Preventive maintenance can help HOA amenities to retain their function, aesthetic, and safety, but in time, repair or replacement will likely be necessary. Whether this means replacing a roof or putting in a whole new pool, the HOA needs to plan accordingly. Keeping accurate records and tracking the typical lifespan and wear and tear on amenities can support the process. It will give the board a heads up on when to expect major projects.
Early planning is key. If the HOA knows the clubhouse roof will need to be replaced in the next two years or there is a section of sidewalk that needs to be repaired, start making plans now. Get several estimates for cost to know how much money will need to be put aside. Depending on the cost and HOA governing documents, the project may need owner approval. This means holding meetings and letting homeowners know what is happening and why the project is necessary – then voting. Also check to see what permits or approvals are required by the city or township.
Get several bids to find the best value. Going with the cheapest – or most expensive – option is not always best. Compare what each company has to offer and check references and reviews. Also make sure they have the proper licenses and insurance in place. Create a contract that clearly outlines expectations and timelines.
Save up to ensure there is enough money to cover the project. This is when reserve studies and good financial planning come into play. If the HOA has been diligent in tracking maintenance and looking ahead, they have likely built up the reserves to pay for repairs or new construction. If not, and a project is critical, the HOA may have to use a special assessment to generate enough funds for the work.
Keep homeowners informed of progress and what to expect, especially if it interferes with access to certain amenities or areas of the neighborhood. For instance, if part of the road will be blocked or the water will be shut off, this will certainly have an impact on homeowners. Stay in touch with contractors as well to ensure the project is still on track and everything is running smoothly.
There are many repairs and improvements to consider as the HOA community grows and ages. Monitoring amenities and staying on top of maintenance can help the HOA to better prepare and plan for upcoming projects. Kuester can help the board to stay organized and manage its resources more effectively so that the HOA community continues to look and function at its best.