “Your latest questions and answers” under the ads on the right of the page on a computer screen. Or at the bottom, after the ads and stories, on a tablet or phone.

Or you can go “old school” and go to the Forum Home Page and work your way through the topics there.

Whichever route you take to get there, the best way to keep up to speed with what’s happening is to register (if you haven’t already done so), then login and subscribe for free to the topics that interest you most.

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