Embarking on a capital improvement project for your condo association is an exciting endeavor, but it can certainly feel daunting. Handling capital projects can be a complex process and requires careful planning, financing, coordination, and execution. The end result, however, is a well-maintained property that holds (or increases) its value and improves the quality of life for your residents.
In this post, we’ll explore the steps condo associations must take to successfully handle capital projects. From identifying the project to closing it out, we’ll discuss major steps in the process and highlight best practices for managing capital improvements effectively.
From Start to Finish: How to Manage a Capital Project for Your Condo Association
Handling condo association capital projects requires careful planning, coordination, and execution. Because of the intense oversight required, your board may consider hiring a company who specializes in project management to assist in achieving your goals.
Whether you DIY the management or hire it out, however, here are 6 steps needed to successfully handle a condo association capital improvement project.
1. Identify the capital project: Before starting any work, the board must meet to discuss its capital improvement needs. Start by reviewing maintenance logs and consider conducting a property inspection. You should also consult with experts such as engineers or architects to identify the areas of greatest need. A capital project will be a huge undertaking, so it’s important to clearly define the scope of the project, including the specific work to be done, the timeline, and the estimated cost, before giving the green light on any plans.
2. Develop a plan: Once the board has identified its capital project, the next step is to develop a plan for executing it. This can involve creating a project timeline, identifying the necessary resources, and developing a budget. It helps to partner with industry experts to ensure that the plan is realistic and feasible.
3. Secure funding: Once the plan is developed, the next step is to secure funding for the capital project. This can involve using reserve funds, implementing special assessments, or obtaining financing. It’s important to carefully evaluate each funding option and determine the best approach based on your association’s needs.
4. Select a contractor: You’ll want to do your due diligence when selecting a firm to complete the work. Solicit bids, review contractor qualifications, and negotiate a contract. Selecting a contractor who has experience with similar projects and can deliver quality work within the agreed-upon timeline and budget is imperative to the success of your project.
5. Execute the project: When construction begins, there will be a lot of coordination and management involved. From pre-construction planning to day-to-day construction work, it’s important to have regular communication with the contractor and monitor progress to ensure that the project is proceeding according to plan.
6. Close out the project: Once the capital project is completed, the final step is to close out the project. This involves conducting a final inspection, reviewing the work, ensuring it meets the required standards, and making final payments to the contractor. It’s also important to update any relevant records, such as maintenance logs or financial statements, to reflect the completion of the project.
By following these steps, Chicago condo associations can successfully handle capital projects and ensure that their properties are maintained and improved for the benefit of all residents. Proper planning, funding, and execution can help to minimize disruption and ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget.
For help planning and managing your condo association’s next capital project, please get in touch with us at First Community Management. We offer full-service association management as well as expert project management for condo associations throughout Chicagoland.