A Condominium Design Flaw You Might Not Notice…

Condos | August 28, 2017

…until you’ve already bought, and are ready to move in.

As I say in the video, this isn’t really a design flaw in the building that’s going to affect your day-to-day life, but you have to wonder how in God’s name a condominium developer could make a mistake like this.

Suddenly I’m picturing Ross Gellar from Friends yelling “Pivot!  Pivvv-aaaat!” as he, Rachel, and Chandler try to move a couch up a flight of stairs…


Like I said – it’s not going to ruin your five-year span living here.

But when you go to move in, and out, and accept a delivery, you’re going to wonder why the hell the building is laid out like this.

It’s just ridiculous.

A truck pulls up to a loading bay, and everything is unloaded into a large, open area inside the building.  That’s all well and good, but then you’re supposed to carry or dolly your possessions through two commercial doors, probably 35-36 inches wide each, then navigate a bumpy interlocking-stone corridor, across to one single door, 35-36 inches on its own, where very little can fit through.

It’s a massive design flaw, and it causes problems for every single person who goes to move in.

I remember a few years back (and several security companies ago…) when I ordered a new fridge from Home Depot.  The “head” concierge or security guard at the time was incredibly overzealous, and he loved condescension.  He’s the kind of 48-year-old single guy that wakes up in his basement apartment each morning and asks his cat, “So what are you going to do today?  Laze around, lick yourself, take a crap, and wait for me to get home?  Great, thanks Mittens, that’s reaaally helpful!”

He came outside to “oversee” the delivery of the fridge, and we went to try and fit it through that stupid “moving door,” but of course, it didn’t fit.

The concierge said, “Well, that’s too bad,” and I asked him what he suggested we do.

“I can’t offer any solution, unfortunately,” he said.  “That’s the only moving door in the building,” he added, with a happy smirk.

“Do you think I should put it back on the truck, pay the restocking fee, and then keep using my broken fridge?” I asked him, partially returning the condescension he had bestowed upon me for several years, but also offering him an option that no sane person would take.

“Well, you might have to,” he said.  “This is the only moving door in the building,” he reiterated.  “There’s simply no way to get it from here, into the elevator.”

“Great, thanks,” I told the concierge, as I immediately turned toward the two moving guys from Home Depot.  “Guys, let’s go through the front door.”

Yes, the front door to the building, which is about 4-5 inches wider than the “moving door,” for some odd reason.

The concierge put up a fight, for a few minutes, and actually trotted ahead toward the door in some bizarre attempt to wave us away, but then he realized that the two 260-pound men with neck tattoos were barreling toward him, and quite intent on checking the box for another successful delivery.

So here we have this 500-unit building, with this gorgeous lobby with 18-foot ceilings, and we’re pushing a dolly and a fridge through the front door.

That stupid moving door.

I don’t understand it.

In fact, I don’t recall being in another condo with one small moving door.  Let me know if your building has something similar.

Every building has flaws; some more than others.

Remember the video I shot back in 2013 – of our party room, which also happens to contain the ONLY entrance to the common terrace?

Let me dig it up and I’ll post it below.

Imagine having your grandfather’s 90th birthday, about to take a photo of your extended family of 40 people, and in the background there are party-goers from the 5th floor, walking up the ramp to the terrace, carrying a couple two-fours.

Short of blowing a hole through the brick wall, I’m pretty sure we’re stuck with what we’ve got:

Wow, remember when we had video cameras, instead of just using our iPhone’s?

A lot changes in four years…

Anyways, if you’ve got a serious design flaw in your condo, I’d like to hear about it!

And oh, what the heck, we may as well end on this note:


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  1. IanC

    at 7:50 am

    We got a 33 inch fridge and had to take it out of the box AND take all the three doors off of it just to get it in the unit. I think we had to use our condo entrance doors as well.

  2. David (Not the David who Runs this Website)

    at 11:43 am

    I had a similar incident many years ago in condo that I was renting. I had just bought a new couch and been sitting on the carpeted floor for two weeks, waiting for it to be delivered. When the delivery guys arrived, the concierge told me that since I had not given him 48 hours notice, the delivery wasn’t allowed. The two delivery guys looked at him like he had a screw loose and told him that they only give their customers 24 hours notice.

    I asked the concierge, “So what am I supposed to go, send it back?” Before he could answer, I told him to get the hell out of my way, that it was my couch and it was going into my apartment whether he liked it or not. This one of the many reasons why I will never, ever live in a condo again. Life is far too short to put up with stupid rules and badly designed building.

    David, you should talk to your condo board about that security guard. There’s no way that anyone should have to up with that crap especially when you’re paying top dollar to live in it.

    The Friends moving video was funny, it brings back memories from many years go, of when I helped friends of mine move a fridge out of their basement to their kitchen. It seems that my friend didn’t measure the doorway to the kitchen, he only “eye-balled” it. So needless to say, after we had spent a long, hard time getting it up the cramped, narrow stairway from the basement, we found that it was simply too big for the doorway. My friend’s wife was really pissed at him and told him to get his f…ing eye balls checked. They almost divorced that night. Thankfully, they got over it and are still married. To this day, that night is referred to as the “fridge incident of 1994.”.

    1. David Fleming

      at 12:22 pm

      @ David (Not the David who Runs this Website)

      That concierge is long gone, although I think the board of directors liked him BECAUSE he gave people a hard time.

      That’s the building I live in. The board is run by four people, who rotate into three positions every year (they have all the proxy votes), and there has not been a new member in the time I’ve lived there.

      Their mandate has always been to make the building “secure,” like we’re living in fear for our lives 24/7.

      We just switched to a new “security” company, specifically because they can scan every car’s license plates and database them, cross-reference them against residents and visitors, etc.

      1. David (Not the David who runs this website)

        at 4:42 pm

        David, when I read your comment about your condo board wanting to make the building “7/24 secure”, the theme music to the movie, “The Great Escape” started to play in my head. What’s next, body scans, strip searches, guard towers with machine guns? Do your condo board members wear monocles and click their heels? I agree with Mike’s comment, welcome to “Suite 1984”.

        Do they really need to scan the license plate of every care entering the building? I could understand the need for that sort of thing if the Prime Minister lived in your building, but otherwise, it seems way over the top. I know that you love your condo, but if it were me, I’d list the place and then “tunnel out of there” ASAP, I couldn’t live under those rules.

  3. IanC

    at 1:03 pm

    I think that LTD Condos (15 Bruyeres Mews) have the same set up, based on a couple of visits as a guest (although the party room is smaller). And my guess is that there are more condos like that in this city.

  4. Mark b

    at 10:31 am

    1-3 Rean drive. By far the worst. Not only does it have a single door, there is no loading dock or area. You have to park the moving van outside the back of p1 and walk it through the garage to the building entrance. After a long narrow hallway walk and another single door, you are actually in the lobby. The worst design I have seen.

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