Hello to all my HOA community managers and board members! Life has undoubtedly switched upon us these past few weeks! One of the things I keep reading in regard to staying positive and productive is to keep a routine. Still, as we all are seeing, the routine of the HOA world has been turned upside down. Managers have had to work from their homes, non-essential work has halted, vendors have had to reduce their hours, and we have all been trying to figure out how to maintain healthy and safe practices for residents during this unique emergency.
It’s been a whirlwind, to say the least! No doubt, many construction projects have hit some road bumps. Still, I’m here to tell you that if we can keep the work moving and get back into a routine, the industry will be back on its feet, and associations will benefit from it!
The most significant opportunities HOAs can take advantage of right now are scope development and bid facilitation services. This type of planning requires minimal in-person contact, and much can get done in the comfort and protection of our own homes. This is the PERFECT time to have your projects planned, receive bids and to get on contractor’s schedules. Contractors schedules can be very complicated and once they hit capacity, your project start date is at the mercy of their availability. This is further exasperated by delays on current projects due to COVID-19. On top of all this, scope development and bid facilitation planning can take between 60-90 days to complete. This is why we are urging HOAs to make moves and start project planning now!
Regardless of our current situation, this has always been the best season of the year to get your projects scoped and bid out for the following reasons.
1. To avoid starting construction in the winter months (the dreaded weather and holiday delays!)
2. Missing the opportunity to get your project started this year. Contractors can get booked out for the year as early as summer – especially roofing contractors. Let’s not allow this to affect your project goals for the year!
For those communities currently in the middle of a project, you and your contractor will need to determine if the work is essential. If your project has anything to do with water intrusion – roofs, balconies, windows, plumbing – that is considered essential!
If your project is essential, now you must ensure work is performed per the standards of the state mandates. In consideration of the health and wellbeing of your residents and crew members, request a project-specific COVID-19 PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) plan. Ask the contractor what measures they will take as it relates to the new PPE requirements, who will be enforcing this plan, and how the communication protocols will be adjusted to protect the residents of your community. It is also fair to ask for an adjustment in the schedule to avoid interaction with residents that are considered high risk for the virus. Remember, your contractor wants to work with you as a team and should be willing to adjust, if possible, to keep their projects moving.
These certainly are unprecedented times, but we can get through this together! HOA’s can continue to be in the driver’s seat for their planned projects IF they seize this opportunity and jump on it! Let’s get back into our routines and come out of this with our heads held up high.