We’re living in the midst of the condominium boom in Toronto and the surrounding area. It has caused many young professionals to consider the idea of becoming real estate owners. Most are using condos as their opportunity into an aggressive market as a result of their manageable price and amenities. As the principal of Sensus Design & Build ( we have worked with numerous clients in these condos who don’t want to settle for builder finishes and standard quality, they want to upgrade beyond builder upgrades, add their own style and truly make their condo their own.

The benefits of condo living are well known: they provide a highly coveted living space in the heart of downtown, conveniently short commutes to work and access to transit, nightlife, shopping, and great food. This lifestyle may seem glamorous but masked behind the impressively modern glass facade of these towers are a few issues that can wear down even the most enthusiastic condo owner.

The condominium boom is profit driven on the part of investors, focusing on return. Simply put, many of the condos being constructed are being finished with the basics – the wow factor in style and quality has to be balanced with the bottom line. The explanation for this is simple: Condominiums have become commodity investments. While they may have location, amenities and a whole host of perks and prime living conditions, there are some things that purchasers who intend to live in their suite may want to consider renovating.

In order to do this, buyers need to ensure that they budget thousands in additional capital to renovate their new condominium to attain an elevated level of style and quality. This is also important from the perspective of resale value. There are a limited number of floor plans and the same standard finishes and features are applied to each and every unit of the tower. This makes differentiation between suites almost impossible aside from floor or exposure. When it comes time to sell and you’re competing against neighbours for top dollar you want your suite to stand out, show well and be the one in demand. Condo owners can still achieve the style they long for by taking advantage of cost effective upgrades that can significantly increase their standard of living as well as their equity.

These style and quality upgrades include:

• Trim, baseboards and door casings

• Hardwood flooring, tile, laminate flooring or luxury vinyl

• Kitchen cabinetry, vanities, and built-ins around televisions

• Electric fireplace additions

• Wall accents, including wainscotting, wallpaper, panelling, and wood trim accents

• Wall mounts, including drapery, drop down televisions, automatic blinds, and chic picture frames

• Upgraded lighting and plumbing fixtures

These features are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the options available to make your condominium your own, without breaking the bank or the requirements of the property manager. Many condominiums have strict renovation protocols that must be met – we’ve dealt with them extensively and the requirements are stringent. Limitations and navigating the minefield of red tape and technical restrictions on materials based on soundproofing, weight, and function can be overwhelming, but the right paperwork and the assistance of professionals who understand the scope of these projects, building codes and condo board requirements are worth it. Ultimately, it’s about adjusting the space that you’ve bought into the space that you want! For more information about condominium upgrades and the different design options you have, give us a call at 416-931-1422 or visit our website at You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram (sensusdesignandbuild), and Houzz!