he idea of a $500,000+ concrete restoration project may sound daunting to a new, or experienced board member. These projects are well known for running over, for a lot of reasons. What about an end-of-life roof replacement, or major upgrades to your water tower and/or cooling system? These are very complex projects that need to be properly scoped, planned, financed and managed. Who is responsible for making sure the project is a success? The answer is - a lot of people, each with different roles.
Key Players involved are:
- Board of Directors
- Committee Members
- Property Manager
For projects in excess of $100,000 it is typically recommended that an Engineer is engaged to assess the issue, define specifications for the work and assist as needed in the selection of the contractor.
The Manager typically leads the process for gathering bids from contractors along with Committee Members, who may be involved in making a recommendation to the Board. The Board of Directors makes the ultimate decision on which Contractor is hired.
The Contractor is typically expected to be responsible for day to day project management, including the development and maintenance of a project plan along with identification of change orders that may be required.
The Engineer should stay involved on an ongoing basis (as mutually agreed before the project starts) in order to provide ongoing advice regarding the quality of work - as it relates to conformance to specifications. Other responsibilities of the Engineer may include: approving payments to the contractor, meeting with inspectors and providing advice regarding any potential change orders that may arise.
The Property Manager is typically responsible for acting as the liaison between the Board of Directors, the Contractor and the Engineer.
Committee Members may also participate in this process as a liaison, in conjunction with the Property Manager. As a liaison, the Manager is responsible for reporting progress to the Board, escalating any issues and ensuring the overall success of the project - by leveraging the expertise of the Engineer and the Contractor.
In some instances, where there is a need or desire for additional advice and guidance, it may make sense to engage a Construction Advisor or Manager. This person is typically an experienced Construction or Engineering Professional that has broad understanding of all building trades and practical experience in assessing construction-related problems and identifying potential solutions. This person can augment the Committees and/or Project Manager at a lower cost than an Engineer, while providing more expertise than a typical Property Manager.
Do you have any project horror stories? What has been the key to success for projects that were successful?