All buildings wear down over time, but there are some regular repairs and maintenance that are important to be aware of. This is especially true for strata owners as budgeting for said repairs and maintenance is important for the longevity of the building and reducing future costs. Often, this includes answering questions like: how often should the roof be replaced? What kind of maintenance and repairs would be needed? And so on.
Below, we break down the most common repairs condo buildings need and other important details.
How Maintenace Costs Are Handled in a New Condo Building
New condo buildings often have minimal costs compared to others. Of course, much of the reason for this is because they’re new, however, that’s not the whole story.
Every new building comes with a warranty: 2 years for fixtures, 5 years for exterior work, and 10 years for structural work. If one of these items breaks during the warranty period, the building’s strata can talk to the developer to get these fixed under the according warranty. That being said, these warranties don’t cover common repairs. They simply cover poor-quality installations so that systems or items can be installed correctly if anything fails or breaks.
If something does need to be repaired, it’s up to the strata to pay for it and get it fixed. Often new buildings don’t have a large contingency fund in place when a building has just been completed so condo owners typically have to pay an additional levy for repairs if they are needed.
How Often Should a Condo Roof Be Replaced?
Most condo roofs should be replaced every 20-25 years. Other exterior aspects like balconies, balcony membranes, and windows also will require replacing around that time although they vary quite a bit:
- Replacing balconies: The overall construction of balconies will need to be replaced after 25-30 years. This includes the balcony platform itself, plus the replacement of old balcony railings with new ones.
- Replacing balcony membranes: Because balcony membranes have a high level of exposure to the outdoor elements, they will need to be replaced some of the most regularly. Typically this means replacing them every 10 years.
- Replacing windows: Unlike other items on this list, the right time to replace windows will vary dramatically depending on the quality and type of windows the building has installed. Because of this, windows should be replaced between 25-50 years depending on their condition and construction.
Most Common Types of Condo Repairs and Maintenace
Whether a building is new or old, all condo buildings will require repairs or maintenance at some point. One of the most common building repairs is plumbing, as pipes are constantly having water pumped to higher floors. That being said, these systems are designed to last, and like roofs, typically only need to be replaced every 25 years.
Other interior aspects that often need to be replaced are the elevator systems. This is often one of the most expensive systems to replace or repair due to the need for specific parts and a special set of skills to fix. Like windows, and depending on their construction, they range from needing to be replaced between 25 to 50 years. Conversely, the parkade membrane (i.e. the parkade roof of a condo building) doesn’t need as much maintenance since it doesn’t see a lot of exposure to the weather. However, it will still likely need to be replaced after 30-40 years.
Overall, most major condo building repairs or replacements aren’t needed even within 10 years, but beyond that, it’s important to have the proper contingency fund to be able to replace what’s needed so your building can continue to be a safe and comfortable place to live.