Maintenance in strata can cause much angst and even disagreement in a strata community. Do you choose the cheapest option for repairs? Do you just fix the problem and not really address the underlying issues?
What will often seem like just a simple repair can become a major expense. For example, blistering paint, cracked brickwork, popped tiles or even the appearance of mould. From the outside these all seem like easy fixes but what is the underlying cause of these problems and is it just a quick fix?
More often than not, the repairs can be completed with ease, requiring limited outlay and providing a quick result. This obviously makes strata committees happy and owners at ease that there is no major cost involved.
But there are instances where something simple may be hiding major remedial works and fixing the problem may cost more in the short term but save the community significant money in the long-term.
Buildcheck, are Engineers and Building Consultants who specialise in defect reports and Project Management. Here is an scenario they experienced.
Buildcheck were working with a 30 year old, 15-story building. They were originally brought in by the newly appointed Strata Manager to manage a simple painting project. After our initial inspection, they identified more critical issues including: defective waterproofing, leaky windows and drainage concerns in the carpark. They also discovered the existing paint job was 14 years old and the building was dealing with a serious amount of concrete spalling. These deficiencies unfortunately were the result of a poorly managed sinking fund.
The question was whether to deal with each individual project and spread them over years until everything was complete or to address the problem as a whole.
Buildcheck’s recommendations addressed the severity of each issue and access concerns of each project. They considered how to spend the least amount of money over the long term, not just the current year or the next but over several years. While some owners continually requested more opinions until they had one that suited the budget, Buildcheck were fortunate to deal with a highly engaged Strata Manager and a committee who wanted to take control over their building’s future.
The strata manager was able to organise a loan and Buildcheck were able to assist with a scope of works that addressed each need in the most cost effective manner. With a robust project plan in place, all of the works were completed in a short period and with limited disruption. If all of the jobs were treated individually, the disruption and the cost to the owners would have been considerably more.
Although it may seem daunting at first, bundling major works will save a building money over the long term and provide owners with peace of mind knowing that their investment is protected.
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