When it comes to taking on new projects in an aging community, many boards seek assistance from fellow owners. They appoint committees to do the research, bid out the project and then decide on a contractor. The board’s reasoning is that these homeowners take more of an active interest in the project and also save the HOA on costs to the community.
Oh, if that were so.
We can speak from experience. Where a board has opted to select a committee of owners to be in charge of a project, the majority of the time it turns out not being price competitive or is it completed in the community’s long-term best interests.
Even though fellow owners have great intentions, they cannot provide the professional background, expertise and experience and long term continuity.
We have found that by hiring a professional- whether a landscaping consultant, architectural consultant or structural engineer, their services pay for themselves in time saved, tighter specifications and providing some assurance that the contractor selected will perform the task correctly. Boards change from year to year but a professional expert provides needed continuity.
Good experts provide an assessment of the needs, projected budget, scope of work specifications, detailed solicitations, identification of top contractor candidates, aid the board in selecting the appropriate respondent, monitoring job performance to insure specifications are followed and approving periodic payments.
Your management company should have a list of potential professional candidates. A future article will discuss how to select a professional expert. So next time a major project is undertaken, think about using an expert.