Saturday, May 15, 2010

An Overview of the Unexpected

The Big Surprise--Major Reconstruction in Community Associations

Every community association will face a major reconstruction project several times in the life of the development. This may occur because of clearly anticipated problems, such as re-roofing or re-painting, but it also will occur because of completely unanticipated (and unreserved-for) problems such as dry rot repair, soil subsidence, and leaks in windows, siding, and foundations. The Davis-Stirling Act only requires that a community association reserve for those components that visual inspections into accessible areas reveal have a useful life of 30 years or less. 

But what about components in areas that are not visible or accessible? What about areas under staircases that sponsor dry rot due to long-term intrusion of water? Framing components under siding that have allowed water to enter slowly for years without any way to get it out except evaporation? Deteriorating concrete walkways or driveways due to the invasion of roots or soil subsidence due to unconsolidated fill? Or, balcony railings rotting off at their interior supports? As the last post revealed, three people in Antioch were severely injured recently when such a railing collapsed. 

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1 comment:

  1. Tyler, You are right on the mark with this issue; time after time on condo projects where we are redoing decks,we discover massive dryrot in structural components that MUST be fixed first before waterproofing. The costs are astronomical!

    Case 1 Camarillo CA-An HOA job we were on had a budget of 4 million to fix the problems they had-balcony deck waterproofing, siding replacement, painting and roof replacement.
    Deck repair budget-waterproofing $120,000.00.
    Misc repairs $300,000.00
    General Contractor opens the decks and discover dry-rot has damaged significant portions of the deck structures.

    New deck repair budget-$750,000 to 1 million.

    Santa Barbara CA oceanfront condos- Scope of work, repair cracked stucco, repair water damaged decks and walkways, replace windows and doors in 1970's era condo buildings. Budget 2 million, my waterproofing apx $75,000

    GC starts to strips off the decking and stucco on front of buildings facing ocean. Dry-rot from water intrusion. Salt laden water rusted out the stucco's wire reinforcement. The 60 minute building paper is gone, water logged away. Turns out, the stucco is the de facto structural component holding up the buildings. New budget-unknown, HOA is leaning towards demoing some of the buildings instead of repairs as it will be cheaper.

    Pismo Beach CA 8 Units ocean front property. Eight decks need to be waterproofed at a contracted cost of $8,000.00. Contractor tears off deck coatings, finds minor repairs needed to substrate. Open substrate, discover dry-rot has destroyed the wood structural columns supporting the decks. Stucco is the only thing left to support the decks.

    Demo decks to reveal $114,000.00 in structural repair costs. Special assess the 8 owners to pay for the repairs.

    In today's economy, it's going to get MUCH MUCH worse. Many clients don't have the money to pay for the repairs they MUST make, but they band-aid the problems, leaving significant must do repairs for later.

    Many of these problems may have been alleviated with regular maintenance as the decks/siding/roofs were allowed to fall apart until something HAD to be done.
    It's always cheaper to maintain than replace!