Building Management Hawaii - October/November 2012 - (Page 18)

Renovation Successful Renovations How to avoid owner revolt. By Lance S. Fujisaki s many buildings approach 30, 40 and even 50 years of life, condominium associations will be faced with massive renovation projects and staggering expenses. Many boards probably have no experience handling such large and ongoing projects. The following are useful tips that may help you improve the chances of a successful renovation project and radically lower the chances of major owner revolt. A big picture. Design professionals will provide technical, architectural or engineering advice and prepare plans and specifications. Put people on your team who are qualified and who have a proven track record of successful projects and happy clients. Don’t Make Saving Money Your Biggest Priority. Put First Things First ... Start With A Team. Your team should consist of: • a property manager • design professionals such as architects and engineers • the association’s attorney • the association’s insurance consultant • and, eventually, the contractor The association attorney, experienced with major renovation projects, should play a big role in keeping the project on track up to the start of construction. Some boards may have members who have significant expertise in construction. Although this can be very helpful, it can also be very risky to rely on a volunteer director to manage or direct a major renovation project. While no board would intentionally waste money, boards should not allow the bottom line to guide all decisions. For example, a common mistake is that boards handle different parts of a project in a piecemeal fashion, awarding spall repair work to one contractor, painting to another contractor, and railing repairs to another contractor. Doing so may minimize taxes and avoid having to pay the general contractor overhead. However, this can create a logistical nightmare. The lack of coordination and oversight can cause problems, and everyone may blame the other. And, you won’t have a single contractor responsible for the entire project. Think Big Picture, And Sweat The Small Stuff. Know Your Contractors And Subcontractors. The most critical components on a major renovation project are the people who will actually do the work: the general contractor and subcontractors. Your primary focus should be on selecting a reliable contractor. (For more information, see page 20) Preparing for a major project can be, and should be, a time-consuming process. I see a direct correlation between the amount of time spent in preparation on the front end and the level of risk at the back end. Think of every hour spent planning, thinking, meeting and negotiating as an investment that will pay off with a good quality project finished on schedule. The more the board, contractor and design professional think about the project before the work starts, the more likely problems will be avoided. Hire Experts. Attorneys can give legal advice, help draft contract documents, review warranties, help with communications with owners and keep an eye on the Provide Bidders With Contract Terms. “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” is a self-help book 18 October-November 2012 BMH

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Building Management Hawaii - October/November 2012

New Digs in Kalihi
The Making of an RM
Successful Renovations
Finishing Touch
Just Plug In
Air It Out
Short On Cash?
New Products
Association Updates
Industry News
Movers & Shakers
On Site: Finding Balance

Building Management Hawaii - October/November 2012