Condo Association Projects: Remodeling Common Area Lobbies and Hallways
The lobbies and hallways of a condo association make an important first impression to residents, visitors, and potential buyers. Lobbies and hallways reflect the care—or lack of care—dedicated to the rest of the building. Remodeling these high-traffic common areas can range from simple painting to a complete makeover. Developing a plan and setting goals for the remodel is an important step for a successful project that makes a lasting, and positive, first impression.
Design and Budget
Form a design committee of board and association members to oversee the project. Seek input from members by conducting a survey for ideas about the remodel. Deciding upon the overall design will set the foundation for the rest of the project, for example:
- Do the lobby and hallways just need painted and better lighting?
- Do the floors need polished, new carpeting, or replaced?
- Is there room for large upgrades for the lobby, like a fountain or large plants?
- Would the addition of wood elements add to the lobby and hallway design?
- Are there any safety issues to address or to improve?
Research the latest lobby and hallway remodel trends to see if they are a good fit for your building. Wallpaper is back-in-style with fun, accent colors, and luxury vinyl tile is popular for its glamour and durability. Patterned carpet can help to hide stains and low VOC paint is resistant to scuffs and marks. Be sure to ask your designer or contractor about any eco-friendly products for your remodel.
The scope of the project will drive the project budget. If it is financially feasible, the committee may want to hire the services of a professional designer for larger projects. The investment is well worth it, with experts estimating an ROI of 10-15 percent for condo values for money spent on lobby and hallway remodels.
Set a Realistic Timeline
Any type of remodel project can cause a disruption for residents and staff. Hiring a contractor with strong recommendations and meeting with them regularly is key to ensuring the project is moving along on time.
Discuss—and include in the contract—clear expectations for project completion. Most importantly, stick to your original design plans. While changes in materials due to availability is common with remodeling projects, changing your mind about carpet or tile can delay the project.
Keep residents informed about the project timeline through email newsletters, updates to the association website, and via social media. Make them aware of the scheduled hours for the work so they can plan their day accordingly.
Including pictures of the updates is helpful for association members who are traveling or for those owners who rent their condos. For residents skeptical of the project, add before and after projects to emphasize the important need for the project.
Plan a ribbon cutting or celebratory event at the conclusion of the project in the newly remodeled lobby. Serve light refreshments and make it a festive, fun event for residents.
An association manager can serve as the point-of-contact for the committee and the contractor. However, a community manager's job is already quite complex and busy. Working with a contractor who assigns a project manager to the job will reduce stress for everyone.
RealManage provides professional condo association management that helps boards and communities thrive. From building to residential issues, RealManage has the experience you need for a successful association. To learn more about us, our services, and how we can help your association, contact us today.