The Directors of Rosemont Court Ltd had been exploring options for a major works project on the balcony walkways to their 1930′s block comprising of 40 flats since 2007. The balcony walkways had deteriorated greatly in the last few years and visible rusting was getting worse due to pooling water on the walkway surfaces. Insurance claims had also increased due to water damage inside flats from poor drainage on the walkways.
An initial survey report was carried out in 2008 which, after little obvious physical investigation, recommended that the balcony walkways would need to be pulled down and completely rebuilt at a cost that was prohibitive to the leaseholders. There was little backing evidence for this recommendation and the surveyor was abrupt and dismissive when responding to queries from the Directors.
The Directors, being dissatisfied by the care and quality of this initial report, instructed Crabtree Property Management to engage another surveryor to scope out the work required on the balcony walkways and outline different options and costs for their repair. Finnegan Associates was recommended and the Directors instructed Damian Finnegan in late 2009 to carry out invasive investigations to determine the current state of the balcony walkways in order to determine the extent and type of repair required.
From the outset Damian has been frank and open with the Directors about the state of the balconies, the costs and the different options for renovation. He has had to work extremely hard to rebuild the trust of the Directors which was lost following the experience with the initial surveyor. He has been concerned to get the best result even though this meant delaying the process initially to carry out further structural investigations. Damian has openly interacted with the Directors to explain the process in easily understood terminology, outlining the options for repair and why the eventual solution was chosen. He has given detailed information about the work plan throughout the entire process from initial investigation, tendering and appointing contractors, willingly attending resident’s meeting, starting the physical work and now completion. If a problem has arisen throughout the project, for example the drainage survey that was supplied was incorrect, then Damian has raised this to the attention of the Directors and explored with them the possible solutions.
There have been several challenges throughout this project: ensuring full funding was available, keeping to budget and engaging residents to ensure their safety throughout the process and that their actions didn’t delay or damage the works. This last point was most important as 30 flats have their front door situated on the balconies and access needed to be maintained. Damian and his team have been key to ensuring that all groups: surveyors, contractors and residents, have had all the information they required for this process and that the lines of communication are and have always been open.
Now as we near completion, the scaffolding has come down revealing bright white balconies, the Directors are pleased to note that the expenditure reports are coming in slightly under budget. Whilst on a recent site visit, it was clear that Damian’s attention to detail would ensure a high quality finish to the works. We would happily recommend Damian and Finnegan Associates to others, and look forward to having the opportunity to work with them on any future major works projects we identify.
Ruth Tipples & Kathy McGrath on behalf of The Directors Rosemont Court Ltd
Posted on 2 October, 2015