Does Your Condo Need a Renovation Gut Job?

Renovations / Monday, December 17th, 2018

“Does it need a gut job or can I get away with a cosmetic refacing?”

That’s the question every condo buyer asks themselves when they put in their offer and start thinking (or dreaming) about what they want to change to make their new home fully their own.

On the one hand, sometimes it takes a gut job to fully realize a design vision or is necessary at a certain point of deterioration. On the other hand, gut jobs can be extremely expensive, can create additional problems and be far messier. Cosmetic renovations, in contrast, are faster, easier and cheaper, but the end job may not be completely satisfactory.

Newer Condos Mostly Need a Facelift

The good thing about condos, especially condos for sale in Toronto, including Toronto townhouses, is that they are so new they have rarely deteriorated to the point that they need a full gut job; even the oldest condo unit was probably only built in the late 1980s.

Still, these condo units definitely need to be updated and modernized and re-done to taste. Thankfully, that usually just requires a cosmetic refacing.

Take the condo kitchen for example. Unless you live in a freehold property, it’s far easier and simpler to stick with a cosmetic refacing for a condo kitchen.

That’s because condos are so small that you can’t really change the layout much — it’s likely already optimized.  It also may not be possible for you, depending on your condo bylaws, to do any plumbing or electrical work, so you may be stuck with the placement of the appliances.

It’s better to stick with cosmetic upgrades like getting a new dishwasher and fridge, replacing or painting cabinet doors, getting high-end stone countertops and re-tiling a backsplash.  

Smaller Spaces Easier on the Budget

The good thing about a tiny condo kitchen is you’re more likely to be able to afford high-end materials, like marble countertops and hand-painted mosaic backsplashes, since you don’t need very much of it.

You may also be able to do much of the labour yourself, saving even more money.

Avoiding a gut job for now and sticking to a cosmetic renovation with will only take a few weeks, but leave you with an entirely new look we’re sure you’ll be happy with. is a real estate company that combines online search tools and a full-service brokerage to empower Canadians to buy or sell their homes faster, easier and more successfully. Home buyers can browse homes across Canada on the website or the free iOS app.

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