Here’s How You Turn Two Condo Units Into One

If you're thinking of buying two adjacent units and having them renovated to suit your needs, Architect Nerisse Sotto-Yan of Yan + Sotto Architects offers tips and answers to your questions.

Imagine this: You have set your heart on that two-bedroom unit you fell in love with during your ocular. But just when you’re about to reserve it, you find out that all the two-bedroom units are already sold out. All that’s left are studio and one-bedroom units that you think are too small for you. So what can you do? You can consider buying two adjacent units and have them renovated to suit your needs. Architect Nerisse Sotto-Yan of Yan + Sotto Architects offers tips and answers to questions you might have in mind.

The pros and cons of buying two adjacent condo units. Hey, you get double of everything—kitchens, T&Bs, and storage, among others. However, depending on your needs, getting double of everything also eats too much valuable condo space. It’s not necessarily cheaper because condo units are usually priced at a certain variable of cost per square meter, so you have to consider the added cost of combining the two units.

To tear down walls or not? Usually, partition walls are not load-bearing walls and are almost always safe to tear down. The most important thing is to get the approval of the developer and the structural engineer. If you’re buying two units during the pre-selling stage and you want to combine them, ask the developer not to install the walls between the two units. This will save you time and effort because you won’t have to tear them down in the future.

Keep the bathrooms where they are. Another bathroom is always a plus, but transferring the location of one of them may pose a lot of conflicts, even if it gets the approval of the condo administration. Usually, relocating or replanning the bathroom is not even allowed. And it’s not economical.

That second kitchen can go. Demolition of kitchens is relatively easy, as the cabinets are just modular and made of laminated boards. For the supply and drain lines, we only need to plug them and refinish the area.

Creating the overall layout of the space. If both units are studio-type, it’s quite easy. The living room of the other unit can become the master bedroom by simply adding a wall partition. You get two bathrooms, and the kitchen can be made longer or have more counter tops. You can also tear down the kitchen of the other unit and make it part of a bedroom, and then use the other unit as planned. You only need to tear down a portion of the partition walls to create access between two units.

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