Big projects will tend to affect older properties, but not exclusively. We have been managing an £80K repair project on a building only six years old… Essentially the processes are the same, whatever the age. When looking at embarking on one of these projects it’s important to consider the following:
- Enlisting a professional company whose property management services can adapt to the size of your project. They can help you with all areas of your project, from assessing the damage to working out a plan that will cover the cost of repairs. Property management planning is vital as without it everything can, and often does go horribly wrong.
- Don’t ignore, it won’t go away! There is a great temptation to talk and defer on big projects, simply because it is expensive, slightly scary and beyond the competence of the leaseholders. However, the longer the problem is allowed to develop the worse it will become and the more expensive it will be to eventually fix it. Therefore, as soon as you spot a problem act on it.
If you are tackling a big project, here is how to avoid some of the common pitfalls:
- I know a man who can; It is difficult to be exact here, but if the problem is a leaking roof or similar (by far the most common problem), then it is wise to get a professional to look at the issue. This will usually be someone like a chartered surveyor. Be VERY careful about taking advice from your local friendly builder. They may be knowledgeable, but frequently do not have the skills to produce a proper work specification.
- Quotes; If you intend to get the traditional ‘three quotes’ you really need to make sure they are all quoting against the same scope of work, otherwise that temptingly cheap quote may turn out either to be inadequate or suddenly include lots of subsequent add-ons. Select the eventual contractor carefully, get references and make sure they are members of relevant trade bodies. If in doubt, consult managing agent team.
- Money Money Money;. Big projects will almost certainly attract big costs. It is vital that the money is gathered in from the leaseholders before the work starts. Do not trust promises of payment. All too often they will not materialise. Often contractors will require money up front. Don’t forget when calculating costs, few if any management companies can reclaim VAT, so make sure you have taken account of this in your costing.
- Communication; Make sure everyone is kept in the picture as work proceeds. This is easy to do when correct property management planning procedures are already in place. There may be disturbance to residents, there may be noise. Make sure people are aware of these issues before it happens. Try to accommodate any concerns and make sure the contractors are aware and considerate to people in the property.
- Checks & Balances; When the work is done, make sure it is independently checked by an expert. Keep some money back for so called ‘snagging’ or corrective work.
PM Property Services is a Managing Agent that specialises in dealing with large projects and property management planning, including roof repairs, gas pipe upgrades, and metalwork refurbishment. We have the ability to plan such jobs, deal with the planning requirements and engage trusted contractors.