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Real Estate & Property Law: a View from the property line
Painting the Town (Community Common Areas) Red
By William G. Gammon
(1) Don't let the contractor supply the paint. The Association is much better off supplying the paint for a variety of reasons -- (i) no delays while waiting for paint to arrive on the jobsite; (ii) better control over where and how the paint is applied (and whether all the paint earmarked for your community gets USED in your community - not always a given); (iii) ensure paint quality.
(2) Don't agree to a "time and materials" approach to bidding the paint project. With a "time and materials" approach, costs can go spiraling out of control, leaving the Association with a bloated paint bill and a hole in its pocketbook. The bill will always be higher if you allow the contractor to charge for all hours spent on the job as well as every item procured. This method also fails to account for hidden costs and other potentially costly variables such as weather conditions or pre-paint preparation. Try securing a contractor via a fixed-price bid instead and avoid the money pit. A fixed-price bid also eliminates the need for heavy-handed monitoring of the contractor to ensure that the job is finished in a timely manner. With a fixed-price bid, the contractor is incentivized to finish in the shortest amount of time to maximize profit.
(3) Don't bite off more than you can chew (don't paint too much at one time.) If the Association plans on painting several buildings in the Community, try limiting active painting to three buildings or less at any one time. Expanding the scope of the job may cause lapses between the time a building is cleaned/prepped for painting and the actual paint job (this could lead to a less effective paint job if the buildings get dirty again.) Also, limiting the scope of the project minimizes resident inconvenience and reduces the incidence of complaints from members.
(4) Don't forget about waste disposal. Make sure that the Association and contractor agree upon who will be responsible for the cleanup and removal of waste generated throughout the painting project. Make sure that the contractor is well versed in the location of the Community's dumpsters and/or local laws regarding disposal that could get the Association in legal hot water if compliance is not observed.
*thanks to the Insider's Guide to Managing Community Associations for excerpts used in the compilation of this article
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