The vendor / HOA manager relationship is a unique one in the world of real estate construction. Both parties face challenges and obstacles when it comes to processes, expectations and deliverables. Hiring a competent construction manager can effectively mitigate many of these issues through up-front, preconstruction planning and streamlined communication throughout the project.
What are Pre-Construction Services?
There are many tasks that should be completed prior to construction that are often overlooked or undervalued by a busy HOA manager. Some of these tasks include interviews, site inspections, feasibility studies, preliminary drawings, permit investigation, and product evaluations and comparisons. This is really just the tip of the iceberg, however. All jobs are different and preconstruction planning and due diligence should be handled accordingly.
With the scope of work and specifications properly defined, your board can compare bids from vendors on a level playing field. This will not only aid vendors in submitting accurate and timely bids, but will allow your board to make efficient and informed decisions on the work.
Why a level playing field matters
Home Owners Association boards can often overlook the amount of work that goes into providing a bid. Vendors spend hours doing site visits, photographing, measuring, pricing and compiling the information in a digestible format. With no predetermined scope of work, budget or timeline, it’s a guessing game to determine these factors in a vacuum. For the board, comparing the bids can get sticky, to say the least.
Even after the vendors are chosen and the work begins, the failure to complete pre-construction due-diligence and forecasting can come back to haunt you. Often times it will come in the form of costly change orders and missed deadlines. The reason is simple: It is impossible to accurately bid something that hasn’t been properly defined.
Next time your board needs to take a job to bid. Consider this article and make the necessary arrangements for a qualified construction manager to carry out pre-construction tasks. A little up front cost could end up saving you big.