Good Oversight Means Better Results Working with Project Managers

Being a co-op or condo owner often means multi-tasking—especially if you happen to serve on your building's board. To keep your home in good repair and to comply with Local Law 11 and other city building codes governing façade repair and maintenance, it will eventually become necessary to hire professional contractors to perform exterior maintenance and/or repair work.

Hiring contractors for a job isn't too difficult—you solicit bids, ask around, check references, and do your homework, then hire the best fit for your building. But how can a board or management team not composed of architects, engineers or construction professionals know if a job being done on the exterior of a building is really progressing properly and efficiently? One simple solution may be for the board to hire a project manager to monitor the job.

A project manager oversees all aspects of the work being done on your building, and then reports back to the board and management about progress, problems, and other relevant information. If things aren't moving fast enough, or if the work is not being done properly, the project manager will act as a first line of defense for the management and the board, keeping contractors on time and on-task, even shutting the job down if conditions warrant the action.

Given the risks—both financial and physical—that are often associated with doing exterior renovations to a building, it may be well worth the fee to have an experienced, seasoned project manager overseeing the next round of exterior work you have done on your building.

A Common Component

Some exterior projects, such as minor repairs or small improvements to a building's facade, are simple enough that an expert needn't oversee them. A small project—like having façade bricks re-pointed, for example, or having sidewalks replaced—may be simple enough that it doesn't require a project manager, says Perry Finkelman, chief executive officer of American Development Group in West Hempstead. "Typically, your property manager should be able to handle those kinds of jobs," Finkelman says.

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