Approved Swimming Pool Plans

            The builder needs to consider that the swimming pool plans must be approved by the city and usually the health department, before the pool contractor can calculate the gallonage and equipment for the pool.

            These calculations must be made to determine the size and number of risers coming up through the ground into the pool equipment room.

            Here the builder needs to avoid a timing conflict that could occur between building the swimming pool clubhouse, which may contain the swimming pool equipment maintenance room, and getting an approved set of swimming pool plans in time for the pool contractor to size the risers coming up through the concrete slab floor.

            Because the swimming pool is usually one of the last items to be completed in the sales model complex, the builder can mistakenly think that decisions required to finalize the pool plans can be delayed.

            The lack of an approved set of pool plans can then hold up the construction of the poolside clubhouse, thus throwing off the entire model complex completion schedule.

From Lessons-Learned for Builders, Architects, and Interior Designers in Housing Construction, Book 6.

Project Direction Map

            For larger condominium and apartment projects, the builder should consider installing a direction map board at the main entrance into the project.

            This activity should be completed about the same time as the sales models grand opening, installed concurrent with the sales models complex landscaping.

            On a particular 282-unit condominium project, the U-shaped buildings had their entry doors and address numbers on the outside perimeter of each 12-unit building, one floor level above a central motor courtyard and above street level.

            People driving into the project had no way of finding the house address numbers without getting out of their cars and walking around the buildings. 

            Not only was it difficult for visitors to find their way around the project, but delivery companies had problems as well. 

From Lessons-Learned for Builders, Architects, and Interior Designers in Housing Construction, Book 6.

Common Area Lighting

            Common area lighting for clubhouse exteriors, swimming pools, and tennis courts should be switched using a photovoltaic sensor rather than a time-clock.

            A photocell can sense when it is dark and light, and switch the lighting on and off accordingly.

            The homeowners or the HOA maintenance person then does not need to periodically change the time-clock setting to match the seasonal and daylight savings changes in exterior natural lighting.

From Lessons-Learned for Builders, Architects, and Interior Designers in Housing Construction, Book 6.

Landscaping Contingencies

            When composing the landscaping maintenance contract for the sales model complex, the builder should include the possibility of contingencies difficult to predict such as snails, ants, and gophers.

            Activities such as fertilizing and trimming, however, should be included within the landscape contract rather than spelled out as extras, because these activities are predictable.

            Gopher abatement is less arbitrary to anticipate and plan for than ants or snails, and can be handled through an agreed-upon fixed monthly amount.  The builder can budget some dollar amount for this landscaping activity.

            Snail and ant problems are more difficult to predict, with ants being completely unpredictable from one year to the next.  One year no ants are on the project, and the next year the sales models complex can be overrun with ants.

            The builder should be aware of these potential abatement costs, and have some money set aside as a contingency line-item based upon discussions with the landscaping contractor. 

From Lessons-Learned for Builders, Architects, and Interior Designers in Housing Construction, Book 6.

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