Engage Unbiased Construction Advisors!
How should a community, whether it is professionally managed or self-managed, handle major construction projects?
One ugly truth is that every community, no matter how new or impressive, will have to deal with major construction projects over the course of its life. When major repair and replacement projects are being considered in a condominium or homeowner association, a lot of questions are raised that may be difficult to answer:
- What is the root of the problem?
- Are there regulations we need to comply with?
- Should we pursue a short-term or long-term solution?
Unless you are lucky enough to have an in-house expert that is up-to-date with the area in question, you might need some help in figuring out the best path forward. Even if your property manager has some experience in the problem area, he/she should not be considered an expert beyond the actual job for which he/she was hired: property management. The cost and risk of these projects can be significant.
If not properly diagnosed, defined, sourced, and managed, the association could suffer from any of the following:
- Budget over-runs
- Extended closure of common areas
- Ineffective repairs that result in additional work and/or wasted funds
- Unplanned special assessments
Who can you trust to be your unbiased construction advisor? Using a management provider's contractor might lead to them recommending whichever solution drives business to their subsidiaries. Consulting a vendor can be risky and confusing because they are more motivated to sell their product than solve your problem. Hiring an engineer may be a good solution, but be cautious of them recommending the highest cost, lowest risk solution to limit their liability. The ideal advisor for construction and repair projects is:
- An experienced contractor with relevant, practical expertise
- One who is unbiased toward any particular solution
- Focused on satisfying the needs of the community
- Readily available and reasonably priced
Click here to read the full article from Florida Community Association Journal, which includes key steps the construction advisor should follow and real case studies about how they have saved associations money.
What do you think about construction advisors? Feel free to share your experiences and tips for handling major projects in your community association below.