July 21, 2107
Dear Towers Owners and Residents:
The Board of Directors approved the Facility Engineering Associates (FEA) balcony services proposal in principle at the July 11th Board meeting. This proposal calls for a range of services, but it includes a visual assessment and non-destructive sounding inspection for all balconies. These condition assessments will provide the Association with information needed to make decisions about the next round of balcony repairs.
The condominium-wide condition assessment for all balconies will likely be conducted this fall, probably in September. It will take about a month to conduct. In addition to assessments of individual balconies, we are drafting amendments to the FEA proposal to include an overall community-wide report that will provide information relevant to the decision on whether to use the ad hoc repair approach or the programmatic approach. The Association will not be obligated to use FEA’s services beyond the initial condition assessment unless the Board approves more work.
Results of the individual condition assessments will be itemized and shared with each owner as soon as possible after the inspections are complete. A diagram of the problem areas on each balcony will be provided.
While each condition assessment will provide preliminary cost estimates for repairs, estimates based on competitively bid prices will not be obtained until later in the process. In addition, the preliminary estimates will not reflect important decisions on railings replacement vs. repair, or whether to conduct ad hoc repairs or a condominium-wide program. These yet to be decided questions will have a significant affect on final repair costs for each balcony. The community-wide report will compile all individual balcony inspection data and provide estimates on railing related costs and a comparison of ad hoc versus programmatic mobilization and staging costs. A public meeting will be held to discuss the condition assessment report and the Board will establish a Balcony Advisory Committee soon.
All items (furniture, plants, etc.) will need to be removed from each balcony prior to this mandatory condition assessment. FEA and security (or in-house staff) will conduct inspections via front door access. Each balcony assessment will take 20 to 30 minutes and a schedule for accessing each unit will be issued beforehand. Your security keys in the Management Office will be used to access your unit.
The Board also voted to allow owners with covered balconies to keep the covering until the time of actual construction work provided they accept the risk of proceeding to construction without a preliminary estimate of the required repair work on their concrete slabs. An inspection will still occur, but will only cover the condition of the railings and the concrete along the edges and bottom (ceiling below) that are exposed. For owners who choose to remove balcony coverings before the inspection, information about the use of contractors will be forthcoming shortly.
Board of Directors
Towers Condominium Association