We’ve spoken recently about how you and your condo board can best keep your building in good shape with  , and went in-depth not long ago about how can help identify repairs that need to be made to your building’s envelope (walls, roof, floors, etc.). Unfortunately, even if your board diligently adheres to these sorts of practices, you’ll eventually be faced with a major, unavoidable repair to a critical system within your building, at which point a large-scale assessment will be necessary to determine the extent of the issue, and the best solution for the problem at hand. These sorts of assessments are never a fun time for anyone, but with the right approach and a bit of planning, there are plenty of ways to make the experience livable for all involved.

Okay, Wait…What Exactly is a Large Scale Assessment?

If you’re wondering what exactly makes an assessment “large scale,” it’s a little tough to give a solid, empirical definition. Ultimately, the term is meant to describe any sort of evaluation leading up to a repair or renovation that could be considered “large scale,” in a completely relative sense. For example, a smaller condominium complex with only a handful of units might consider a $40k assessment in advance of security upgrades to be “large scale,” while that same sort of appraisal might be small potatoes for a complex that’s home to hundreds of residents.

Regardless of the dollar-cost at the end of the day, a large-scale assessment means a couple of things for owners:

  • They’ll have to come up with some way to fund it.
  • They’ll ultimately have to live through it – and, most likely, the proceeding construction that will follow, which could mean bearing with a significant inconvenience for weeks, or even months.

While finances shouldn’t be an issue if your board has a proper reserve fund in place, large scale assessments can be a lot to get owners to agree to – it’s important to get residents on board early and to keep them there, with detailed planning and lots of communication.

Planning for Success

Like any other undertaking, the key to ensuring a successful large-scale assessment lies in proper planning. Not only will having a detailed plan in place help reassure residents that things are under control and running smoothly, but doing so will also allow for the opportunity to handle the assessment and ensuing renovations in the best way possible. When you find your condo facing a large-scale assessment, avoid any headaches and unnecessary angry voicemails from residents with these simple tips:

  • There isn’t a step more crucial or important to the process than communication. This is key throughout the entirety of the large-scale assessment. Taking the time to let residents know what’s going on, what to expect, and how it will impact them in their day-to-day lives will allow everyone to plan accordingly. A great way to go about this is by creating a list of FAQs – this will address common questions like associated costs and timeframes, and will ensure everyone’s on the same page throughout the condo board, and the building.
  • Bring in the right people. If the job looks tough, bring in the experts. No one wants large scale assessments or renos to carry on for longer than they have to, so ensure that the work is done properly and efficiently the first time by hiring the right people.
  • Address the impact to the Reserve Fund Study. If the large-scale assessment ends up leading to a renovation happening earlier than expected, confirm that this is reflected in your building’s Reserve Fund Study. This ensures that finances are kept on track moving forward, and will allow for the future to be properly planned for, knowing that this money won’t need to be spent again later on.

Large scale assessments and their accompanying renovations are never anyone’s idea of a good time, but if you follow these points of advice, the process can be kept as painless as possible. If your condo complex is looking to conduct a large-scale assessment in the near future, don’t hesitate to reach out to Condo Management Red Deer and we’ll help make sure it’s as smooth a process as possible!