How to Closeout a Condo Association Major Project

You’ve come so far on your project – you designed it, you bid it out, you informed Owners, and you executed the work.  After months – maybe years – of work and disruptions, you can finally begin to rest easy.  However, now is not the time to slack.  Completing the project is a major milestone, but there is – of course – more work to be done.  This article will cover how to closeout a Condo Association Major Project to ensure your hard work pays off for as long as possible.  

Document, Document, Document

Barely enough documentation.
Barely enough documentation.

Depending on the nature of your project, you may have learned quite a bit more about your building than you knew at the start.  You may have identified previously unknown  issues in Owners’ units or issues with the building itself.   Now is the time to make sure there is a record of whatever you discovered.   

One big issue is defects in an Owner’s unit.  There might be air gaps or issues with wiring or ducts that the Owner was unaware of.  You end up discovering these during projects when you are tearing up walls and ceilings.  If you discover such issues, make sure they were communicated to the a Owner and the Association keeps that record for the future.  

Another major item to document is if your new major system requires certain maintenance or other activities – make sure that’s been recorded.  For example, many building have been lining their pipes with epoxy these days, which requires special handling of the pipes after the process.  If you require certain activities to be taken by Owners to help maintain systems, make sure that information is distributed regularly.  When appropriate, consult with legal professionals to make sure the Association is communicating correctly and with appropriate liability protection.

Peer Review Any Issues

Sometimes you’ll get strange “features” from your new work that may seem questionable but your technical representation assures you is normal.  This might be a drainage problem you are assured is “normal” or some other change in behavior.  If you have any doubts at all, peer review the issue with another technical firm.  Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.  You just spent potentially hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.  Getting a second technical firm to confirm something is appropriate is money well spent.  

Preventative Maintenance Plan

 

Make sure your maintenance picks up where your project leaves off.
Make sure your maintenance picks up where your project leaves off.

Now that you have completed your project, you want to maximize the lifespan of your system.  Make sure to consult with your technical representation and project performer to identify what steps you need to take to properly care for your new system.  Just because you spent all that money on your new major system doesn’t mean it’s time to slack.  You want to make sure you are doing everything cost-effective to stretch out the life of your new roof, pipes, or whatever.   Making sure you have a preventative maintenance plan is a key part to ensuring you effectively closeout a Condo Association Major Project.

Aggressively Monitor the Warranty

Many projects will come with a warranty of some sort.  Hopefully you had a reputable vendor and technical representation who did quality work for your Association. But substandard work isn’t unheard of, and sometimes things just go wrong with no fault.  Ask your technical representation to build an inspection plan based on the warranty terms to make sure you catch any issues as soon as possible – before the warranty is up.  You always read about horror stories of major issues found months after a warranty is up.  Most systems degrade slowly, so a proper inspection plan will catch them.  This is another key element to ensure you properly closeout a Condo Association Major Project.

Stay on Good Terms with Good Performers

If you had a good experience with your technical representation or performers, think about the long term and build a positive relationship with them.  You’ll want to make sure you can call on them when needed.  If you had a good experience, you should also offer to serve as a reference for other buildings.  You likely checked references before selecting project performers for your job, make sure you “pay it forward” and offer it for others.  

Now pat yourself on the back – you have managed to effectively closeout a Condo Association Major Project.  You’ve done a great service to your Association and should be proud of your work.


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