Sooner or later, every resident living in a condo or co-op community will have to deal with the inconvenience of living through a major capital improvement project—a roof replacement, an elevator rehab, serious exterior work, or something of that nature. No matter how carefully the project is scheduled, inevitably it will be disturbing someone. But with strategic planning and clear, consistent communication between board members, residents, management and the project crew, the hassle of the project can be significantly reduced.
Those Pesky Projects
All capital improvement projects have their major inconveniences but industry professionals note that some are definitely more disruptive than others.
Roof replacement and facade work projects always seem to pose some coordination troubles, says Josh Koppel, CPM, president of HSC Management Corp. in Yonkers. “The dust and noise it creates, possible falling debris and possible cracking plaster from construction can create issues.”
Other projects such as elevator work or hallway restoration can be challenging as well. “These types of projects have a direct impact on the daily lives of residents during the project but improve the quality of life once completed,” says Dan Wurtzel, president of Cooper Square Realty in Manhattan. “Residents deal with inconveniences during projects that affect their daily routine. Leaving your apartment and entering a hallway that has been stripped of carpet with bare walls and temporary lighting or having to wait that extra time while an elevator is under modernization has its drawbacks. But once completed, everyone feels much better with the end result.”
Doing work on storm drains also has its difficulties. Working on a 100-unit building in Forest Hills, Jay Cohen, director of operations at Manhattan-based A. Michael Tyler Realty Corp., says the basement and lobby flooring had to be torn out, requiring coordination with activities that residents could do such as pick up mail and access the lobby. “We were constantly putting up notices on what residents could access on any given day,” he says.