7 Ways Property Managers Should Make Construction Undisruptive to Tenants

Spring is here and it’s the perfect time to remodel or make any of those repairs you had to hold off on during the winter months. While most spring exterior renovations are necessary, whether for safety reasons or just to maintain the quality of your property, there is one common concern we often hear from property managers: Will construction work disrupt my tenants?

Yes, hammering and other noisy construction tools will disrupt your tenants. Yes, your tenants would be mad if woken up by loud, inconsiderate workers. Yes, they’ll be irritated to see debris or garbage around their property. And yes, it is your responsibility as a property manager to maintain the value of the property and to provide a peaceful living space for the tenants who are currently paying rent. Sounds overwhelming? Don’t worry. There are several ways to work around these concerns and it all starts with the bidding process.

7. Know which documents to request during bidding

Ask bidders for a clear critical path and an accurate estimate. Both of these documents should give you a good feel for their level of professionalism, as well as their timeline and pricing.

6. Verify those estimates

Order a third party estimate or takeoff report to verify the data bidders are presenting to you. Takeoff reports include all measurement data a contractor would use to order materials and put together your estimate.

5. Ask for references to choose the right contractor

Bidders should be able to supply you with a list of satisfied customers who’d be happy to talk to you about the company. Ask the questions you can’t ask the contractor, such as: Are their workers respectful? Do they clean up after themselves? Did they care about your concerns? Did they follow up with you after the project was completed?

4. Work with contractor on scheduling

Make sure the contractor is willing to work around a normal workday schedule, say 9am to 5pm. This way they can operate the noisy equipment while most of your tenants are at work.

3. Be a stickler about safety

If workers are very obviously disregarding safety rules or putting themselves at risk, your tenants may notice. An injury is also an easy way to draw negative attention to the project. Your goal is to have construction remain as unnoticed as possible.

2. Help keep the site clean

Your tenants will not be happy to see shingles scattered around their yard or to get a loose roofing nail stuck in their tire! Make sure the project manager knows how serious you are about site cleanliness and that you want the site cleaned up immediately following project completion. You can also place garbage bins with lids around the site so that workers have a place to throw away personal garbage like cigarette butts and gum wrappers.

1. Communicate with tenants

Regular communication and updates are key to keeping your tenants at ease about construction. You could send newsletters or emails updating them on the project. You could even use your website to keep tenants updated on what to expect for the next few days. Bulletin boards are also a great place to post information.

By verifying data, doing your research, and properly managing communication between you and the contractor as well as you and your tenants, you’ll get the highest quality work, the most respectful workers and the highest satisfaction from your tenants.

By: Jerod Raisch, Owner of Metro Construction

Four Signs That You Are Overwatering

Not all signs of too much water are this easy to spot. Brown tips but leaf is still soft and limp.

Giving your plants too much water is one of the biggest issues I see in landscapes today.  The mistake of overwatering your plants is not easy to diagnose.  In many instances too much water mimics the signs of too little water.  Below are four signs you can easily recognize to determine if you are giving your landscape too much water.

1.     Your plant is wilting but it looks like it has plenty of water

Roots are critical to plant life. They are the primary source for water, food and the intake of oxygen. The roots of the plant take up water but they also need air to breathe. Overwatering, in simple terms, drowns your plant. Oxygen fills the space between the particles of soil.  Soil that is constantly wet won’t have enough air pockets and plants will not be able to breathe by taking up oxygen with their roots.

2.    Leaves turn brown and wilt

Leaves turn brown and wilt when plants have too little and too much water.  The biggest difference is too little water will result in the leaves feeling crispy when you hold them in your hand.  Too much water and the leaves will feel soft and limp in your hand.

3.    Edema

When roots of plants absorb more water than they can use,  water pressure begins to build in the cells of the leaves. The cells will eventually  burst, killing them and forming blisters and these areas will look like lesions. Once the blisters erupt, tan, brown or white warty growths begin to form where the blisters originally were. Plus you will see indentations forming directly above the growths on the top sides of the leaves.

4.    Yellow leaves

Stunted slow growth with yellowing leaves is a symptom of overwatering.  The other sign to observe during this condition is leaf fall.  If you have yellowing leaves and old leaves as well as new leaves are falling at the same accelerated rate you are providing too much water.

Check your soil regularly.  Don’t be afraid to push you finger into the soil and see how moist it is an inch or two down.  If the soil is moist and you have some of the conditions above it’s an excellent sign to reduce your water.  Also, many stores sell inexpensive but accurate moisture meters.  You simply insert them in the root ball and they will tell you how much water is in the soil.  This is a simple and inexpensive tool that will take much of the guess work out of watering your landscape.  I hope these tips are helpful and please share a few of your own in the comments area below.

Four Home Maintenance Mistakes You Should Never Make

There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get from fixing up your own home. Whether you’re repairing damaged molding or upgrading your kitchen to a newer look, home improvement can be very rewarding when the job is done. At MSI, maintenance is what we do every day. We’ve seen it all, from sheet rock repairs to large remodeling ventures. Here’s a list of the four most common mistakes to watch out for when you have a maintenance project in the works.

1. “I didn’t know I needed a permit for that!”

Forgetting to acquire the proper building permits can be detrimental to any project. Nothing puts the brakes on an otherwise well-planned remodel than the building inspector! Some folks try to fly under the radar, but we recommend that you always get the right permits. Any project that MSI completes is guaranteed to be done right. That includes making sure that we have all the right county permits to get the job done.

2. “He told me he was bonded and insured”

Contracting under-qualified maintenance workers could be one of the most costly mistakes on this list. Always use contractors with references, and check with the county to make sure they have all the qualifications they claim to. A little due diligence could mean the difference in a job well done and having to tear it up and start over. All of MSI’s highly trained specialists are bonded and insured for your peace of  mind.

3. “Primer? What primer?”

Taking shortcuts may seem like the easy way to get ahead, but it will cost you in the long run every time. Whether your painting your bedroom or building a deck, always make sure your work is the best it can be and don’t try to take “time-saving” shortcuts to get the job done faster. At MSI, we take pride in our work. You’re guaranteed  to receive our best work any time you need our help.

4. “Hey guys, watch this!”

No one can afford to ignore safety, especially in the maintenance field. Always take the necessary safety precautions when doing any project. MSI is dedicated to providing the best service in the area, and that includes making sure that both our client and our employees are safe.

Avoid these mistakes and you’re on your way to a successful maintenance project. As always, contact MSI whenever you need maintenance work at your home or business in the greater Charlotte area. You can rely on MSI for dependable, quality work.