Every board member knows that part of fulfilling their fiduciary duty means keeping the community inviting and in working order for years to come. The reserve study is commonly used to manage community maintenance because it identifies the time lines, costs and necessary considerations for undertaking major community projects, like replacing roofs and elevators. But the reserve study’s
long-term effectiveness relies on one important factor: whether your board keeps your community maintained on a short-term basis.
With help from trusted contractor and TV host Mike Holmes and Associa OnCall, we’ve compiled the five essential steps you need to take to make your community maintenance plan successful.
1. Develop a Community Maintenance Calendar
You or your maintenance partner should walk the property and identify all the areas of the community that need to be addressed on an annual basis, schedule each task and note its cost. Calendars are integral to your plan because without one, boards often fall into the trap of becoming reactive and overlooking small-scale preventive maintenance until they require large-scale repairs.
2. Conduct Periodic Inspections
A professional inspector will look for safety hazards, proper lighting, cracked sealants and plumbing boots, and peeling paint among other items. By being aware of every aspect of your property’s condition, you can identify small issues and fix them quickly before they become major problems. We recommend completing a full community inspection at least once a year.
Make sure they have a thorough understanding of each part of the property, verify their insurance and check references. After potential maintenance partners have met these standards, it’s critical to ensure that the same technicians will visit your property for every inspection or repair because maintenance professionals who become knowledgeable about your property over time will provide a higher level of service.
4. Opt for Bundled Services
Imagine that your maintenance calendar says that this month’s maintenance tasks include winterization, pressure washing the pool deck, and a light bulb check. One provider that offers all of these services can send out a technician that’s skilled across a variety of trades to complete them all in one visit, saving your association money and time. Additionally, if you’ve built a working relationship with the same technicians who perform bundled services, they will provide you with unofficial periodic inspections as they notice items that need attention through the course of completing their official tasks.
5. Complete the Reserve Study
As mentioned previously, reserve studies are a major reason that regular maintenance is important, but it’s equally important to make sure that long-term planning is there in the first place. Reserve studies are typically created by a specialist who will work with a team to complete a deep inspection of your community, research the lifecycle of each component of your community, confirm the costs, and establish timelines for any major work that will need to be done.
Read the comprehensive ebook, The 5 Essential Steps to Developing a Community Maintenance Program that Works, now!