Sometimes a board has no choice about when to repair or replace some building feature or piece of equipment. If the boiler goes on the fritz in January, for example, it has to be fixed - period. Other projects, like interior design and renovations, can be scheduled more deliberately. In addition, the timing of certain exterior maintenance and repair projects can have an impact on how quickly they get done and how much they end up costing the building. By bidding and scheduling strategically, boards can save time and money on a renovation project.
The weather is perhaps the most critical factor that can influence the timing of exterior repairs - in contrast to interior renovation, which can be conducted year round. The winter months, however, can be an ideal time during which to collect bids from contractors, who will commence work on the project by early spring, or to do prep work or planning. Or, a board can always hire a construction manager to handle scheduling, the procurement of permits, and inspection of the work.
When it comes to the busiest time of the year for contractors, "it's really dependent upon the scope of the work," says Jason Fox, president of Astral Construction, a Bergenfield, New Jersey-based construction-consulting firm. "With exterior work, you want to bid it in the last quarter of the year or the first quarter of the New Year. I think those are optimal times." That way, he explains, work on the actual project can be carried out until November.
"You can't ignore the whole concept or importance of weather," concurs Wayne Bellet of Bellet Construction Co., Inc. in Manhattan. "You're unable to put wet mortar in a faÃ§ade when it's cold. Obviously it would freeze and if you did it would just pop prematurely. But what you can do if the weather is working against your actual progress of a job is do the planning phase. People overlook the magnitude of the conception, the design, the bid process, the award process and then, the actual work itself," says Bellet.
Each project has a growth cycle from conception to completion, Bellet says, so it's imperative to do proper planning first to prepare for a contractor's busiest season, which is usually early spring to late fall, when the bulk of the work can be done, he explains.