By: Darrin McDonald CMCA, AMS – ACM Community Management
When a Board of Directors is planning to tackle multiple projects at any given time, it can be very stressful and time consuming if not planned correctly between the Management Company and the Board. There are many things to address before, during, and after the completion of those projects.
Before beginning any bidding process, a Board should have a management plan in place that lines up with their yearly budget, and allows time for all projects to be completed. This will help keep all Board members and management on the same page for what should be done and the deadlines everyone is working to have projects completed by.
For any project, the Board of Directors should obtain multiple bids for comparison. Between the Board and Management, a list should be put together of which Contractors they would like to collect proposals from. It is vital that the same specifications are sent to each contractor so all proposals are based off the same scope of work. The earlier the proposals can be collected, the better off the Board will be so they have a good idea of the costs involved, have time to decide on who will be awarded the work, and can check references to confirm they are making the right selection. Once contracts are signed, things can move quickly and communication is key in order to ensure that the Board, Management, and all Contractors are on the same page. Also, the more notice that can be given to residents, the better. Many methods are used, but posting notices in lobbies/entries/exits and utilizing email blasts are the most effective ways to make sure people are inconvenienced as little as possible while projects are taking place around the property. The Manager should be the main point of contact with the Contractor and an appointed Board Member, so information can be distributed to the rest of the Board and questions that come up can be answered promptly and correctly. This will also prevent any confusion or delays while different projects are going on at the same time.
Throughout the process of the work being completed, inspections should be done to ensure the work is being done correctly and on schedule. If a payment schedule is part of the contract, inspections will be needed prior to release of payment. Finally, the Board should always keep in mind that no matter how much work is done to prepare, there are things that come up unexpectedly. If communication procedures between the Board, Management, and the Contractor are in place, deviations can be discussed and if necessary change orders put in place to avoid delays or the projects falling behind.