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.

Community Pool Hoa, blue pool and a railing to enter the pool

Suggested Community Pool Guidelines for HOA Leaders During COVID- 19

 Community Pool Hoa, blue pool and a railing to enter the poolAs local governments across North Texas start lifting stay-at-home orders, many property managers of HOA and apartment communities are feeling pressure from their residents to open their community’s amenities. This particularly applies to community pools as summer is now upon us.

But there is some trepidation amongst community leaders to do so, specifically
because of the liability issues that arise with their insurance companies. Most
insurance policies are probably unclear on their standards of liability when it
comes to national diseases such as COVID 19 as this is a trial unprecedented in our lifetime.

While we here at Classic Construction do not presume to be experts on what
insurance policies will and will not cover, we can say that we encourage you as a
property manager to speak with the insurance company and determine these
things.

In the meantime, if the pressure from your residents to open the community pool
becomes too great to resist, we have some guidelines that should help you stay in
compliance with the CDC pool guidelines and with social distancing.

First, consider setting up blocks of time for pool access that your residents can
sign up for. This will help you control the number of residents who enter the pool
area at one time and comply with social distancing. Additionally, you might be
able to further mitigate your liability risk by having residents sign a release of
liability waiver before entering the pool area, as well as posting signs reminding
citizens of the social distancing protocol.

Second, consider how you will adjust your sanitation policies to accommodate the
new pool policies. Will you reduce the amount of pool furniture available so that
it can be spaced approximately 6 feet apart? And will you clean and disinfect the
furniture between each time block, or periodically during each time block while
residents swim?

lifeguard at community pool sitting in white chair with red flotie in his lap Lastly, consider the staffing requirements you might have were these policies put into place. While the community might already have a staff of trained lifeguards, we do not suggest asking your lifeguards to perform multiple tasks in addition to watching the pool. This means you might consider hiring staff to document who enters the pool according to your time blocking chart, to collect the liability waivers, and who clean and disinfect all pool furniture and equipment.

If you find that you are able to withstand the pressure from residents to open the community pool, take a moment to consider what repairs can or should be made to your pool area before you do open it. The most common projects we at Classic have performed over the years include repairs to the wrought iron or other
fencing surrounding the pool, as well as surfacing and deck repairs.