I have recently bought a condo in Cupertino. I want to undertake certain renovations which includes converting a one bathroom upstairs into a two

Asked by Sheetal, Cupertino, CA Wed Mar 24, 2010

bathroom unit.Also plan on moving the washer dryer unit from the lower level to upper level and lastly move a kitchen wall 6 inches to the left to make room for kitchen cabinets.I have already written a letter to the HOA stating what work I intend to undertake and I know I need city permit for the bathroom and maybe the kitchen too . My question is do I need an approval from HOA first or a permit from the city first??

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Robert Lei, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Sun Dec 12, 2010
Cutting right to your question, you need to get approval from the HOA first, then the permit from the city.
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Sheetal, Home Buyer, Cupertino, CA
Thu Mar 25, 2010
Thank you Michael for that "insight" and yes Carl you are correct. It is a townhouse style condo that I have purchased. I have seen other units in the complex where one of the kitchen wall has been completely broken down to make it more airy ..and I really dont see why the HOA will not allow the washer dryer to be moved to the upper level..doing so I can convert the space into a kitchen pantry...but my concern mainly is the bathroom upstairs.
Atleast now I know where to start from..Thank you guys:)
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The Medford…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu Mar 25, 2010

There are three components here:

(1) Start with an architect and general contractor to ensure the work you want to do is even feasible. It sounds like you have a “townhouse” style condo with no one above or below. If that is the case, your chances of success will actually be higher. In many “normal” condos (with units above and below), moving walls is out of the questions because of structural considerations. The architect will tell you exactly what you can do; the contractor will tell you how much it will cost.

(2) Once you have verified that the work is structurally and financially feasible, then go to the HOA and get the letter of approval. They are going to want to see (i) scope of work, (ii) drawings and (iii) how you plan to do the work without being a nuisance to the rest of the complex. Many cities will not issue permits without the HOA letter of approval.

(3) The city will need (i) HOA letter of approval, (ii) architectural or designer drawings, (iii) engineering specs, (iv) contractor information.

Good luck! Sounds like a great project.
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Michael Ramos, Agent, San Jose, CA
Thu Mar 25, 2010
Your not going to be able to do the remodel legally with out approval from both.

If I had to choose I would say from the hoa first. Think of the hoa as a city with in a city. How like California is a state, which is more specific and has more strict rules than the federal government.

So in many cases the city would let you do that in a normal home but the hoa may say its unsafe, or not uniform enough to the other units.

Hope it all works out. Feel free to contact me with any other questions or concerns. :)
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