There is no question that painting is one of the bigger tasks a strata council will face. It is one of the most significant revolving maintenance projects in a depreciation report and can require funding every 7 to 12 years depending on the surfaces of the building. In Vancouver and Surrey, this is often accelerated because of the nature of our climate.
The results of a bad paint job can have lasting negative effects on a strata corporation. Depreciation reports often cycle painting based on industry standards and averages of the lifespan of a properly painted surface. A bad paint job can make repainting necessary sooner and create problems for budgets and planning of other projects.
A bad paint job also means the surface it is protecting isn’t getting protected as well as it should. This can cause wood rot, additional maintenance and an overall poor curb appeal to a complex. A quick way to devalue a complex is to have it looking run down and neglected because of a bad paint job.
With all of the factors involved in planning and completing the painting of your strata complex, council members often rely on their property managers for assistance and guidance. Property managers can be helpful for helping a council through the steps of planning a painting project but they can’t guarantee a council will get a paint job executed to the standards they expect. Property managers will not inspect or oversee the management of the project. Most of the property management companies out there today will do little more than provide a list of contractors, make sure contracts are signed, invoices are submitted properly and paid, and forward complaints from residents onto the contractor.
The onsite management and overseeing of the project today often falls on the shoulders of the strata council members. Unless you have the luck of having an experienced commercial painter on your council, the task may be well out of the range of experience for most council members. The responsibility on strata members to perform quality control, manage the contractor and ensure work was completed as per the contract is not only time consuming it can be the equivalent to asking the patient to evaluate their surgeon’s work.
The best place to start planning a paint project is to schedule a walk around with a paint inspection agency. They can provide you with advice on timing, products, expectations and execution of the job. They can also prepare scopes of work, lead on-site walk-throughs with contractors and manage and oversee the project.
If colour changes are being considered, give your council plenty of time to work with colour consultants. Painting projects often take up to a year to plan and get approval from owners. Planning is key on these projects.