Multi family renovation and maintenance projects can be overwhelming and, more often than not, stressful for property managers due to the many moving parts that are typical of a renovation project involving residential tenants. Although you can never truly prepare for the unexpected, there are still numerous ways to facilitate a smooth renovation project.
Identifying your priorities at the beginning of the project will make your goals easier to achieve, especially if it involves routine maintenance to residential complexes. When maintaining a multi-family community, there are many items that can be addressed ranging from painting, electrical work and plumbing, to roofing, siding and gutter cleaning. Working with a trusted full building envelope contractor that has expertise in multiple fields will help tremendously when it comes to planning and budgeting for renovation and maintenance.
Although an experienced contractor will be helpful when addressing a variety of maintenance needs, there are still a few items that are often overlooked during the planning phase. Below are a few suggestions for property managers that may help to identity the best place to start and how to manage residential tenants expectations and communicate successfully along the way.
Setting maintenance priorities: Unless the communities are new construction or have recently undergone a complete roof replacement, one of the best places to start is at the very top. When inspecting the roof, a good place to start, if accessible, is in the attic. Look for stains on the underside of the decking that could possibly be a leak. Some critical areas that need to be inspected are roof penetrations, chimneys, skylights and roof fans. Take note of any cracks in rubber seals around the pipe flashings, and cracking or missing sealants where metal flashing turns up against brick walls as these could all be signs of leaks. The last thing would be to inspect the gutters and downspouts to be sure they are clean and not blocked.
Focus on things people will quickly notice: A good rule of thumb for maintaining residential community buildings is to give priority to items or areas in the community that are the more visible and would be noticed by the community and/or potential tenants. Just by replacing a fence or updating discolored paint can make a big difference in the area. For more recommendations, reach out to a contractor to pinpoint other popular areas that are fairly simple to address, yet made the biggest difference in the eyes of tenants. A few commons areas include, repairing and restoring old balconies, replacing a damaged roof or siding, replacing the gutters, and power washing common areas and sidewalks.
Have the right signage: It is critical at a construction site to have clear signs that simply state what phase of construction is underway and what to expect, as well as a timeline of construction events that may affect the community. Also, be sure to install signs that re-direct traffic around the construction site if necessary. If unsure about what type of signs to use and/or the language to use, reach out to the contractor that is overseeing the job and have them include the signage in their bid.
Communicate with residents: Communicating with residents via flyers and posters are a way of the past. When you have a remodel or noticeable renovation underway going or need to give warning or notice about upcoming community changes, there are various platform that will help facilitate that communication effectively and efficiently at a small cost, if any cost at all. For more information about these communication platforms tap HERE!