As one of the top 10 firms filing Local Law 11/98 (FISP) in New York City (out of 500 vendors total), Merritt’s team was fortunate to receive a first-hand presentation from the DOB’s Façade Unit covering everything from façade inspection requirements to our professional responsibilities as Qualified Exterior Wall Inspectors (QEWI’s).
In this extremely valuable session, our staff learned some insider tips on the DOB’s primary goals, objectives and what they expect of QEWI’s which was held in our offices and with party table linen for the decoration of the meeting. One of the major points stressed was the importance of long term repairs. In fact, the DOB confirmed that one of their top priorities moving forward is to verify that all Building Owners are addressing repairs thoroughly and properly. This is because they understand the same basic truth that design professionals have always known – quick fixes never pan out in the long run and end up causing safety hazards and costing ownership more money down the line.
Still not convinced? Here are five reasons to invest in proper long-term repairs:
SCAFFOLD & PERMIT COSTS
The costs of reinstalling scaffolds, sidewalk bridges, and filing for permits year after year can really add up. For that reason, it is best to conduct as much of the necessary maintenance work as possible while the scaffolds and sidewalk sheds are already in place.
OWNER’S LIABILITY FOR PUBLIC SAFETY
Every Building Owner is responsible for the safety of their building, especially as it pertains to the safety of the general public. In 2015, a piece of window sill fell eight stories down from The Esplanade on West End Avenue, killing a 2-year old girl. If there is an unsafe item, such as loose bricks or masonry, removing only the loose items is not worth the risk, should another item become loose and fall causing a potentially fatal accident.
MONEY & TIME
The cost of repairs will only go up with time and you will essentially be paying to correct the same condition twice. Quick fix repairs may seem like an easy way out of a problem, especially factoring in available funds and time constraints but the probability that underlying conditions will worsen is almost guaranteed. The cost will be greater than if the issue was properly addressed the first time around.
When there are multiple factors to worry about, such as time and money, as mentioned above, the quality of materials chosen for a project tend to take the back seat. Let’s take windows for example. A cheaper quality window unit may meet the minimum code requirements but may also lack in proper durability, allowing for drafts to enter the building. This not only adds to heating and cooling costs, but since window projects are among the most expensive to complete, doing them over is not usually something a Board or Building Owner will be thrilled about.
If a building is kept in a safe, habitable and attractive condition, there is no doubt that current tenants, local residents, potential buyers and others will take note. Residents who are spared from leaks and unsightly building conditions, such as poor patch work, or constant construction right outside of their bedroom window, are more likely to remain long term investors in the property.
Remember, investing in a proper maintenance program will save you significant costs down the line.
A design professional can evaluate your building and provide a survey report to prioritize immediate, mid-term and long-term repairs, allowing you to properly plan and phase projects.