CCI-Review - 2020/2021 - #2

Getting Ready for Construction - by Jennifer Dickenson, Vice President and Stefan Nespoli, President

in the operating budget. Most contracts have a 60-day cancelation clause but confirm this before signing. Independent review of large contracts can sometimes be beyond the budget of smaller Corporations, but it is always recommended to get a consultant to review contracts or performance of significant contracts. Elevators, water treatment systems, generators and other maintenance contracts that have significant impact on residents’ everyday life need careful consideration. The same goes with major replacement projects Major replacement projects are not as ‘regular’ as the major maintenance contracts. They need just as much, or more, planning. Your study should be reviewed at budget time to see what project should be on the docket for the following year. Fall is the ideal time to start investigating options for the work to be done the following maintenance season. If a Board decides they do not need independent oversight or project management of a large project, they accept responsibility for the Consultant role – more on that in a moment. This puts heavy obligations on the shoulders of the Corporation, since there is no Consultant to manage the project. If the Board does not want to accept this responsibility, it is time to determine the best option for oversight. Does the work require an engineer, architect, independent consultant or should we proceed directly with a contractor? It is our policy (not a law) to get three quotes for this oversight, before proceeding to the actual project tendering. Options for inclusion are: Specification creation, tendering, review of bids and recommendations, oversight of construction, payment certification, etc.

Condominium boards and managers spend considerable time reacting to issues that arise on a day-to-day basis at their corporations. These can be handled relatively effortlessly but still time consuming for the most part.

What of a large project or maintenance contract?

Large projects or more detailed maintenance contracts can take some foresight (sometimes months to years, depending on the project). Careful and regular attention should be given to the current Reserve Fund Study Plan so that preparation for any large replacement project can be placed on the radar well in advance so that proper coordination of funding, the appropriate experts, and the time requirement to complete the project is taken into account. It is recommended that the engineer be included to assist with any long-term planning of projects so that nothing is left to chance. But what about when the study says you need to do a major replacement next year? Major maintenance contracts might include landscaping, elevator, water treatment, etc. These contracts can range from a 1-year term up to 10 years. Every contract should be tracked carefully, as some of the contracts have specific cancellation clauses, requiring notice of 90 days or more or they just renew automatically (ever read your elevator contract?). Landscaping and/or snow removal contracts are usually straightforward, but do require careful review. Do not take for granted that something will be attended to if it is not included in the contract. For example: Is there an entrance garden you want them to weed? Are owners or the Corp responsible for the front gardens at the townhouse units? Are those hedges at the edge of the property to be pruned as part of the usual contract? Boards and managers must be clear as to the responsibilities of the corporation and the owners. If it is not in the contract, anticipate it will cost extra to get it done. Additional items will need to be included

Jennifer Dickenson, BSc (Hons), RCM is a condominium manager with Dickenson Con- do Management. She was first elected to the CCI Board of Directors in 2016, currently serves as Vice-Present and the chapter’s National Representa- tive. Jennifer is involved in all aspects of the chapter and shares her expertise. Stefan Nespoli, B.Sc., P. Eng., LEED AP of Edison Engineers Inc. He has been in the industry since 2009. Stefan was first elected to the CCI London & Area Chapter Board in 2015, served as Vice President in 2017 and elected by the Board to President in 2019. He has also served on the board of the Windsor Essex Chapter and CCI National.

Board oversight:

1) Create the specifications list of what you want completed 2) Research which contractors are qualified to and capable of

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