Tips for Small Home and Rental Updates

Whether you are looking at do-it-yourself projects to freshen up your home or to upgrade your condo to offer it as a vacation rental, updates need not be extensive or expensive. With some planning, you can make changes that will matter without breaking the bank or having your home torn apart for months. Here are some basic tips to ensure your project goes smoothly. Prioritize, plan, purchase It’s always a good idea to plan your project, prioritizing what you want to do, then make your purchases. [...]

5 Most Common HOA Landscaping and Gardening Policies

There is just something rejuvenating about having well-tended foliage around our living spaces. If you’re a Homeowners Association board member or a property manager for an HOA, you probably get questions about plants and other landscaping policies. Residents want to understand what they can and can’t do. Rules vary widely from association to association, and this can confuse homeowners. If they’ve looked into their HOA’s landscaping or garden policies, they may not understand fully how rules ap [...]

Planning and Budgeting for HOA Roof Replacements

Roofing is one of the costliest expenditures for any property. Carefully considering the full scope of the job at the beginning stages will help minimize unforeseen expenses. The ideal scenario is hiring an architect, engineer, or consultant, especially for a large roof replacement project, to offer peace of mind and minimize liability. But this particular expense, along with building permitting fees and performance bonds, are almost always overlooked when setting aside roof replacement reserves [...]

The Benefits of a Good HOA Maintenance Plan

The exterior of an association property or neighborhood gives people their first impression. Pleasing, well-maintained grounds and common areas are a sign that a property is probably well taken care of overall. With the increasing popularity of an internet “drive by,” curb appeal has become even more important making people want to “stop” and browse a property’s amenities, and imagine themselves living there. Paying attention to the exterior of a property is one of the most important roles of th [...]

Construction in an HOA Unit: Think About a Pre-construction Meeting

Ultimately every unit in an HOA development will be remodeled or have construction work at some point. It is a good idea for both the association and the homeowner to a pre-construction meeting to ensure everyone who will be affected is informed and that the project will move along smoothly. What is a preconstruction meeting? Generally speaking, a pre-construction meeting helps assure a smooth transition from design and proposal to construction. It should be held after an owner has notified thei [...]

How Condominium Associations Can Finance Capital Projects

Aging condominium buildings are common across Hawaii, which is a growing concern in the aftermath of the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Florida. This preventable tragedy is being traced back to repair and maintenance issues. Like Florida, Hawaii structures are equally susceptible to high humidity and damaging salt air.  Since Hawaii is a very expensive place to live, there is often a mindset keeping HOA fees to a minimum. Budgeting for major capital improvements of significant [...]

Condominium Renovation FAQs

Many homeowners took advantage of slow times during the pandemic to repair or remodel their dwellings, including condominiums. Now that lumber prices have calmed down and we are approaching a less busy fall season, improvement plans may pick up again. However, condominiums, with shared walls and features, are different than a stand alone home. The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has put together this helpful summary for those planning work, or for the associations who are fielding re [...]

Are Hawaii’s Tall Buildings at Risk?

Last month’s collapse of a condo building in Florida is bringing up questions about building safety and insurance in Hawaii. Tower collapse risks are extremely low. However, Hawaii buildings are affected by salt air and close proximity to the ocean- some of the same stresses that might have contributed to the Florida collapse. Unlike Florida, large structures in Hawaii are not required to be re-inspected or certified after they are built and approved. This gap has surfaced in the past, including [...]

Hawaii’s 2021 Hurricane Season Is Here- Be Prepared

There is a near- or below-normal hurricane season predicted for the Central Pacific this year, according to NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center and NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, divisions of the National Weather Service. The outlook predicts a 45% chance of near-normal tropical cyclone, and also a 35% chance for below-normal activity, and 20% chance of an above-normal season. However, as NOAA’s director of the Pacific Hurricane Center points out “It only takes one direct hit, or even a c [...]

Hurricane Planning? Don’t Forget the Elevator!

Elevators are a major investment for a property. According to Taylor Ronnander from OTIS Elevator Company, properties are wise to take appropriate action prior to a major weather event to protect the elevator equipment and prevent shutdowns. Examine your property insurance coverage to see if you are fully covered for a hurricane, including elevators. Here are other preventative measures Ronnander recommends for elevators. BEFORE A HURRICANE Weather stripping around doors should be checked, and r [...]

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