Minimizing Construction and Maintenance Disturbances If I Had a Hammer...

The noise, the dust, the fumes, the mess, the constant influx of workers, unsightly equipment and vehicles, the service disruptions—everybody wants to live in a well-maintained building or development, but one thing many co-op and condo dwellers dread is having to live through the actual repair-and maintenance process.

It's up to the board of directors and managers to minimize the disruptions to the residents as best as they can, but how? Step one: recognize what the most troublesome projects are. Step two: communicate with the residents.

The Top 4 List

In typical David Letterman fashion (minus the punchlines), Richard Rosenthal, vice president of DeStefanis & Associations in White Plains, New York, lists the top four types of disruptive construction or maintenance projects in a building as: façade projects, elevator modernization projects, window replacement projects; and piping and electrical service upgrades.

"In façade projects, these projects are disruptive because there is plastic over the residents' windows, noise, dust, and vibrations, and residents must remove things off their walls," says Rosenthal.

He also explains that elevator modernization projects may put a building's sole elevator out of commission to the residents for a brief period of time, or force residents to rely on the remaining working elevators, which can lead to a serving capacity problem.

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