Maintenance & Repair – Preparing an Annual Maintenance Schedule
To gain better success in managing a condominium complex, you may utilise calendars and schedules for annual maintenance and repair. Maintenance calendars are most beneficial when dealing with Condominiums that have poor continuity in terms of staffing or volunteers as well as tracking the numerous projects that may need to be completed within a given year.
Schedules can contain items as small as shutting down an underground sprinkler system to listing all of your Capital Projects through a given year. They are also great to track items that you don’t necessarily want to have on your Board Meeting agenda all the time and only deal with these items when the time comes. A maintenance calendar can also help with budgeting annual items during budget time.
Develop your calendar
The first step in preparing a calendar for the year would to ideally choose a format. You want the format to be simple and easily understood for all people utilizing this tool. You also want the calendar to display the key information when it is required.
One option is similar to a normal calendar and displays the 12 months of the year with some general information.
A second calendar is a list format and displays the data in a more written format. This can hold more details then the 12 month calendar; however it is a personal preference on how much information is placed in these schedules.
Developing a useful calendar
The second step would be to synchronize the calendar with your fiscal year. As Condominiums don’t necessarily have a fiscal year that starts in January and ends in December, you may have to alter the calendar to meet your needs.
The third step would be to place all information that you would feel to be prudent and beneficial to the calendar. You may want to choose items that are relevant and continuous on an annual basis and to keep the consistency throughout.
Some Examples would be as follows……
Lawn care tenders and snow removal. Ideally you want to have your quotes in on time and not rushing around at the last minute trying to find a contractor or landscaper. You would want to place these items to give the Board enough time to make an educated decision and a good reminder of when these items are due for discussion.
We know that most snow contracts begin in November, so we would ideally want all our quotes presented at the October Board Meeting. Therefore we would have this item placed in October. For lawn care we generally start our spring contracts in April. We would want to have all quotes and make a decision on the lawn care aspect in March so we are ready for April 1.
Other items may also include the AGM Date, Corporation Fiscal Year End date, budget preparation, insurance renewals, appraisals, communications notices, board meeting dates etc…… the sky is the limit on how much detail you would want to include, but remember to keep it simple.
Incorporating Capital Projects
The fourth step to preparing your annual calendar is to also look at your Capital Projects list or your Reserve five year plan. I like to include these items on a maintenance schedule as it gives you a great picture of what needs to be done in the upcoming fiscal year. You can also spread out the projects over the course of the year so that you don’t have too much going on all at once, which in essence can be overwhelming at times.
Following these steps can help you adopt a calendar for your Corporation. This will keep you on track as long as it is used effectively.