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Criterium Engineers

You Can Meet the Challenges

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Wed, 10/27/2010 - 12:43

Recently, we spoke with about two dozen community association professionals – property managers, association managers, lawyers, and engineers. Our objective was to learn how they dealt with the real challenges that we must face every day. In this issue of Common Foundations, we would like to share what we learned in the hope that this collective wisdom will be of some help to you as well.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Managing an Association?

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Wed, 10/27/2010 - 12:32

In the last two years, FannieMae has amended its guidelines for selling and serving mortgages on condominiums, cooperatives, and planned unit developments three times. Why should we, as service providers to and managers of community associations, care?

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Municipal and Association Responsibility

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Wed, 10/27/2010 - 12:25
Where does the Town End and the Community Begin?

Homeowners new and old to association living question why they have to pay monthly dues or assessments, particularly for items such as trash removal and sidewalk repair. Aren’t those covered by the local municipal government? In reality, these services are quickly becoming the sole responsibility of community associations across the country.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

When a Critical Component Fails Early

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Wed, 10/27/2010 - 12:02

It happens to even the most prepared of associations. The roof that was supposed to last 25 years starts leaking after only 15. A harsh winter takes its toll on the parking lot and you’re suddenly faced with a large re-paving project 5 years before anticipated. The elevators in a high-rise are constantly out of order, despite their being only 20 years old. These items will need to be immediately replaced or extensively renovated – which means unexpectedly using a significant portion of your reserve budget.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Winter 2006 - Red Flags that Signal Structural Defects

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Wed, 10/27/2010 - 11:49

Although the housing market has slowed, approximately 80 percent of new construction is still being built as a community association. The recent boom in the housing market has led more people to purchase condominiums and townhouses on impulse, without the benefit of several walk-throughs or an inspection by a Professional Engineer. More than likely, this has happened in your community as well. But what does it mean for the association and its residents?

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Is Your Community Dressed For Success?

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Wed, 10/27/2010 - 11:43

Have you ever driven by a community and instinctively known its residents take great pride in where they live? The homes are all in excellent shape, with attractive landscaping and complementary exterior finishes on every one. The roads are free of litter and freshly paved, and the common grassy areas are neatly mowed with bright flowers dotting the perimeter.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Outdoor Safety in Associations

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Wed, 10/27/2010 - 11:36

Summer is the peak season for homeowners—barbecues, swimming, ultimate Frisbee tournaments, and relaxing on the front porch. Unfortunately, it’s also a time for increased accidents and personal injuries. Most accidents occur at home, including outdoor and association common areas, and too many of them are preventable.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Community Essentials: Are you Reserving for Siding?

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Wed, 10/27/2010 - 11:29

As associations continue to discover the benefit of reserve studies and the long-range planning options they provide, some Boards also unearth some less-pleasant realities about their current funding—especially where siding is concerned. The idea that siding should last “as long as the building” or at least in the 40-year range has been a common misconception of Board members and property managers. The truth is, your building’s siding takes the brunt of the elements and can deteriorate more quickly than expected.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Repair, Replace, or Renovate?

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Wed, 10/27/2010 - 11:11
How to Maintain Value and Improve Efficiency

Some associations struggle with long-range vision, especially if it means spending large amounts of money. It’s not realistic for a board to plan for the exact property value 10 years down the road or rely on an outdated reserve study to predict the remaining useful life of all common elements. But making it up as you go along is clearly a recipe for disaster! What’s a board to do?

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Spring Into A Maintenance Schedule

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Wed, 10/27/2010 - 10:38

WINTER is drawing to a close, and your residents are eager to replace the snow shovels with tennis rackets. However, it’s not too late to implement an ongoing maintenance plan that will save your association time and money for many seasons to come.

View your association as a complete network with many important pieces working together, and ensure that each system is functioning properly.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

7 Things You Must Know Before Conducting Your Next Reserve Study

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Wed, 10/27/2010 - 09:15

One of the primary business duties of Community Associations is maintaining and preserving property values of the Association’s common property. To do this properly, Associations must develop funding plans for future repair or replacement of major commonarea components. A reserve study is a budget planning tool that identifies the current status of the reserve fund and establishes a stable and equitable funding plan to offset the anticipated future major common-area expenditures.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Snow on the Roof

Latest "Engineering Advisor" Article - Thu, 10/07/2010 - 13:03

The winter of 2009/2010 was remarkable in some ways and quite average in others. Remarkable in that measurable snow fell in 49 states.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Energy Audits

Latest "Engineering Advisor" Article - Thu, 10/07/2010 - 12:36

Energy audits are popular again. They were first offered in the ’70s and ’80s, but owners and consumers lost interest as fuel prices stayed low relative to income.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Chinese Drywall

Latest "Engineering Advisor" Article - Thu, 10/07/2010 - 12:29

So-called Chinese drywall refers to a product imported from China to be used in the construction of walls and ceilings of homes and other buildings.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Elevators

Latest "Engineering Advisor" Article - Thu, 10/07/2010 - 12:21

Elevators make modern buildings possible.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Paying For Green

Latest "Engineering Advisor" Article - Thu, 10/07/2010 - 12:14

One cannot help but notice – every magazine and every professional publication these days has at least one article on green building technology.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Curtain Walls

Latest "Engineering Advisor" Article - Thu, 10/07/2010 - 12:06

Curtain walls are common today in commercial construction, adding simplicity and design options for buildings of all types.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

How Long Will It Last?

Latest "Engineering Advisor" Article - Thu, 10/07/2010 - 11:57

Determining how long a building component will last before it requires repair or replacement is one of the primary tasks in performing a Property Condition Assessment (PCA).

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

How Big Is It?

Latest "Engineering Advisor" Article - Thu, 10/07/2010 - 11:41

When performing a Property Condition Assessment (PCA), we are often asked to confirm building dimensions.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Fiber Cement Siding

Latest "Engineering Advisor" Article - Thu, 10/07/2010 - 10:55

Fiber cement building materials are being used more and more in new construction, primarily for siding. In fact, it is used by most large builders in about 20 percent of the new home market.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers