ABO Developments - Fall 2013 - (Page 16)

Building Renovation Issues: Plan Early to Avoid Problems BY: C . J AY E BE RGE R , E S Q. Attorney C. Jaye Berger is a frequent guest lecturer at ABO’s Registered in Apartment Management classes, explaining construction law and issues to managers. 16 M y last article focused on renovations by the residents of co-ops and condominiums. This article will discuss building renovations and some of the issues to look out for. Co-op and condominium buildings are always either gearing up for renovations or finishing up a project. It is a constant cycle. It is common for boards to come up with wish lists of everything that needs to be done in the building, then engage in long-range planning to determine how and when it can all be accomplished. Sometimes refinancing the building’s mortgage is needed in order to raise the funds needed for the work. Other times, an assessment may be required to raise the funds, especially if it is a large project, such as window replacements or facade work. Once the budget has been established, the next order of business is to engage the right professionals to design and plan the work that needs to be done. Depending on the type of work that is needed, that may be an architect or an engineer. For redecorating the lobby and the hallways, it may be an interior designer. I am usually contacted by buildings when those individuals are ready to enter into contracts with the building. There are many topics that will need to be addressed in these contracts, but one of the most important is how much time the individual will be spending on observing the work being performed. Most buildings and their managing agents understand the importance of this service, but others | A B O D E V E L O P ME NTS • www.abogny.com try to avoid paying for that time and suffer as a consequence. One co-op building was complaining to me about all the problems they were having with coordinating a pointing project in a multi-building co-op complex. When I asked what the engineer thought about it, the managing agent told me they were not really using him for that and the managing agent was trying to handle that. I told them that was a problem and not be “penny wise and pound foolish.” I made them calculate the number of hours needed to observe the work each week and had them multiply that by the engineer’s hourly rate to show them we were not really talking about an enormous sum of money, especially considering the problems that might arise without that assistance. They followed my advice and the project went smoothly. It is important to have the design professional review each application for payment and whether the percentage of work claimed in it has actually been achieved, in order to avoid overpaying the contractor. Obtaining a waiver of lien with each payment made is also important to lessen the likelihood of mechanic’s liens. Design professionals can also be very helpful in lining up a contractor to perform the work. Since some of them have worked on many similar projects and they know the contractors who have also worked on these projects. Managing agents have also had this kind of experience with contractors. There should always be a list of at least three to five contractors to interview and give bids. http://www.abogny.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABO Developments - Fall 2013

A Message from ABO Executive Director Dan Margulies
Bronstein Properties
Summer Cocktail Party
NGBS Certification
Building Renovation Issues
Index of Advertisers

ABO Developments - Fall 2013