Vendor Contracts, Finding Vendors and Tips for Condos and HOAs

Finding qualified contractors for renovation work (and writing the vendor contracts) takes planning and an awareness of contractors that specialize in working with homeowners associations. This isn’t just a marketing ploy. Working with the board, the extra paperwork and long timelines associated with HOAs takes a special breed of contractor. Most don’t have the patience, professionalism or interest to meet the challenge. To them, your HOA is just another notch in their belt. To you, it’s your all in all.

Finding those special contractors isn’t easy, but HOA management companies know who they are and will usually share the information hoping to get your business. Those managers won’t use just any contractor. They expect professional results in a timely manner at a fair price. Other sources of contractors are HOAs in your area, wholesale supply companies and local trade associations. Before leafing through the Yellow Pages, make calls to those who know the players.

In preparing to discuss your renovation project with qualified contractors, you need to have a basic idea of what you want, also called “Scope of work” This short phrase is large in significance.

Defining a “scope of work” could be a voluminous task if it involves structural repairs. Don’t go it alone. To get the results you need, you should hire a specialist to properly define the scope of work. Architects and engineers earn their living doing this. These professionals can provide the scope of work, design corrections and improved material alternatives.

With a properly defined scope of work, you can get apples to apples bids from three or more contractors. It may take five or six bid requests to get three proposals. Not all contractors you identify may be available.

Vendor Contracts and finding the best contractor

Vendor Contracts – Choosing A Good Vendor

Get references from the contractor and call them. Ask for a previous job site and go look at it. Visit the contractors’ business office to check out their facilities and equipment.

Part of any renovation job is the performance contract. Tip: All contracts are written in favor of the party that writes them. While all contracts have their own, it’s in the HOAs best interest to include an addendum written by the HOA attorney that promotes the HOAs best interest, which include:

  • Parties to the contract
  • Scope of work
  • Compensation
  • Schedule for payments
  • Time period for work
  • Standard of performance
  • Labor and material warranties
  • Indemnification
  • Lien waiver requirements
  • Insurance requirements
  • Licenses and permits
  • Penalty for contractor delay
  • Default provisions
  • Change order requirements

Contracting with good contractors takes time. Start early, ask informed questions and use good advisors in reaching a successful conclusion.