5 things to keep in mind when planning a high-rise apartment renovation

5 things to keep in mind when planning a high-rise apartment renovation

Are you planning a high-rise apartment renovation? Perhaps you’ve been thinking about reselling the unit, or maybe you want to update your bathroom design to include accessibility features for your elderly loved one.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to carefully plan everything beforehand. Renovating a high-rise apartment presents some unique challenges, and therefore has different considerations compared to standalone property renovations.

With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about planning a high-rise apartment renovation in Chicago, IL.

1. High-rise buildings have strict guidelines

Before calling your contractor, get in touch with your building manager and ask about the renovation guidelines. This may include special security clearance for home improvement crews, work hour specifications, and other compliance requirements.

Some building regulations go as far as requiring contractors to replace pipework all the way to the water supply source. Same thing with remodeling projects that involve changes to the wiring in the unit. As you can imagine, this makes your seemingly simple kitchen or bathroom renovation a lot more complex.

2. Structural changes are not permitted

When considering apartment renovations in a high-rise, keep in mind that your project cannot involve making structural changes. You cannot make alterations to common areas in the building either. Even if some form of minor changes are permitted, expect the scope of the project to be limited and very specific.


Things you can usually change include fixtures, fittings, floor coverings, and appliances, among others. These are not part of the building structure so they may be permitted. You’ll need to confirm this with your building manager too.

3. Be strategic with lighting decisions

Living in a high-rise unit means you get to enjoy the best of natural lighting. It’s important to consider your lighting decisions and take advantage of the natural lighting flooding into the unit every day.

Natural lighting can make a space seem bigger, making it perfect for places like your bathroom, kitchen, and even the bedroom. What’s more, you get to save on electricity bills since you won't be using your light fixtures too often.

4. Talking to your neighbors is paramount

There are codified rules in place to ensure your remodeling project doesn't cause a nuisance to your neighbors. Even if there weren’t, courtesy dictates that if you’re planning a home renovation, give your neighbors a heads-up. Even more so when your neighbors are living in the same building as you.

Before the project commences, talk to your neighbors, particularly the ones that will most likely be affected by the resulting increase in foot traffic and noise pollution. It may not be a fun conversation, but it’s a lot better than just springing up the effects of the project on them with no notice. Remember, unhappy neighbors can seriously impede the progress of your home renovation.

5. Renovation costs may be higher

Because of the many strict guidelines and compliance requirements, costs for high-rise apartment renovations are expectedly higher compared to standalone home renovations. For instance, transporting appliances and equipment in a high-rise is considerably more challenging. Some buildings may also have regulations on what type of materials may be used for renovations.

You’ll need to factor in how these considerations will impact your budget.

Planning a high-rise apartment renovation in Chicago, IL?

JATES Remodeling & Construction is the company to call when it comes to specialized home remodeling projects in Chicago. We specialize in luxury remodels for high-rise apartments and condos.

With over 30 years of industry experience, we have what it takes to deliver an enjoyable renovation experience and quality results that you can appreciate for years to come.

Get in touch

Talk to us about your high-rise renovation project today. Call us now at (312) 919-2034 or fill out our contact form to schedule a quick consultation.