Is your homeowners association thinking of embarking on a maintenance or construction project that will require the services of a contractor? If the project needs association approval, the first thing before you get to the place of interviewing contractors is to make sure you follow the steps of your design review process. Once the design review process has been completed and the association is ready to begin the steps to move the project forward, make sure your project is nailed down using the following five simple guidelines:
1. Reconcile your contractors' objectives with the association's
2. Nothing drives down prices like competition
3. Write down everything you expect
4. Use standard forms for your contracts
The American Institute of Architects offers a variety of sample documents. These provide a great starting place for you so you don't have to reinvent the wheel, but it's important to realize that there is no such thing as a "standard" project, so you will need to customize your contracts accordingly.
5. There is no substitute for professionalism
There are a lot of contractors to choose from, especially in more populated areas. Choose carefully using the guidelines outlined above, and you will have a better experience and end up with a great project.