• Duane C. Barney

Is your association planning a major construction project?

Do you head up the building committee on the club board or Is your HOA planning a substantial project for the community, are you stumbling as how to get the project off the ground? Associations are the classic clients in need of a construction consultant or owner’s Rep. Let me guess.

1. Your role on the board is voluntary.

2. You have little time to oversee this project along with your regular responsibilities,

3. You have a fiduciary responsibility to the association

4. You have little or no construction experience especially for a project of this size.

5. You are about bewildered as to where to start.

Perfect, this is what we do!

This is an exciting project and looks like it will be fun, and it can be but it is extremely time-consuming, especially with the construction process learning curve, and more complicated then you might expect. “Well, we have Tom on the board and he ran his own plumbing company for 30 years, so we are all set” That is like asking your accountant to oversee a corporate buy out. No offense to Tom or your accountant but it is not the same thing. Their experience will prove valuable but not practical. So be responsible and take the proper steps to ensure the timely and cost-effective completion of the project.

Let’s quickly analyze the process for a hypothetical deck repair/replacement 300 unit complex, decks are typical in size. Project is over $1M.

· You have a reserve fund but are not clear if the funds available will cover the necessary work

1. Need a scope review

2. Need drawings and/or written scope to obtain pricing

3. Need qualified contractors to perform the work

· Contractor selection

1. The project is a deck repair. Most contractors in this specialty have no experience managing a project of this magnitude

2. Commercial contractors do can handle the project size, but they do not like residential work and they don’t build decks.

3. Residential Remodeling contractors who can handle the scope are looking for custom home construction and not deck repairs

4. The project is + $1M so finding a contractor who can handle this dollar volume is important

5. The project is residential in nature but commercial in practice so proper contracts and insurance are a must.

· Many contractors avoid working for “Boards”

1. Decisions are slow

2. Everyone is an expert and has a friend who can do it better

3. Changes to the work can be cumbersome

· Construction

1. Homeowner coordination and communication is critical

2. Billing and payment must be reviewed for accuracy, so the contractor does not get ahead of you

3. Changes to the work must be reviewed for validity and reasonable cost.

4. Work must be monitored to ensure quality and compliance with the contract.

Again, this is what we do

Your primary role is that of fiduciary responsibility, there is no expectation that you have construction knowledge, your property management company can handle lawns, landscape, snow removal and pool cleaning but this is a major construction project in need of professional oversite. Do yourself and your association a favor, exercise your fiduciary responsibility to hire an experienced construction manager to look over your shoulder, the interest of the board and the association to ensure the project gets done right and for a fair and reasonable price.

If this sounds like a project you are facing, then give us a call to discuss the process and how our team can help you.
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