And it is important to remember, other units are other homes where other families live and want to do so as peacefully and enjoyably as possible.
Park Tower Condo’s Construction and Remodeling Policies and Procedures (Construction and Remodeling Packet) are the specific guidelines for unit renovations and alterations. They supplement the Rules and Regulations Handbook and the Declaration and By-Laws, which spell out the necessary process and procedures for Unit Owners and any contractors hired to do work. Besides the intent to avoid chaos and help make the process smooth and orderly for the Owner, neighbors and everyone involved, they create a reasonable set of checks and balances which protect the structure, fixtures, residents and their belongings – as well as Unit Owners themselves.
Far too often we are forced to address and pursue Owners who decided to ignore the procedures, and created problems for the building. Flooding, unnecessary electrical and fire hazards, unexpected noise for neighbors and even structural damage.
In one recent case, an Owner started installing a washer and dryer without approval. While work was being done within the wall, a sawzall was inserted too far, puncturing a water line. This resulted in water infiltration into 7 units below, a potentially costly mistake. It is certainly very disruptive for the innocent and unsuspecting residents and families who live in the 7 other impacted homes. Had this been a properly disclosed and approved project, our team could have provided guidance to help avoid such a disappointing event.
In a separate recent situation, an Owner did not disclose in their scope of work activity such as channeling into the the structural concrete, installing wooden studs in violation of fire codes, and a variety of plumbing and electrical improvements installed inconsistent to code. All things that if the construction guidelines were followed properly, would have been caught by our team so the proper procedures could have been followed. Now the Owner will need to make costly and time consuming changes and corrections.
In another case in the past, an Owner started channeling into the concrete ceiling, cutting into a conduit and causing a power outage in the unit above. And in another similar case, an owner carelessly cut into a chase and caused a phone outage to scores of other units. Both cases demonstrating extreme carelessness and yet completely avoidable.
The Construction and Remodeling Packet should be completely read, any questions should be asked in advance and the necessary and completed documentation provided to the Management Office before anything gets underway. Demolition, removing old cabinets and fixtures, tearing up old flooring, break down old drywall – DON’T BEGIN ANY WORK including demolition until written authorization is issued.
Following the process by the book, the office and maintenance team review and consider the scope of work as presented. Then written CONDITIONAL approval is issued and a pre-construction meeting held. This must be done prior to construction commencing so that all parties are familiar with the requirements and limitations that will affect the building and surrounding units. A noise notice is issued so neighbors are aware of the pending work, and some reasonable expectations can be set. All this and more. So – completely read the packet.
One point we have to mention, because it is so frequently ignored: Luggage Carts may not be used for construction work of any kind, big or small. Construction materials are not luggage.
Condominium units are not bubbles floating around in space on their own. We can’t underscore enough, that what Owners do in their unit, can affect others around them in a profound way. Not just noise in many cases. We’ve had floods, power outages, cable outages, phone outages, cracking concrete, plumbing cross overs, and on and on.
So, before you do any work, read and become familiar with the process and procedures: Construction and Remodeling Packet. Then ask questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. Doing so will save time, money and headaches.