Water damage inside a commercial structure

Categorizing Water Damage

Water Damage Basics

Water damage inside a commercial structure

Untreated water damage can quickly move from category 2 to category 3.

Water damage comes in many forms and how it is categorized can effect the cost of the repairs. Simple puddling of water in front of a toilet or sink can usually be cleaned up with at home supplies like a mop but more extensive water damage like from a flood or storm needs to be handled with care by a professional. When water collects in larger amounts, it can lead to mold or bacteria that can be harmful to you and your family. It is important to contact your insurance company right away once your water damage hits a higher level on the classification scale. Classic knows how to handle all types of water damage repairs using our professional moisture testing to determine the severity and can even help you navigate the insurance claim process faster.

Category 1: DIY Water Damage Control

When making sure water damage is under control, first assess the damage by making sure the source has been completely shut off. Your next task after assessing the source would be to completely dry everything in the surrounding area as much as possible with your home supplies, this will allow you to start getting rid of any moisture that may be in your home as soon as possible. Once you clean and dry the area, make sure to remove and toss damaged porous materials and inspect for serious issues like mold.

Category 2: Water Damage with Possible Health Risks

Water damage comes in three different categories 1, 2, and 3. Each category represents a different kind of water and how that water can effect your home and family. Category 1 is the one you’d want to have, if you wanted water damage that is. It is called “clean water” and does not pose any risk to humans (or pets). Category 2 is known as “gray water” and can make you sick should you come in contact with it. If this type of water is in your home it is important to remedy it right away to prevent your family (and pets) from feeling ill and damage to your home.

Category 3: Contaminated & Unsanitary Water Damage

The most dangerous and scary water damage category of them all, Category 3 refers to damage that includes unsanitary elements like sewage, bacteria, stagnant water from a flood, and contents from a toilet overflow. It’s often referred to as “black water” and can cause serious illness or even death. Not only is this category extremely unsafe to your family (and pets) it can lead to damage in your home that can only be handled by a professional.

Here’s one thing to be careful of: Category 2 water damage can easily turn into a Category 3 if it wasn’t properly addressed by either you or the company you worked with. The difference isn’t just a health risk, but can cost thousands more to remove and repair.

Why & When Pros Can Help (insurance claims for water damage)

A flooded apartment unit

Flooding causes hidden water damage, including mold.

As harmless as water damage in Category 1 or Category 2 might seem, we highly recommend getting a second opinion from a professional. When our team comes to visit your home or property, we perform several tests and can take hundreds of photos that will help document your case and ensure that any insurance claims are well-documented. Many times home and business owners find the insurance claim process daunting and overwhelming, this is where Classic comes in. We have 90 years of dealing with insurance companies and have the expertise to handle your insurance claim with ease to get your home or business repaired quickly and properly.

In Conclusion

You’ve taken the right step by learning more about the different categories of water damage so that you can ensure that when you experience it, you’re ready to find the right professional to ensure that it’s addressed safely. We know that Health and Safety are important to you and our team shares those values.

With over 2,000 projects completed within the year, our team has seen and done it all – and with care. If you’re unsure about what water damage category best describes your situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to our fully-licensed team anytime. (972) 437-0909

Kitchen with floral backsplash

Choosing the Right Tile for Your Home or Business

Tiling your floors is never an easy job. It requires patience and can sometimes be very time-consuming depending on the type of tile you choose, the shape of the space in which you’re installing tile, if you’re doing it yourself, and how much experience you have.

Tiles can be a great way to reflect your style and personality. Many who live in small apartment rooms or have small space might feel that tiling won’t work in smaller areas, but that isn’t always the case. By choosing the right size and style of tiles, you can create interesting, yet cohesive designs in your home, or even small business.

Tiled Walls and Floors

Tiles can tell your style story, evoke memories, and even add warmth to a space.

How Do Tiles Bring Out The Beauty Out of Your Home?
Have you ever wondered why celebrities invest so much money on tiles? – The reason is that suitable tiles elevate the beauty of your home to a whole new level. Tiled flooring, and even walls and backsplashes, can enhance architecture, draw the eye upward, or even direct the eye away, making a space seem larger than it is.

Tiles can be neutral to blend in with a space, so that the pops of color can be more easily traded out with fixtures and accessories. Whites and creams are great for making a space seem more open and bright and will often blend in with lighter walls to give the illusion of having a larger space.  Darker colors are often chosen for flooring to hide dirt and to make a room feel grounded. Either way, choose a grout to match to help the tiles blend in to the design seamlessly.

On the other hand, you may want your tile to be an art piece or a focal point in your space. Colors can evoke warmth, coolness, or harken back to a different era. The wonderful thing about tiles is that they can help tell the story of your style, for example, bringing in the blues that remind you of your favorite Greek vacation, or a modern avocado green that points to your mid-century modern style.

Love hardwood floors but dislike the maintenance? Did you know that tiles come in a wide array styles that mimic the look of hardwood? Add the upscale natural look of wood without the upkeep it requires.

There are tons of ideas and examples out there!

Measure and Select Your Tiles Carefully
There are many handy tile measurement tools online to help you determine how much to purchase. You can multiply the room’s length by its width to get the total square footage, but depending on the style you choose and the layout of your space, you may need to purchase extra tiling to make the pattern flow correctly.

Tiling is often sold in batch numbers, not unlike yarn and fabric. This is important to note because if you are purchasing the tile, you’ll want to make sure they’re all from the same batch so you can be certain they’ll wear the same over the years and so that the colors will match where the tiling meets. You may need to purchase extra tile up front to compensate for errors, broken tiles, and saving some back for future repair.

Choose the Right Size Tiles for Your Project

Kitchen with floral backsplash

These floral-patterned tiles in a bright white kitchen add a pop of color and visual interest.

In general, smaller tiles look better in smaller spaces, and larger tiles will fill a large space better, though there can be exceptions if the look is designed well. Larger tiles will require less grout and will look cleaner and more contemporary. Smaller tiles will look busier, which is not necessarily a bad thing! Ideally, you want to choose tile that will flow well with the layout of your space.

Smaller tiles can be fussier to work with, but larger tiles may require more complicated cuts to fit around fixtures such as toilets, plumbing, and cabinetry.

Tile Installation
There are heaps of tutorials and DIY instructional videos on installing tile yourself. You’ll want to make sure you are learning the correct method for the type of tile you’ve chosen, the location of the tile (Will it be on a floor or a wall?), and how the tile will be used (Will water be running over the tile? Will it be in a high-foot traffic location?). You’ll also want to be sure you are following the correct steps for specific products, ie purchasing the correct brand and size spacers.

When to Hire a Professional
Tiling a space can be frustrating, but very rewarding. Always take your time to review designs, learn about materials, and follow best practices. If the process of choosing and installing tiles for your home, restaurant, office, or other space seems daunting, you can always call in a professional. Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc is staffed by experts in remodeling and restoration! Let the pros talk you through design and do the hard work for you– quickly and correctly! Learn more about bathroom remodeling, or see our client work!

Call (972) 437-0909 today or contact us through our site to learn how Classic Construction can help you with your tiling needs for residential, commercial, or multifamily buildings.


Smoke Damage

Soot and Smoke Damage

What is soot and smoke damage?

Though most incidents of soot & smoke come directly from fire damage, even homes and structures that have not been burned can have an issue with soot and smoke damage from nearby fires and other causes. For example; excessive candle usage, defective fireplaces, as well as furnaces can lead to soot & smoke damage. Soot is usually formed by an incompletion of combusted carbon particles, but it can also contain detectable amounts of dust, metals, and chemicals.

Smoke Damage

Chemicals in Soot and Smoke Can Harm Your Health

Did you know that you could be breathing soot without you even knowing it? That’s because soot “particulate” is actually invisible. After a home fire, you’ll want to make sure to avoid the risks commonly associated with exposure – that includes respiratory issues, bronchitis, heart attack and even premature death. If you see the notorious black residue on your walls and around your home after a fire, that will be the easiest way to identify whether you are putting you and your family at risk for health issues caused by it.

Can I Clean It Myself? What Tools Do I Need?

Soot particulate is tough to remove because of its microscopic fine particles. There are quite a number of how-to articles that will give you directions using household chemicals like hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol or other cleaning solutions. While it’s true that those types of cleaning techniques can remove soot with quite a bit of intense elbow grease, rubbing the soot in and having loose particles fly in the air are not just a hassle, but a health risk that most families wouldn’t want to take. Additionally when not used properly these chemicals can be harmful themselves.

When to Hire a Professional

You should hire a professional to clean soot after a house or business fire or if a major fire has happened nearby – the hidden chemicals, soot particulate, and general health concerns that breathing in soot causes are all things that our team has the right equipment for and the right experience to remove without adding any risk to your family or household.

Classic Construction has done many fire damage remediations for residential, multi-family, and commercial properties, are experts. You can trust us to keep your family safe!

If you have had a small fire in your home or business and need soot and smoke damage restoration and remediation, call us at (972) 437-0909 or book a free estimation today!

Burning House
pink bathroom

DIY Bathroom Remodel Tips

Bathroom remodels can be as simple as changing out paint, cabinet fixtures, and other cosmetic features, to installing new electrical components like fans and lighting, to installing and reconfiguring plumbing.

Where to Start

First and foremost, any homeowner should do research before jumping into a project. What do materials cost? Are there specific materials to avoid in a room that has a lot of moisture? Do you have all the required tools and skills? Often, you can find resources in construction and home handyman magazines and websites, as well as detailed how-tos on YouTube. Do your homework! Believe us, you don’t want to end up on a list like this.

pink bathroom

Do you have the skills and know-how to go from this…

Be Realistic With Yourself

Secondly, know your timeline. Too often, bathroom remodels seem like they’ll be simple only for the homeowner to realize he doesn’t have the budget, the skillset, or even the time to complete everything after demolition has started. Half-finished projects tend to linger as homeowners get used to the mess and put off finishing. That’s why only 31% of homeowners have successfully completed their DIY projects without problems – yikes! Set a realistic goal for having it complete, and call in help if you are stuck. https://nypost.com/2018/06/12/youre-not-the-only-one-putting-off-your-diy-projects/

Know Your Limits

The third and most important piece of advice is to know what’s outside of your ability and know when to call professionals. If you’re handy, you might be able to handle smaller tasks, such as installing new fixtures, painting, or even some light carpentry. Bigger remodels might require moving plumbing, repairing or replacing outdated or broken piping, and even electrical work – which can be incredibly dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Make sure your general contractor is bonded, licensed, and insured for the type of work they’ll be doing.

remodeled bathroom

to this?

Why hire a professional?

Contractors can often get discounted bulk rates on materials, and being professionals, they can work faster too – sometimes with a team, which can save you money. They are also aware of what permits your area might require for the specific work you need done. The other benefit to hiring a professional, is they know best practices in terms of bathroom layouts and usability and can tailor your idea to a practical design that fits your specific needs.

Feeling overwhelmed by your remodel?

Contact Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc today for a free estimate for your bathroom remodel! We’re licensed, insured, and staffed by experts ready to serve for projects big and small!

Call today (469) 290-8980 or fill out a contact form for more information!

water shutoff valve

How to Turn Your Water Main Off

A house in Houston suburb flooded from Hurricane Harvey 2017Do you need to turn your water main off? If you’ve recently suffered burst pipes, done major remodels, or had some other water emergency and didn’t know what to do, we have instructions for you!

Where to find the main water shutoff valve 

For most homeowners, your main water shutoff valve is located at the edge of your property. For some, you’ll find the water box in the alley or near the curb in the front yard. It’ll look like a miniature manhole cover or a long, rectangular lid with a little keyhole. These boxes are generally made of concrete and buried in the ground so the cover is flush. For others, you may have a shutoff valve on the side of the house right next to your water meter. You’ll see a knob (that looks like your garden hose knob) and a pressure valve. Never touch your pressure valve – only licensed plumbers should change that.

What tools you need to shut off the water valve

For homeowners with the shutoff valve, typically you don’t need any tools, just some muscle. If your shutoff valve is in a box, you’ll probably need a meter key. They come in different shapes and sizes, so you might be able to borrow a key from a neighbor if you don’t have one, but they may have a different style of box than you. Hardware stores carry them, so they’re typically easy to find. You won’t want to search for one during an emergency, so plan ahead and source your key ahead of time. 
The other tool you’ll probably need is a pair of pliers or a wrench. For some, you can simply turn the lever with your hands, but oftentimes, the lever can become stuck from disuse and debris and other styles have a small lever that can be difficult to grip with your fingers.

Turning the Water Off

water shutoff valveOnce you’ve located the shutoff valve and gotten into the box, turning the water off is generally easy. Most shutoff valves require a small turn. You may find you need a good amount of muscle, but because you’re not managing water pressure from this valve, you shouldn’t need to turn it far at all- the settings are on and off and that’s it!
If you live in an apartment you may find you need to turn off water at a sink or toilet if you have small repairs or don’t have full access to the main shutoff valve. These smaller shutoffs are typically underneath your sink or toilet and are simple to find and turn. Just like with the vale’s it’s a quick turn and it’s off. 

What to handle yourself and when to call a professional

Many people found themselves needing to turn off water at the main valve for the first time with the recent cold snap in North Texas. While some were able to locate it and get it turned off, many relied on the fire department to come assist. Before your next water emergency, you should take the time to locate your shutoff valve and figure out and acquire any tools you need to turn your main water line off. Practice turning it off and on so you’re comfortable with the movements and know which tools to use where. 
If you need to do a major remodel or have a large leak, burst pipe, or have trouble with your water pressure, you should contact a professional plumber. Classic Construction is here to help and will provide free estimates. Call us today for your water damage needs or if you plan a remodel for your home or business. We serve residential, multi-family, and commercial clients throughout the DFW area.
shoveling snow on iced driveway

7 Tips On How To De-ice Your Sidewalk and Driveway

There’s a saying in Texas:

“Don’t like the weather? Wait five minutes and it’ll change!”

We’re certainly finding this to be true this winter! While we’ve enjoyed some light snow drifts, 60° weather (and up into the 70s a few times), and crisp nights, we’re experiencing a cold snap unlike any we’ve experienced in 22 years! In general, when we have icy days, we’re warm enough to melt it when the sun comes out, but with several days below freezing, you may find yourself needing to de-ice your concrete walkways, sidewalks, stairs, and driveways. We’ve rounded up some ideas for you! 

Rock Salt

Rock salt (also known as sodium chloride) is one of the most widely used deicing chemical. It is inexpensive, easy to get, and works well (for temperatures above 15°F). Here in Texas, we may not have bags of it on-hand for de-icing. You can use table salt in a pinch, but it’s less effective than rock salt. If you can’t get rock salt, sprinkle a thin layer of table salt over the area you want to de-ice. The chemical reaction between the salt and the water results in heat, melting the ice.

Salt shouldn’t be your long-term solution for melting ice, because it can damage your lawn, erode your concrete, and cause animals to get sick! But in a pinch, it will do!

Calcium Chloride

Calcium Chloride granules or powder is another form of salt that is great for deicing and is good for temperatures down to -20°F. Let’s hope we don’t need that, here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area! While a little safer than rock salt for plants and animals, it can still harm them in large quantities. You may have some on hand for other uses, and it’s readily available, but you’re probably less likely to have it on hand than you are table salt!

Pet and Environmentally Friendly Alternative Chemicals

shoveling snow near an icy driveway

If you’re worried about environmental impacts from deicers, there are plenty of eco-friendly deicers on the market. Many claim to be pet-safe, less damaging to lawn and waterways, and less damaging to your concrete, if slightly less effective than traditional de-icers. Many are available on Amazon.


A readily available option that many have right in their backyard is sand! It doesn’t melt ice, but it can add traction to slippery areas. If you’re looking to get purchase for your tires on a slightly inclined driveway or help keep your sidewalk just a little safer, sand is a great option that won’t degrade your concrete or hurt your lawn. The biggest downside is the mucky mess it makes when the ice finally melts, but that’s a mop problem, which is certainly better than an injury problem! Sand can help on stairs, but melting the ice is the safer solution!

Heated Mats

Heated mats are an expensive solution, most likely added to a new build, and generally more widely used in areas that stay colder than Dallas-Fort Worth. If you live toward Collin County or any of the more northern counties in North Texas, and you’re building a new home or commercial property, this might not be a bad option to consider!


Anti-icing solution is a chemical spray that is applied to your sidewalks and driveways before wintery mixes and snowstorms happen. Most come as a liquid in a jug and use a sprayer similar to a fertilizer or pesticide sprayer. Many claim to be eco and bio-friendly and non-toxic, though, like any chemical you apply outside, you’ll want to use it as sparingly as possible. Anti-icers are fairly easy to find (though they may be more readily available in colder climates) and are a great choice for retail and multifamily properties, where slip and fall suits might be a concern.


Good, old fashioned shoveling might do what you need if your ice isn’t too thick and you don’t have too large a surface to shovel. You’ll want to use a flat, wide shovel if you have one available.

Classic is here to help!

Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc is prepared in case you need emergency water services, and can de-ice on a large scale for retail and multifamily properties. Call today at (469) 290-8980 if you have experienced burst pipes (link to burst pipes blog) or other winter-weather related (link to water damage page) damage to your home, business, or multifamily property.

Inspect your home inside and out

Your Home Maintenance Checklist For 2021

Inspect your home inside and out

Inspect your home inside and out, including the roof and foundation.

With the new year, and more time spent at home, it’s time to give your property a little TLC and put a maintenance checklist in place. To get started and ensure your home is in good shape, start by looking at these key areas.

Check Up On The Condition of Your Roof

It is important to assess the condition of your roof, and look for any signs of damage and wear and tear. Roofs can take a beating due to the elements, even if your roof is not that old. Look to see if there are any shingles out of place, discoloration, mold, or moss. These can be signs that it is time to get an inspection by a roofing expert to determine if anything needs to be replaced.

Determine If Your Exterior Needs Some Touching Up

 If you are thinking about practical, as well as aesthetic, upkeep on your home, then look no further than the exterior. The appearance of your siding or paint can change the entire look of your house. If your siding is in need of repair or if your paint is fading, then it is time to freshen it up. You can check out exterior home trends for 2021, and then pick out a new or sophisticated material to boost curb appeal.

Clean Out Your Gutters

Sometimes simple maintenance tasks can be forgotten until they start to have negative impacts on your property. For instance, cleaning out your gutters should be something you build into your regular outdoor maintenance schedule. Leaves and other debris can quickly pile up, clog your gutters, and defeat the purpose of having them in the first place. Clogged gutters cause water to dump against the exterior of your home, making it soggy, and water can potentially seep in and cause damage. Most major issues can be prevented if you keep up on your gutters and ensure that they are clean.

Ensure Your Foundation Is Water Tight

Make sure you are taking steps to make your home water tight so you don’t have to deal with water damage down the line. This could involve repairing your retaining wall, fixing cracks in your foundation, caulking around windows and doors, keeping your gutters cleaned out, and reinforcing and repairing drywall can all help make your home impermeable.

Tune Up Inefficient Appliances

It is important to keep your appliances on a regular maintenance schedule. There are many moving pieces to each of your appliances that need to be kept in pristine condition. When something is off or goes wrong with one part it can affect the entire performance of the appliance. You can check into your home warranty options to service your appliances to help them run more efficiently. 

Inspect Your Electrical System

Keeping close tabs on your electrical system is essential for safety and for ensuring your entire home system can function properly. Faulty wires, burned-out sockets, and outdated electrical panels must be addressed immediately to prevent fires. Ensure that your electrical system is up to date so that it can meet demand. Especially now, smart home systems are increasingly popular, and it is critical to ensure your electrical is top notch and can handle automation.

Take Proper Care of Special Materials

If your home has unique or has specialty materials it is important that you take care of them properly. If you have concrete driveways, walkways, stone or tile, ensure that they are not cracking. To keep such materials looking their best, be sure to clean them with the proper solutions on a regular basis.

Inspect and Test Home Safety Devices

To keep you and your family safe, you must perform routine safety inspections of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It can be easy to forget to check your detectors. Take time to check the indicator lights frequently and change the batteries. Also, check that there are enough and that they are installed in the proper locations.

Don’t wait and put off maintenance tasks. As a responsible homeowner, it is essential to keep up on your property not only for safety reasons, but to be able to enjoy your property to its fullest potential. Of course, Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc is here to inspect areas such as roofs and foundations, where damage can be hard to spot, but also expensive to repair if problems aren’t caught quickly. Call us at (469) 290-8980 to schedule your inspection today!


Living room in a cabin style home with a fireplace and holiday tree set up

Protect Your Home During the Festivities

Living room in a cabin style home with a fireplace and holiday tree set up

As we approach the last weeks of the year, it is essential to protect your home from the festivities and weather that occur. As you celebrate with your friends and family, plan dinners and gatherings to make sure you prioritize your home’s safety. If you are overwhelmed with all the activities that occur, our team at Classic Construction & Restoration has curated a list of ways you can protect your home during the festive season. Please note that if your home experiences any. 

1. Install and Test Smoke Alarms 

Installing and testing your smoke alarms are vital any time of the year but necessary during the festive season. According to the National Fire Protection Association(NFPA), you should install a smoke alarm in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. If you have more than one level, there should be a smoke alarm on each level. After installing your alarm, you should test it to ensure that it is working correctly. It is suggested that you test your alarm once a month and change out the batteries at least twice a year. If you need help with installing or testing your alarm, feel free to contact our team at Classic.

2. Have Fire Extinguishers 

Choosing a fire extinguisher and comparing each model to see which is the best can be daunting but can save you and your home from damages or losses. We recommend that the fire extinguisher in your home is an ABC fire extinguisher model and that one be placed on every level of your home and a bonus extinguisher in your garage. The reason behind the UL lettering on the extinguisher is that each flame has a designated letter, and your extinguisher should be rated according to the fire it that is effective against.

3. Ensure your Space Heater is Safe  

As the weather drops, we understand there is a need for space heaters, but one of the biggest mistakes is keeping it on all day long. According to NFPA heating equipment is a leading cause of fire in U.S homes. When you are not in the same room or leave the house, make sure to turn the space heater off. Another commonly overlooked item is keeping the space heater at least 3 feet away from curtains or bedroom furniture or bedding, or other combustible materials.

4. Unplug Electric Blankets 

Electric blankets are also a form of heating equipment that people tend to forget to turn off. According to healthine, most electric blankets that are ten years old or older run a higher risk of starting a fire. If you are using an electric blanket, make sure that the blanket is approved by Underwriter Laboratories (UL). If you are finished using your electric blanket, make sure that you store it properly, and as a safety precaution, do not sit or lie on top of it. 

5. Avoid overloading your sockets

Overloading sockets is something that can easily happen if you are using a single socket and extensions. While extension cords are great to have on hand, you can easily overload it and cause a fire due to overheating. One thing that you can do to prevent this is to limit the number of connected appliances to each socket. A rule of thumb that the National Ag Safety Database has is limiting each outlet to two appliances. 

6. Get your chimney/fireplace inspected 

As we mentioned in our previous blog, Winter Checklist for Your Home, it is important to get your chimney/fireplace inspected before turning it on. A clogged chimney can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which is responsible for around 10,000 cases of carbon monoxide-related “injuries” each reported each year.

7. Be cautious of your candles 

Candles are used avidly during this season, and while they provide a sense of comfort and smell, they are often forgotten. If you fail to turn off your candle before bed or leaving the house, it can cost you your home. According to NFPA, candle-caused fires can cause an average of up to $278 million in home damages a year. 

8. Avoid distractions while the stove is on

Preparing dinner for a gathering with friends and family can be a series of ups and downs, but one thing to never forget is to keep collected and be aware of your stove when it is on. If things get out of hand with a kitchen fire, make sure to get out of the kitchen! 

9. Save Classic Construction’s contact information

While you should ALWAYS call 911 if you have a fire emergency, another reliable number to have after the damage has occurred to your house is Classic Construction. We are available 24/7 for emergency services and are ready to help you. You can contact us over the phone (insert emergency number here) or through our website. We are here to help you and when you choose us, know our team is On Time. On Budget. That’s Classic. 

Three roofing contractors removing the old tiles before replacing with new shingles on a home

What to Do When a Resident Has a Problem With Construction

Classic Construction, roof being repaired on two story home with yellow tractor and workers below We’ve all had to deal with that one unreasonable resident.

You know the one I’m talking about. He shows up to every meeting, chimes in on every issue, and takes it upon himself to act as the neighborhood watch. Every Board member knows him by name which means that you as the property manager do too. He probably even has your cell phone number!

It can be hard to know what to do when this resident has a problem with construction, but we here at Classic Construction and Restoration, Inc. have over 80 years of experience handling resident/construction conflict.

We’re here to help.

Complaint #1: Noise

Perhaps the biggest construction-related resident complaint is that of the noise. The number one way to help prevent these complaints before you receive them is to make sure your contractor knows that work is only to be done during business hours. Then inform your residents of when work will begin and approximately how long it is expected to last. Most residents understand that when construction is necessary, there will be some loud noises involved. But they do have a reasonable right to expect a quiet, relaxing community after business hours. Try to assure them that you will do your best to provide them this quite time during the construction process.

construction cones blocking walkwayComplaint #2: Detours/Blockades

The second biggest complaint from residents usually involves the inconvenience of having to change up their morning and afternoon commutes. Humans are creatures of habit and having to add an extra 5 minutes to our morning drive is just excessive. (I mean, really!) To help residents adjust, make sure you know in advance where the detours and blockades will be located. Speak with your contractor before construction so that together, you can come to a solution that allows him to complete the work and you to cause the least inconvenience to your residents. And if there’s no way around the inconvenience, let your residents know well in advance about the detours and remind them why it is necessary or why this temporary inconvenience might even be desirable (ie nicer roads, prettier landscaping, etc).

Complaint #3: Jobsite Cleanliness

This complaint is not unreasonable for any resident to have. Messy jobsites are not only displeasing to the eyes, but can also cause problems in the community. Debris in roads and driveways can cause flat tires. Trash could attract nocturnal critters. Carelessly placed equipment can block roads or access to community amenities….the list goes on and on. When you receive a complaint from your residents about the mess the contractor’s crew is leaving behind, take it seriously. Let your contractor know about the issue and ask him to make sure that his crew is cleaning up after themselves daily. Contractors worth keeping should take this complaint seriously as well and strive to improve the condition of their jobsites.

Complaint #4: Quality of the Work

Again, this complaint is not unreasonable at all. Heck, you might even have the same concerns as your residents! If you notice that the work performed by your construction crew is of inferior quality, don’t be afraid to make him aware of it immediately. This is true at each stage of construction. It is better to ask your contractor about the work as you go along and catch some tiny mistakes now before the project is completed. This will save your contractor lots of money and will shorten the length of time you and your residents must deal with the construction. Before releasing final payment to your contractor, you should also make sure you or your residents are satisfied with the work. Most contractors accept this as a business process; if yours doesn’t, you might seriously consider hiring a professional contractor next time.

Classic Construction condo fire restoration project, new windows, roof and doors have been replaced.

Managing Construction Projects During COVID-19: HOA Tips

Construction project for Classic Construction HOADue to the nature of the Coronavirus quickly changing the world we live in, the way our residential communities are managed has changed drastically. These days, community managers must determine if a service is essential before they can decide whether they and the board want to move forward with it or not. While determining the nature of needed services as either essential or non-essential is not easy, it is important that these decisions be based on official stay-at-home orders and COVID 19 construction guidelines.

At the time of this writing, residential construction is still considered essential. This means that repairs that need to be made to homes, whether they be single or multi-family, can still be scheduled if certain social distancing and PPE protocols are followed. While this process sounds simple enough – keep 6 feet apart, wear face coverings, gloves, etc – it is easier said than done. Some smaller construction companies might not be able to acquire the gear necessary to perform the work according to these guidelines as the demand for these supplies steadily increases. Or on the other hand, some homeowners might not feel comfortable letting workers into their home without being able to supervise from a close distance.

Again, once the board has decided to move forward with a construction project, you might run into issues with scheduling. Many homeowners might be working from home and do not want to be disturbed by the noise construction crews often make while working. Others might be at high risk of contracting the Coronavirus and therefore not give workers consent to enter their home. In either of these circumstances, the board then has to decide if the construction project is urgent or serious enough to override the desires of the homeowner, if this is even within the board’s power to do so.

All in all, scheduling and performing construction projects is no easy feat in these trying times. Some tips to help you determine whether you and your HOA board should press forward are:

  1. Look to your bylaws and guidelines

If your bylaws state that certain projects must be done yearly, monthly, etc, then it’s probably best that you look into whether you can schedule these services or not. In this event, you should just follow the next tip which is to…

  1. Make sure you comply with CDC guidelines and local ordinances

If you or your board believes that a project must get done, then make sure it gets done in accordance with the law. Just be sure your construction workers understand and follow these instructions as well.

  1. Work with your residents

If you have set forth community guidelines and protection protocols for the safety of your residents, then they will better be able to trust that you are doing all you can to protect them while maintaining their home and community. If you find yourself dealing with a particularly difficult homeowner, try gently explaining to the importance of completing the project and the measures you are taking to ensure their safety. If this fails, you might have to start back at tip number one and determine if this really is an essential job or not.