When a construction project comes up, it can be daunting. A million questions might start running through your mind, and you aren’t even sure where to begin. The one thing you know for certain is you want to stay within a set timeframe and within budget – two goals that should always be top of mind for a construction project, especially with an HOA. When you are dealing with people’s homes and HOA funds, sticking to timeframes and budgets is imperative. But what is the best way to achieve this and why is it important?
The number one recommendation for completing a construction project on time and on budget is to start with detailed planning. From our experience, we often find that budgets and schedules are not met when not enough destructive testing or planning takes place. It’s important to have all your ducks in a row with as much detail as possible before starting any work. A great example of this is a plumbing re-pipe, which we have had plenty of experience with. Often times in older buildings the plans may not be available or complete, and therefore you have to make logical assumptions. The best option for this is destructive testing conducted in a sampling of suites and floor plans to determine the exact location of the plumbing and then design a construction plan after you have gathered the information. This process ensures you understand the full scope of repairs, which will help answer cost and time questions. The more details you have up front, the easier it will be to stay within the schedule and budget.
In HOA communities, it’s important to stay within your set timeframe and budget because homeowner confidence and satisfaction should be top a priority. Homeowners are paying into HOAs so that construction issues get handled professionally and swiftly. When projects run over both on time and budget, homeowners often question the contractor’s and management team’s ability to manage the project. You will want to ensure your timeframes and budgets have the necessary contingencies required for a construction project that are also communicated to the members of the HOA.
Another challenge with HOAs is funds simply don’t grow on trees. Often times, construction projects are paid for from reserve funds or special assessments. These funds are limited, so if a project is not detailed out and goes over budget it can place the association in a tough position putting homeowner confidence and satisfaction in jeopardy.
The next time a construction project pops up, whether big or small, make sure to detail it all out, set your timeframe and budget and ensure contingencies are in place, all while communicating to HOA members throughout the entire process. If this seems too daunting, hire a construction management company that can help manage the project from start to finish. Everyone will be happy in the end if schedules and budgets are met.