This guide is intended to offer assistance in managing a complex construction project, including recommending and retaining appropriate professionals to determine the scope of work; construction contract and bid package essentials; administering the project; and handling disputes.
Every manager of multifamily properties will encounter a large reconstruction project several times in his or her career. These may be planned projects or the result of an emergency. Planned projects include those that are routinely projected by building inspectors, architects, and other building professionalsrepainting; new roof coverings; repaving of parking lots or major planned renovations. Emergencies usually involve previously unknown problems discovered in a forensic investigation, caused by natural disasters, or concealed damage which is simply the consequence of hidden components exposed to longterm moisture conditions.
As residential housing ages, construction projects become more complex and difficult. This complexity often results from unplanned and unexpected discoveries. Age brings deterioration of components that years before would not have been considered at risk. A routine roof project, for example, may only require replacement of the roof covering when the project is say, 15 years old. But in an older project, where moisture has had years to accumulate in concealed wood components, not only the covering, but also the wood substrate may have to be replaced. The same is true with other components largely built of woodbalconies, staircases, entry decks, and framing under siding and stucco. These components may actually leak, but not enough to alert the occupants. Instead the moisture remains in the wood or in wall cavities and supports gradual decay over time. These issues add to the challenge of preparing an adequate scope of work because a good portion of the damage is concealed.
As properties age and become more difficult, property managers find that they are responsible for a wider range of tasksnot only obtaining bids to do the work, but also for determining what experts to retain to investigate and determine the scope of that work; deciding who manages the contract; negotiation over the terms; and finding the funds to pay the contractor. This guide is intended to offer community and apartment managers assistance in managing a complex construction project including recommending and retaining appropriate professionals to determine the scope of work; construction contract and bid package essentials; administering the project; and handling disputes.
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