New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide




Don't Wait Until Summer to See If the Pool Needs a Makeover

Vivian Lee in Legal/Financial on January 22, 2015

New York City

Pool Maintenance and Renovation
Jan. 22, 2015

Older buildings especially will want to take a good look at how the pool is holding up. Is the concrete deck settling? Does the pool have any surface or plumbing issues? If this is the case, a board needs to review its options, consult with professionals, and agree to a cost-effective solution.

Say, for example, that your board determines it needs to update the pool's plumbing, install a vinyl liner, and pour a new concrete deck. The next step is to select a mason and pool specialist to spec out the project. Next, the board needs to set a budget and agree on a work schedule.

It stands to reason that a board would aim to complete the project ahead of a Memorial Day opening, to avoid disrupting everybody's summer fun, right? Demolition would take place during the winter, construction would start after the spring thaw…. Everything would be ready by summer. But that's in an ideal universe, and there are several hurdles a board must clear first, as well as several holdups that it should anticipate so that it can work on a more realistic timeline.

First, the board needs to announce any renovation plans to its shareholders, and brace for pushback — especially if there will be special assessments to pay for it.

Second, when it comes to demolition and plumbing, it's best to anticipate the unexpected, not to mention additional costs — particularly in older buildings. Additionally, any new plumbing that is installed needs to pass inspections.

Third, don't forget that before construction can begin, the board needs to obtain permits from the Board of Health and the Department of Buildings. Paperwork gets lost, and red tape is sticky. And a delay in obtaining those permits can blow a board's schedule along with its good intentions.

Any of these factors can cause significant delays. And a board has no way of knowing the kinds of issues that might creep up until demolition actually begins. So when planning a pool renovation, a board may need to put its best intentions on the back burner. Even if it seems that a project should be completed during the off season, the board should build more time into its renovation schedule and budget for more than it thinks it will need — this way, it will avoid making promises to shareholders that it can't keep.

Shareholders may not be thrilled to learn that they may need to sacrifice some or even all of the summer, but they are likely to get more upset if they are promised no disruption in pool use only to have everything go all wrong.


For more, see our Site Map or join our Archive >>

Ask the Experts

learn more

Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

Professionals in some of the key fields of co-op and condo board governance and building management answer common questions in their areas of expertise

Source Guide

see the guide

Looking for a vendor?