When prioritizing HOA repair projects, property managers must balance their budgets with their board member expectations. Whether it’s an infrastructure improvement project or minor aesthetic repairs for curb appeal, it’s important to strategize first and prioritize smartly.
First, Check Your Association’s Financial Health
Before assessing needed repairs, you’ll need to review your association’s finances. Depending on what that review turns up, you may want to forgo cosmetic repairs in favor of important infrastructure updates such as those that impact drainage or pavement.
You’ll also want to make sure that your reserve study is up-to-date. Auditing your reserve studies annually will help you anticipate costs for major improvement projects, and help you avoid special assessments. Experts say that you should update your reserve study every three years and recommend doing your reserve study 4-5 months before the beginning of your new budget year. It’s best to allocate 25 to 35 percent of your HOA fees to be going to reserves. Making sure you have enough in reserves will help you avoid special assessments.
Assessing Repairs In Your HOA
The easiest way to figure out where to start your repair strategy is to walk the property. We recommend using our HOA Spring Maintenance Inspection Checklist to get organized.
It will walk you through these zones:
- Asphalt, Pavement, and Concrete
- Lighting, Signage & Fencing
- Landscaping & Sprinkler System
Prioritize Your Association Repair Projects
Once you’ve made a list of damage and necessary repairs, you’ll need to prioritize what requires immediate attention and what can wait. Do this with a ‘safety first’ mindset.
Anything that poses potential harm to people or property, or leaves you vulnerable to litigation, such as trip hazards, sinkholes or dead tree limbs should be repaired first.
The next wave of priorities are the repairs needed to mitigate drainage issues and flooding. After your safety hazards and flood-mitigation repairs are handled you can tackle the things that are primarily aesthetic, such as painting or planting.
Consider Paving Project Timelines
Aside from roof repair, paving projects are probably one of the biggest association repair projects. Both of these types of projects are a significant investment. But ignoring or delaying needed roof or concrete repairs can have a negative cascading effect on everything from resident safety to the longevity of your buildings and parking areas.
Both of these HOA repair projects also affect other planned work in your communities. For example, a paving project could potentially impact landscaping or building repairs.
We recommend visiting our Community Living page to see a typical paving timeline and the milestones involved so that you know what to expect.
A couple of important things to keep in mind about paving projects:
- Reputable paving contractors get really busy and booked up starting around mid-April. You’ll want contact a least three in January and get several bids, and book the contractor of your choice by March (or earlier!) for a summer project.
- Look ahead on your community calendar! When scheduling your spring or summer paving project, you’ll want to make sure there are no conflicts with other community events such as block parties or neighborhood garage sales.
Prioritizing repairs in your association can be daunting. Knowing the state of your finances, which repairs put you at risk for litigation, and which contractors are the best in your area are the keys to booking improvement projects with confidence.
Pro Tip! Do your homework by gathering Google reviews and project photos of all possible subcontractors’ previous work to send to the board.
We are happy to come out to do a site visit or take you on a tour of one of our own association paving projects in your area so you can see the quality and longevity of our work for yourself.