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The Blue Print – July 2022

posted by MC

In general, we are seeing actions taken by community associations to protect residents from tragedies such as with the Champlain Towers in Surfside. Recent changes in lending criteria encourage us all to be focused on maintenance needs in the interest of keeping the door open to loans to soften those expenses.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, collectively relied upon by lenders to purchase or guarantee their loans, have updated the standards that must be met to secure a loan. Buildings with deferred maintenance will likely be ineligible to borrow the money to fix their problems and will have to rely on special assessments. This also means that board members “kicking the can” and choosing to avoid structural evaluations or reserve studies which would make transparent the bigger maintenance needs of the property are potentially setting future owners up for an unpleasant, or even impossible, special assessment experience.

I’ve always advocated for Community managers to have bigger roles in board decisions and the training to do so. There is a bias with board members, especially when they know decisions increase their own assessments and don’t perceive their own “renter” mentality. We encourage Association Managers to be more vocal in highlighting the risk to losing the option of a loan to ease the cost of bigger maintenance needs and protecting the value of the property.

This issue of the J. Hershey Blueprint highlights a few examples of creative maintenance approaches designed to work within reserve limitations.

Handling Repairs in Phases

Phasing larger projects over a number of years is a good financial solution to avoid a special assessment or to spread reserves across multiple projects. This approach offsets a large one-time hit to the reserves. The balcony repair project below required new railing installations and sealing of the cantilevered concrete platforms. The more urgent balconies were repaired in the first year, the balance of balconies repaired in year 2 and 3. J. Hershey Building Consultants performed the initial evaluation, repair drawings, and construction monitoring.

Exterior parking areas are usually a work in progress during the best of times. The project below phased the parking area repair by laying new asphalt in half of the lot one year, and completing the lot in year 2.

J. Hershey Building Consultants work with you and your board to prioritize projects and balance existing reserves against current and future needs. We believe reserve studies are not complete without a reasonable action plan of next steps and work with boards to design a pragmatic maintenance and repair schedule.

Installation and Maintenance Expertise Matters with Composite Materials

We see many communities shifting to use composite decking materials in effort to reduce maintenance needs. Composite materials are not all created equal, and have specific installation and maintenance approaches that must be adhered to if you want to avoid issues such as noted below. Below left side pictures show splitting and softening of the boards which can happen if the outer material is not kept properly sealed and the inner material has wood fiber content. Below right pictures show splitting and softening which can happen if the composite boards are not given space to expand and contract, are not properly sealed, or installed close to horizontal surfaces where water accumulates.

J. Hershey Building Consultants recommend that installation and maintenance of composite deck components and building trim boards include identifying a point person on the board that understands the manufacturer warranty and recommended methods for ongoing maintenance.

Structural Assessment Needed for Multi-story crack

J. Hershey Building Consultants and one of our consulting structural engineers is assessing the resolution to a vertical crack in a building stairwell. Cracks may appear in structures as a result of movement, but when the crack extends up through multiple floors there needs to be a structural assessment done to understand cause of the crack and make sure the repair is appropriate to rectify the cause. The pictures below center and right show the crack at two different stairway levels.

What is Wrong with the Picture Below?

Let’s all improve our ability to spot property needs!

Answer: Some of the vinyl siding is warped. This is likely due to the heat from a barbeque grill used too close to the building. While the siding can be replaced, this was indeed a fire hazard. Local building codes may cover required distance that a grill must be from a structure, typically 10 feet away. Associations should include grill use rules in their agreements. In addition, the homeowner should be encouraged to understand their own homeowners/renters insurance coverage limitations regarding accidents that result from grill use.

More Family Room, Less Basement!

J. Hershey Architecture is continuing work with a client on a full basement remodel. While the project is not yet complete, the “close to after” picture on the right showcases how the remodel plan was able to capture the charm of the existing arched window and elevate the space to what will soon be a lovely family room. Note that the pipes have disappeared from the ceiling. Adjacent spaces include a study, laundry room, and full bathroom.

mgt

The Blue Print – May 2022

posted by MC

I am a big advocate of requiring Association Managers to frequently visit the properties they manage. We can learn a lot about the property and the resident experience if we visit association grounds in all types of weather. Spring showers bring an opportunity to see how water flows through the property and what our residents face getting from building to car or walking the dog in such weather. I invite you to “Canvas sneaker test” your properties in the rain. Wear a pair of canvas gym shoes and walk your property when it’s raining. How often are you hopping over puddles? If you walk around the building, do mud and standing pools of rainwater create an obstacle course for you? Is the water moving toward a drain or standing still? If we are taking care of the property and grounds, then water is draining as it should and our sneakers should prove out superior maintenance. Dirty sneakers means we have some work to do. Maintenance needs and resident experiences require attention year round. I’d love to hear what you learned on your own “canvas sneaker test!”

Pay Attention to Downspout Placement

Gutters and downspouts are meant to channel water off a roof and move it away from the building. J. Hershey Building Consultants see all manner of downspout solutions while walking properties. Making sure downspouts properly move the water away from the building is easy maintenance if done correctly, and create a host of problems if not. Below left shows downspout water that clearly runs across the front walk of this unit and has eroded the concrete. Below right picture shows downspout water that shifts mulch from a plant bed onto that unit’s entry path.

The picture above left shows downspouts that empty on to rocks to diffuse the water flow and reduce splash. In this case, water flows efficiently down a swale between the buildings into a storm drain right outside the picture. Above right, this downspout moves water into an underground drain system, which minimizes ground water in that area and helps the wood stair realize more useful years.

Residential Properties and ADA Code

The American Disabilities Act was put in place to create environments more conducive to differing mobility levels. Buildings already built when the ADA was made policy were not expected to immediately remodel to meet code compliance, but as replacements or repairs are made buildings may need to come up to code. Broadly, ADA code compliance is specific to commercial buildings, or commercial components of residential buildings.

Gatehouses are a good example of when ADA code might apply to a residential property. If a gatehouse is purely decorative then there is no need to build the structure ADA compliant. If, however, there is an employee staffing the gatehouse then it would be defined as a commercial component and require ADA compliance.

J. Hershey Building Consultants flag any risk to code violations in our reports and take pride in the depth of our code understanding. This expertise helps our clients proactively plan for code compliance rather than face the expensive issues that result from fines and reactive construction as a result of code violation.

Allow Ventilation Behind Brick and Stone Wall Cladding

While it may feel counterintuitive to have a “hole” in a stone wall or opening around a window, these features enable any water or condensation to evaporate out from between the layers. Without escape, moisture can cause damage to internal parts of the structure in the form of mold or rust.

Below left shows stone cladding falling away from the base of the retaining wall due to trapped moisture. The picture below right shows brick efflorescence, which happens when moisture has to come through the brick to escape.

Sealant should be used when dissimilar materials abut, but should not be used to fill weep holes that are meant to allow moisture to escape. J. Hershey Building Consultants observe misuse of sealant frequently.

The picture above left shows sealant around a door frame. The sealant correctly seals the sides of the frame and beneath the steel lintel which runs along the very top of the frame. There is no sealant above the lintel, which is correct as above the lintel is a long weep hole serving to move water across and away from the frame. The picture above right also shows correct placement of sealant, but in this case the cracking indicates the sealant is soon to fail and needs to be replaced.

What is Wrong with the Picture Below?

We try to fit in some education into our newsletters and reports, so we are adding a new section where we will show a picture and explain what is amiss. Let’s all improve our ability to spot property needs!

Answer: Dryer vent fire hazard. The curved plastic piece on the underside of the soffit is the output for the dryer vent. The design is likely meant to keep wildlife out of the vent. That said, there is clear buildup of lint in the vent. Lint buildup in dryer vents is one of the leading causes of fires in condo buildings. Associations need to have a plan specific to mitigating this kind of fire hazard: 1) An Association can remind residents to clean their dryer vents but must also conduct physical inspections of all unit vents themselves OR 2) An Association can have unit vents cleaned 2x/year and include the cost in assessments or bill back residents. J Hershey Building Consultants routinely see buildup in dryer vents when conducting reserve studies. An ounce of prevention is needed here!

Designing a Solution to a Sagging Floor

J. Hershey Architecture is working with a unit owner on a structural issue resulting in a sagging second floor. Using a laser level and measuring distance from ceiling to the level line, it was clear the ceiling is not level. J. Hershey Architecture will determine the cause and design the recommended repairs which are the responsibility of the Association in this case.

**Many thanks to our clients, our association and management company partners, our industry colleagues and project partners, and the team for another fantastic year of creating healthy and beautiful environments together. Thank you!**

mgt

The Blue Print – March 2022

posted by MC

Our work has seen both ends of the association spectrum recently. We are helping an established association with $0 in reserves to prioritize and plan maintenance needs and requisite funding, on the other hand, we are also working with a board who is being very proactive about making sure their property is attractive to the next generation of condo owners by adding sound deadening elements and tankless water heaters. Both projects have been richly rewarding because the boards are problem solving and not avoiding property maintenance. Most of our clients are somewhere between the two examples above. I invite you to take a beat and reflect on where in that continuum of property stewardship your association might sit? Let’s work together to improve, no matter where you sit on the range. Your properties will thank you!

Standard Maintenance with an Eye to the Future

In preparation for the replacement of water heaters at this property, this board opted to think about the attractiveness of energy efficiency to the next generation of condo buyers. J. Hershey Building Consultants was hired to assess the existing structure and design for each type of condo unit the appropriate work needed to adapt to a tankless water heater in each space. Tankless water heaters take up less space, heat water on demand, are energy efficient, and tend to have a longer useful life.

Click on the picture to understand more about this type of tank on the energy.gov website.

Prioritizing Repair Work

J. Hershey Building Consultants understands that repair and maintenance cannot all be funded at once. It is very common to have an ongoing list of property needs! Better to have a list and work on the priorities than to be unaware of potential issues until they become an immediate and burdensome expense. We identified top issues for this property which included repair to their concrete roads and safety measures around bodies of water on the property.

Below left picture shows a failing timber rail fence. This fence is meant to discourage persons from walking near the railroad tracks nearby. Below right shows a culvert which has a large, unprotected opening which is considered a life safety hazard for curious children.

Serving as the Objective Third Party, Starting with a Transition Study

J. Hershey Building Consultants frequently serve as an objective third party and collaborate with attorneys and associations to seek corrective actions or funds from developers. A transition study we recently completed identified structural and code issues with a property which recently transitioned to the association. Additional work is required to improve on the current property condition. The picture below left shows new downspouts draining directly onto pavement rather than being tied into underground drainage, creating ponding and, if frozen, hazardous footing. Below right transformers should be protected from vehicular damage.

This serves as a reminder of the importance of thorough transition studies. Soon after property is turned over from a developer to an association, a qualified and objective third party should should make transparent the condition of the property to provide confidence to the association as they move forward.

RFP form for a transition study with J. Hershey Building Consultants is on our website in our consulting dropdown menu.

External Stairs, Adapting a Design and Enabling Completion

J Hershey Building Consultants was asked to step in to manage completion of a construction project. We assessed work done to date, redesigned to meet code where necessary and worked with a new contractor to complete these exterior stairs. We were happy to partner with this association and very glad to have work completed in time for good weather!

Below left photo shows one of multiple stairs and balconies which were beyond their useful life and not code compliant. Below right shows stairs nearing completion.

What is Wrong with the Picture Below?

We try to fit in some education into our newsletters and reports, so we are adding a new section where we will show a picture and explain what is amiss. Let’s all improve our ability to spot property needs!

Answer: Rock salt on concrete is not recommended. Concrete can be a lasting material if well maintained, but can be expensive to replace. Using rock salt instead of Calcium Chloride will accelerate damage to your concrete walks, roads, and steps and create need for repair or replacement sooner. Calcium Chloride will look like little white balls or pellets rather than the rough rock salt crystals you see in the picture.

Fire Damaged Building Before and In-Progress

J. Hershey Architecture was chosen to design the repair work and provide construction management for a fire damaged building. J. Hershey Architecture recommended improvements to the original building design such as adding roof overhangs to prevent water from running down exterior walls and taller trusses so more insulation could be added for energy efficiency. See picture below right for project in progress.

mgt

The Blue Print – February 2022

posted by MC

Let’s start our year on a more serious note. Our call to action for 2022 is a call for courage. I am asking my colleagues, my partners, and my clients to be better advocates for their properties. Less avoiding conflict, more loyalty to what the structures and grounds would ask of us if they were able to speak. It is only through the lens of current needs vs future property goals we are being fair to our roles and avoiding “kicking the can down the road” for someone else to deal with what we ignored.

I was honored to have an article published in the Wisconsin CAI Fall Newsletter titled “Learning from Disaster: A Look at Board Behaviors.”

https://jhersheygroup.com/learning-from-disaster-a-look-at-board-behaviors/

Please use the link below to read or share the article and begin your courageous year.

Converted Commercial Properties – Codes Matter

When assessing your converted property, be sure you are working with a firm well versed on state and local codes. J. Hershey Building Consultants flagged potential code violations in a recent reserve study for a property that was converted commercial space.

Above left stairs are fine, assuming there are other access points that are ADA compliant. This building did not offer compliant access, which is a potential legal issue. Above right parking structure is in good shape, but parking space codes for commercial are different than for residential. We recommended a legal review for both issues. Note in this case not knowing is not adequate defense!
Above left, terrace areas above ground level present life safety hazards if furniture is placed near to a guardrail. Above right is a more significant issue, where we saw HVAC ducts routed through steel beams. Steel beams are there for structural support and should be respected and remain uncompromised. Addressing these issues proactively helps the Association mitigate risk.

Recommending a Less Aggressive Repair – Sometimes Less is More!

At a different property, J. Hershey Building Consultants assessed building conditions against existing recommendations for extensive balcony repair. Our findings concluded that much less work was needed to improve safety and performance without compromising the useful life of the balconies.

Below left shows that portions of the wear coating is missing and the concrete balcony surface is exposed. Concrete is a porous material. Moisture has been penetrating the concrete slab of these two balconies and passing down through the metal decking. This repeated moisture is the likely cause of the corrosion which we observed at the steel structure which supports the balconies in the pictures above.
the above right picture shows a coating present over the top surface of the concrete patios for other units in the same building. The wear coating appears to be in generally fair to good condition. It is likely that the presence of coating on this balcony has prevented corrosion as indicated by the lack of observed corrosion at the supporting structure.

These findings resulted in greatly reducing the anticipated expense for this Association, allowing them to shift funds to other priorities.

Serving as the Objective Third Party

J. Hershey Building Consultants was asked to assess a litany of complaints by a condo resident who was engaging legal counsel. An evaluation for a single unit was performed, resulting in major savings for the board as we found no evidence of significant maintenance needs. In this we were proud to be expert, objective, and thorough in reporting the needs of the property to both parties.

J. Hershey Building Consultants is happy to partner with boards and advise on the needs of the property. We walk the talk and practice objectivity and courage in our reports. From code compliance to life safety to when extensive repair is NOT needed, our deep expertise allows for solid understanding of what needs to be done.

Growing Home for a Growing Family – Progress

We are helping a family realize full utility of their home so they can stay in a location that delights them even while their needs have changed. This basement remodel will significantly increase the livable space. The picture below right shows the addition of below slab waste lines for new plumbing fixtures.

Moving forward with a High Rise Remodel

We have finalized the design and are working with the city of Chicago for permit of a complete renovation.

mgt

Learning from Disaster: A Look at Board Behaviors

posted by MC

By John Hershey, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, RS, CAI Educated Business Partner

Published in Wisconsin CAI Fall 2021 Newsletter

First and foremost, my deepest condolences and compassion go out to all those who lost loved ones or were impacted by the Champlain Towers South collapse in Surfside, Florida.  We all continue to learn more and more about how that happened, but the truth is we simply wish it had not happened at all. 

One good way to honor those who lost everything is to reflect on our own understanding and behaviors and face opportunities to improve.  What can we do to prevent this from happening again?   While not at all intended to suggest blame – that is not my message here – there are common problematic behaviors that we should all address right away.

Buildings and property require maintenance.  Community associations need to have boards and community managers that take a firmer stance on maintenance needs.  I have witnessed boards that avoid maintenance reality many times.  Too many.  I serve on boards myself, I get it.  We are volunteers and at the end of a long day it is hard to steel yourself to be the one to push for unpopular but necessary action items but we really need to get better at it or acknowledge that we are being negligent in our passivity.

That’s the first behavior I’ll flag here; too often, boards, HOAs, and even management companies avoid detailed assessments of the state of their properties.   There are many reasons for this but primarily there is concern that disclosure leads to liability.  There is a worry that there will be maintenance needs that are not within the budget.  There may be someone on the board with some expertise that will feel threatened if another professional is hired to review their property.  Maintenance as a topic triggers the residents to complain, etc.   Not knowing the detailed status of a property does not make it safer or less prone to decline.   Postponing maintenance simply creates a bigger problem down the road.   Do you really know what your property needs in the next 5 years, the next 10? 

The next behavior is that of prioritizing cosmetic property improvements over “ugly” maintenance.  This is another area of avoidance and where the budget really should lead.  “Ugly” maintenance can be disruptive and lead to resident complaints as compared to the new garden improvements which the residents will love.  Visually attractive property is a pleasure to come home to and the optics of these improvements serve as a good reminder to residents of an attentive management company and board.  If these cosmetics come at the cost of necessary “ugly” maintenance there needs to be some tougher conversations in board meetings. 

There is an opportunity to make sure the boards represent a diversity of life stages.  There are numerous studies to show diversity on teams leads to better problem solving and better business.  On boards, this could mean different views of investment and progress or more openness to change.  Board members that are motivated to hold assessments flat need to be balanced with those that prioritize improvements.  And for goodness sakes, if there is a bully on the board that needs to be addressed as it prevents open communication.

Finally, community management companies need to help their managers improve influencing skills and become more assertive in board meetings.   Managers might be doing a great job serving the residents, but are they serving the property?  Community Association Managers can approach board issues with a more objective lens, with experience of what other properties have done right or wrong.  I would also push here for more physical visits to the properties they manage so they are as familiar with the property as a resident as that carries weight when discussing property needs.  Property maintenance and protecting property value should be part of a community association manager job description if it isn’t already.  Management companies should work to offer more continuity with staffing against properties because history with a property enables better relationships with the board and more impact.  Association managers in board meetings should have a stronger voice and company support to do so.

Most boards, HOAs, and most CAMs do not have backgrounds that enable comprehensive and holistic expertise in structural property maintenance.  This is why property assessments should be done regularly and comprehensively by outside experts.  Experts that offer this service are doing so because they have a passion for extending the useful life of existing structures and properties and will tell you what you need to know.

 John M. Hershey is president of J. Hershey Building Consultants with over 30 years of experience in design, property evaluation, and construction management.

mgt

The Blue Print – September 2021

posted by MC

Water features on properties create visual beauty, convey openness and space between dwellings, and of course can deliver important functional benefits related to water movement and capture. These benefits do not come without maintenance and safety concerns that, if left ignored, can create extensive issues related to cost and life safety. We have assessed properties across multiple states with varying sizes of water bodies. Please read below for our most commonly identified opportunities for improvement.

Storm Drain Openings Should Have Grates That Allow Proper Water Flow

This is a situation where we really are trying to avoid disaster. Storm drains lacking any kind of screen or grate present life safety hazards. Even the grating in the top right picture below is an improvement but still not optimal to prevent a small child from accessing the drain. Ideally drain covers would look more like the photo in the bottom right which clearly allows water flow and better safety.

In addition to basic life safety, the addition of inlet protection to these drains should be considered to help with silt management, because that carries added benefit of controlling sediment and silt flow into the waterways, which enables better ongoing performance of water level management on the property. There are covers specifically designed for this purpose.

Retaining Walls Should Have Guardrails

Retaining walls are frequently employed to transform a slope to a flat area or to contain erosion. These features are very common across all types of properties. At a certain height these walls should include either guardrails or deterrent plantings such as hedges or bushes to prevent falls.

While both walls below are visually attractive, the wall on the right as a hedge which adds safety.

Walls around bodies of water are especially hazardous as it is natural to want to peer over into the water at any age. The picture above right shows a fence which, while optimally would have smaller spacing, does add a deterrent to potential falls into the water below.

Ponds and Lakes Should Be Edged to Prevent Erosion and Increase Safety

Erosion into a pond or lake can throw off the balance of water nutrients which can result in an unsightly algae bloom. Erosion can also clog waterways and prevent rainwater from draining in time, causing flooding. Either stone rip rap or deep rooted natural plantings can maintain shore integrity and discourage easy access to the water.

The photo below on the top right shows stone rip rap lining a storm drain swale to a body of water. Stone controls erosion and deters children from walking or playing near the water as stone is not easy to walk across.

Maintenance planning for bodies of water on community property, of any size, should be as relevant in property management and reserve planning as evaluations of building structures. The entirety of the property should be regularly assessed, maintained, and improved.

J. Hershey Building Consultants has the expertise to evaluate community properties in their entirety: internal and external review, water movement and containment, roadways and pavement. Our focus is always on a quality solution that minimizes cost and homeowner disruption while protecting property value.

While it may seem like red tape, permits and building codes are meant to keep us safe. Not having a permit before work begins can lead to a host of problems which can include having the city request work done be removed. J. Hershey Architecture has been engaged often to help get building and repair work on the right side of the law. Some examples from the past year:

  • J. Hershey Architecture spoke to a municipality on behalf of an association to accelerate the permit process so construction could begin.
  • When balcony repairs were performed without drawings and a permit we successfully coordinated with the local building department to provide balcony repair documents for permit.
  • In a similar situation, masonry privacy wall repair work was done without a permit. J. Hershey Architecture coordinated with that local building department to evaluate work and provide documents which resulted in a post facto permit.

There are also many occasions when J. Hershey Architecture h as worked on behalf of Associations with local municipality and influenced those building departments regarding existing code to the benefit of the client:

  • J. Hershey Architecture pointed out national building code requirements to a city building commissioner which resulted in interpretation changes regarding roof insulation requirements. This benefited a client who otherwise would have had to modify roof insulation work.
  • When the retention ponds in a community association were not draining properly, J. Hershey Architecture ultimately determined there were blockages in the storm drain, met with local planning officials and pointed out this was the city’s responsibility. The city cleared the drains at their own expense.

We are proud to offer this expertise to our clients. You’d be surprised how often this understanding is needed!

mgt

The Blue Print – August 2021

posted by MC

It’s balcony season! Or, more appropriately, it’s settlement season! Now is the time of year we see many balcony and foundation issues as the ground dries out to reveal soil settlement and erosion. As with the quality of materials, design, and workmanship in the creation of a built structure, the quality of soil matters. In many ways this remains a blind spot with boards and community associations.

From balconies to retention ponds to parking pavement, J. Hershey Building Consultants offer experience beyond standard reserve studies. There are few in the industry with our breadth and depth of experience in residential construction. We are thrilled to help our clients build and maintain their communities.

Solving for Settled Balconies

J. Hershey Building Consultants was called in to investigate balconies that were not level. Our inspection identified multiple concrete pier foundations that had settled, causing balconies to shift. Due to the number of pier foundations that had moved, we recommended soil borings to check stability of the soil. This inexpensive practice ensures the correct repairs are made. If the soil is not stable as can frequently happen with “fill” soil, balcony instability and repair will be a constant battle and can create a cost burden. Soil borings reveal the soil condition so balcony repair can move forward as needed while taking direction from the soil borings learning. An ounce of prevention!!

Above pictures show concrete pier shifts such that balcony support is no longer plumb, causing balcony floor movement. It is likely that the piers shifted due to soil “organics” created by tree roots and decomposition. This is fairly common but when multiple points of shifting occur the soil composition should be evaluated.

Leveling the Floor of a Single Condo Unit

Old warehouses converted to condos is a great re-purposing of existing structures and make for living spaces with character. However, on this occasion the building was not re-engineered to consider what is deemed acceptable by a homeowner for a level floor. J. Hershey Building Consultants collaborated with a structural engineer on a plan to level the floor without significantly impacting existing plumbing, saving the association from more costly repairs.

Our collaborative design also enabled the floor to be raised incrementally over a series of days rather than weeks or months, which can reduce project time, cost, and homeowner disruption considerably. Above left you see final I beams installed to support the raised floor that do not impact existing utilities. On the right you see the final leveled floor.

Foundation Repair Single Unit in HOA

This foundation showed significant cracking, potentially a result of being located on a man made slope adjacent to a retention pond.

J. Hershey Building Consultants collaborated with a structural engineer for a solution that involved installation of steel piers to stabilize the foundation. Rebar, sealant, and an epoxy injection were used to remedy the cracks and deliver an attractive resolution. J. Hershey provides a full range of services including competitie cost bidding and construction managment.

J. Hershey Building Consultants is happy to partner with boards to problem solve single unit issues such as the examples above. Our focus is always on a quality solution that minimizes cost and homeowner disruption. The repair work for this project was completed within one week.

Rebuilding After Fire Damage

Thankfully, everyone evacuated safely from this condo building when the fire happened. J. Hershey Architecture has been contracted to help this association rebuild the fire damaged portions of the building. When something like this happens there is need to first make sure what remains is structurally sound. Additionally, the impacted spaces cannot be rebuilt as they were, they must be brought up to current structural, plumbing, mechanical, and life safety codes. J. Hershey Architecture is adept at working with local authorities to meet code requirements and get proper permits to rebuild. We look forward to featuring completed project pictures in a future newsletter.

Location, Location, Location!

When a family is outgrowing a home but love the area they are in J. Hershey Architecture has been happy to assist in building onto the existing home structure. See a few before and after examples below.

section two

mgt

The Blue Print – June 2021

posted by MC

A Note from John

What are you passionate about? I count myself very fortunate to have a job that truly interests me and lets me help others. Built structures, large or small, protect what we care about, such as families or businesses, while being art forms. I’ve been interested in building construction and design from a young age, and have been working in this always-evolving field for a long time. 33 years ago I designed both my first single family home and my first multifamily townhome building. Back then I used a pager on my belt and a bag phone in the car. Since then I have worked with clients on all manner of living spaces across the U.S. from California to New York and from Michigan to Florida. I remain curious and interested in all forms of built structures to this day – but now you can reach me on a cell phone!

J. Hershey Building Consultants brings both passion and experience to our projects. There are few in the industry with our breadth and depth of experience in homes and buildings. We are thrilled to help our clients build and maintain beautiful built structures. THANK YOU to our clients for the opportunity to work with you every day.

From a home renovation client: “We cannot say thank you enough for all of your help and guidance over the past year and more.” -K.B.

From a condo board president: “Thank you for keeping us on track and for your patience.” – J.T.

From another condo board president: “You are remarkable.” – E.D.

Water Infiltration/Forensic Property Evaluation

This case study has a happy ending. Our client thought they were facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in water infiltration mitigation and repair work. J. Hershey Building Consultants were called to help identify specific sources of water infiltration and recommend the appropriate repairs.

As you can see from the pictures below, stained and cracked stucco wall cladding led our client to believe there was a serious water infiltration issue with the building.

We worked with a contractor partner to cut small areas open to assess condition between the exterior wall cladding and the interior wall. In doing so we observed no signs of significant water infiltration issues. However, we did observe multiple issues that allowed water to come into contact with the wall cladding that are much less expensive to rectify.

It turned out that surface water, or water frequently flowing over or splashing onto the wall cladding was the cause of the staining and cracking. Recommendations included adding roof overhangs and properly sized gutters and downspouts. Our report included diagnoses and recommendations to prevent water infiltration in the future and address the need to move the water away from the stucco wall cladding. We will be working with this property management company to assist them as they prioritize and execute needed changes. This client is happy to be spending much less than they anticipated!

Reserve and Transition Studies

This next case study points to the importance of having a partner that understands association responsibilities vs city responsibilities and experience in navigating local government. An association had multiple retaining ponds that were routinely filling up more than they had in the past. This was causing some basements to take on water. J. Hershey Building Consultants was called in to help address the drainage issue.

These ponds are designed to flow through the property and are built to handle varying levels of water. However, recent offsite developments have increased the flow of water on this property.

J. Hershey Building Consultants is working with the city to review and plan for drainage improvements that will benefit the association. Our client is happy to lean on our legal and city understanding to resolve this issue.

J. Hershey Building Consultants is happy to partner with boards to problem solve. We were recently contracted to help an association out of a situation resulting from balconies being repaired without first acquiring city permits and was facing daily fines by the city. Not all repairs need a permit, but all associations do need to engage with an experienced professional who knows what is required and when. Ultimately, this saves money in fines which is the last thing any of us want on that balance sheet! We frequently help clients by handling the permitting/submission for variance as part of our work.

Now is the time to complete your Reserve or Transition Study so you have an accurate and detailed funding plan to improve or maintain your properties. We perform Reserve and Transition Studies on all sizes of community associations from single family HOAs to high rise condominiums and every residential building type in between.

J. Hershey Architecture has been awarded a remodel/renovation project for a condominium in a high rise on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. We look forward to an incredible before/after in a future newsletter.

We have also been contracted to assist in a roofing project at a midrise in Illinois, to include both resident accessed roof terrace and mechanical roofing. (before pictures below)

J. Hershey Architecture provides custom home designs including modern, traditional, and eclectic for our friends and family.

mgt

The Blue Print – April 2021

posted by MC

Letter from the President

April showers bring…water infiltration woes.  This is the time of year to focus on preventative maintenance that can minimize the potential for water infiltration.  There is a grim reality to the value of cost avoidance that proactive maintenance measures provide compared to the high cost and resident dissatisfaction with repair work.

J. Hershey Building Consultants is proud of our success in helping many management companies identify the root cause of water infiltration issues.  We also proactively include issue identification in our reserve studies and property assessments.  We showcase our superior construction and maintenance understanding in our reporting, hence our “autographed with excellence” slogan. 

As always, for all your consulting, design, construction and community association needs please do not hesitate to contact me at 844-543-7743 or jmh@jhersheygroup.com. 

 Sincerely,

John

John Hershey, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, RS, CAI Educated Business Partner
“My satisfaction comes from solving complex issues and being the “go to” professional for our Clients’ needs.”


Water Infiltration/Forensic Property Evaluation

The pictures below are good examples of why advanced construction understanding and a thorough approach to any site visit is a hallmark of J. Hershey Building Consultants and a benefit to our clients.

Water has to flow across a structure, within a structure, and around a structure.  The type of brick cladding below is very commonly used.  There is an air space between the brick and the wall structure which allows water when it gets in (via cracks, mortar, etc) to flow down and exit via weep holes.  In the examples below the water would have moved down to the overhead garage door (left) and the window (right), hit the flashing and wicked out between the lip of the flashing and the brick.  Water that found an entrance would have also found an exit. However, in these examples the space between the lip of the flashing and the brick was caulked closed.  A common mistake, but one that will trap water in between the brick and the interior wall, leaving the water to find another way out and likely leading to interior wall damage.

Another example is shown below to highlight the need to pay attention not only to the path of water, but to the rate of movement.  The garage roof below is likely ponding because there is debris blocking the drain system. Note the tree overhanging the garage, which is an attractive feature, but does mean the roof drain will require more frequent cleaning to ensure water can drain easily.  Excessive ponding shortens the useful life of any roof.

Below are examples where we have proactively flagged poor ground waterflow.  In the left picture the swale is still intact, collecting water between the houses so it moves away from foundations in that area.  However, the garden feature prevents water from flowing out toward front yards.  The second picture shows the absence of a swale, and a sideways slope down toward the foundation.

J. Hershey Building Consultants has helped many clients understand their water infiltration issues.   We can observe these situations as part of a full Reserve Study or as a separate inspection.   Our site visits are followed up by a written report detailing our findings and recommendations for repair.

Reserve & Transition Studies

J. Hershey Building Consultants fully understands the importance of water movement and ground maintenance to presenting an attractive property which stabilizes and even builds property values.  Our reserve studies routinely include a thorough inspection of the grounds and exterior beyond residential structures.  Many properties now include a retention pond to offset loss of ground to absorb water as a result of building.  The perimeter of the retention pond below is not adequately edged to prevent erosion.  Over time sediment build up in the pond will require costly dredging.  If the shoreline is finished with a stone riprap,  the pond will be more attractive and erosion will be prevented, maintaining property value and reducing risk of future costs.

Continuing our examples related to water movement through property, below are examples of storm drain placement.  Inspections to ensure water flows well through the property is essential to avoid standing water issues.  These storm drains are from left to right; positioned too low, too close to a mulched landscaped bed, and in concrete without adequate control joints. These conditions which will require extra maintenance can easily be avoided.  J. Hershey Building Consultants regularly flag opportunities to reduce or avoid maintenance issues in addition to identifying maintenance to plan funds toward.

Below are examples of asphalt in need of attention. Pavement settlement and heaving are issues which contribute to safety and liability concerns.  We often assist communities with the engineering documents for pavement repairs which need to consider the resident experience during maintenance, safety, and potential phasing of repair in keeping with the reserve budget.

Contact us today at 844-543-7743 or simply fill out our online Reserve/Transition Study Request Form. With budget season right around the corner, now is the time to complete your Reserve or Transition Study so you have an accurate and detailed funding plan.  We perform Reserve and Transition Studies on all sizes of community associations from single family HOAs to high rise condominiums and every residential building type in between!

Fortunately, there were no serious injuries when cars drove into these buildings.  The accidents did present unique structural considerations vs the more usual renovation project.  J. Hershey Architecture can provide timely analyses and structural designs for the necessary repairs and permitting for your restaurant, home, or townhome.

While we certainly hope these situations remain rare, we offer the expertise and understanding to help clients with atypical structural issues. 

mgt

The Blue Print – March 2021

posted by MC

Letter from the President

The Spring renewal this year feels more significant and bittersweet than ever before, for obvious reasons.  We are all eager to return to something that feels more active and normal, but cautiously as we do not want to forget the lessons of the past year.  With deep respect for those who have been impacted by the pandemic, I wish for you all a healthy and happy Spring.

As we continue to serve our clients we have expanded to become business partners in 10 CAI chapters and have updated address locations which can be found at the end of this enewsletter.  As always, for all your consulting, design, construction and community association needs please do not hesitate to contact me at 844-543-7743 or jmh@jhersheygroup.com. 

 Sincerely,

John

John Hershey, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, RS, CAI Educated Business Partner
“My satisfaction comes from solving complex issues and being the “go to” professional for our Clients’ needs.”


Ice Damming and Water Infiltration

This winter’s weather created ice damming across many parts of the country.  The freeze/thaw cycles enable ice dams to force water up under shingles and can cause water to leak into attics, ceilings, or walls.  Ice dams can damage roof shingles and gutters or worse, they can create drop hazards. 

Now is the time to proactively review property conditions for any existing damage and plan to prevent future problems with improved insulation, ventilation, and other techniques.

J. Hershey team members have an extensive knowledge of residential design, engineering and construction.  This allows us to provide our property management clients with a range of services that many others do not offer, including evaluations of water damage to identify the source.

A recent client project regarding water infiltration provides a good example of why deep construction expertise enables better understanding of cause.  The unit in the photo below had ongoing and constant dampness in the ceiling. The association was considering replacing the roofing and siding.  John identified the cause as the furnace condensate line not being properly attached, which meant the furnace moisture was getting as far as the hose end at the wall, and then draining into the wall just above this ceiling.  The J. Hershey team was able to bring clarity and a low cost solution to what the Association thought was a roofing issue.

Please use the links below to listen to John’s podcasts on water infiltration.  J. Hershey Building Consultants have helped many clients understand their water infiltration issues.   We can observe these situations as part of a full Reserve Study or as a separate inspection.   Our site visits are followed up by a written report detailing our findings and recommendations for repair.

CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION

We are presently providing Construction Administration services to clients across Ohio, Illinois, and Florida for residential and commercial properties. 

Our community association clients typically engage us once we have made recommendations following a site visit or reserve study.  We then assist the Association with the preparation of bid repair documents as needed for bidding and permitting.  We offer coordination and preparation of these documents for all site and building related issues.  

After bidding is complete and a contractor has been hired we perform construction monitoring on behalf of the Association to observe that work is being performed in accordance with the contract.  Our site visits are followed up with easy to read written reports and color photographs so our clients know how the repair work is progressing.

The above photos are of a property with four similar multifamily buildings. Exterior courtyards  had cracking and leaning concrete in stairs and retaining walls which had become unsafe.  We engineered modifications to the storm drain system, new concrete structural retaining walls and maintenance free aluminum guardrails.  The new design will have a longer life expectancy than the original.

We are assisting the above property with a balcony repair project.  This project includes a concrete coating to protect the balconies as well as code compliant, maintenance free guardrails.  This project will be phased over 3 years to stay within the capital improvement budget.

As evidenced by excessive ponding, the above roof was beyond its useful life and did not drain well.  We provided drawings and specifications for a new roofing system with tapered insulation, new curbs, flashing, and ductwork.  Additional to returning functionality to the roof, we specified an easy to maintain product that was cost competitive.

RESERVE & TRANSITION STUDIES

J. Hershey Building Consultants prepared a Transition Study for this recently developed property near downtown Columbus, Ohio.

Below is an historic building located in downtown Chicago, Illinois.  J. Hershey prepared the Association’s first Reserve Study, drawing on both deep construction understanding ad architectural history knowledge to deliver a study that considers the unique aspects of the building.

Contact us today at 844-543-7743 or click here to fill out our online Reserve/Transition Study Request Form. With budget season right around the corner, now is the time to complete your Reserve or Transition Study so you have an accurate and detailed funding plan.  We perform Reserve and Transition Studies on all sizes of community associations from single family HOAs to high rise condominiums and every residential building type in between!

Our residential clients are realizing bespoke home additions or builds and utilize J. Hershey Architecture for everything from coordinating bids to checking in during construction to make sure all is to plan.  We are proud to assist these clients in creating their dream spaces.

The need for more space comes with growing families.  As shown above, we teamed up with this family to seamlessly design additional 2nd floor space and give the exterior a makeover.

We not only perform water infiltration evaluations for community associations but also for individual homeowners.  This home has had ice damming issues since it was built in 2018.          J Hershey Architecture is working with the owner to implement corrective modifications.

mgt

08/15/19 The Blue Print August

posted by Jen

The month of August brings the return of school for many of our family members, clients and business partners and is also the start of budget season for our community associations and property managers! Our most recent issue of the The Blue Print highlights the services we offer to community associations so they may keep us top of mind while budgeting for those capital improvement projects and features the renovation of a 1922 bungalow style home in Chicago.  Click here to read!

mgt

07/31/19 July Blue Print

posted by Jen

Our July issue of The Blue Print is packed full of great information including recent testimonials from J. Hershey Building Consultant clients as well as an update on current projects from reserve studies to building evaluations! This issue also features progress on a maintenance garage we designed for an Association in northern Illinois and showcases all the Community Association Institute Chapters where John Hershey has been an invited speaker this year. Click here to read!

 

 

mgt

07/24/19 Testimonial

posted by Jen

Please click the link below to read a wonderful testimonial J. Hershey Building Consultants received from Jordan Scahefer at Foster Premier, Inc.

J. Hershey Building Consultants Testimonial

mgt

07/12/19 CEU Class in Punta Gorda, Florida

posted by Jen

John Hershey was in Punta Gorda, Florida this morning as a presenter for the monthly CAI South Gulf Coast Breakfast Seminar.   With a packed room of over 50 attendees, John presented a course titled, “Reserve Studies, Save NOW or PAY Later”.  Each attendee that is a Certified Property Manager received (1) CEU Credit for this course!

Did you know we offer four difference courses for Property Manager’s to receive CEU Credit and each course has been approved by the Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB)?  Topics include roof evaluations, water infiltration, structural issues and reserve studies.  If your Association or Property Management company is interested in having John come to your location for a presentation please contact us today at 844-543-7743 or email Jen at jk@jhersheygroup.com!  John regularly travels throughout the United States for these courses.

mgt

07/02/19 Facade Repairs

posted by Jen

We are currently providing construction monitoring for the facade repair project at the Association shown below in northern Illinois.  The Association consists of (25) single-story buildings containing (79) units.  Ten buildings are being worked on in this current and final phase and the repair work includes masonry tuckpointing, masonry rebuilding and replacement and steel lintel replacement.  Construction monitoring includes in progress site visits followed by written reports detailing our findings.  Our team has worked on this project from the beginning including the initial evaluation, specifications for repairs and assistance with bidding.

mgt

06/27/19 June Blue Print

posted by Jen

Did you know that J. Hershey Building Consultants offers (4) different courses approved by the CAMICB for Property Manager CEU Credit? Our June issue of The Blue Print features those courses as well as John Hershey’s upcoming educational course in Punta Gorda, Florida on Reserve Studies and a recap of projects we have going on around the country! Looking for some last minute dessert ideas for your 4th of July party?  This month’s issue covers that as well!  Click here to read!

mgt

06/24/19 Retaining Wall Repairs

posted by Jen

Last month we provided a retaining wall evaluation for the Association shown below just outside of Philadelphia.  Our written report following the evaluation recommended that the walls have reached the end of their useful life and should be rebuilt.  Now that we have made recommendations to our client on what the issues are and how to repair them, we will then assist with the preparation of bid documents as needed for bidding and permitting.  We offer coordination and preparation of these documents for all site and building related issues.

 

mgt

6/3/19 Construction Administration Phase

posted by Jen

Once the J. Hershey Building Consultants team makes recommendations to our client on what the issues are and how to repair them, we then assist the Association with the preparation of bid repair documents as needed for bidding and permitting.  We offer coordination and preparation of these documents for all site and building related issues.

After bidding is complete and a contractor has been hired we perform construction monitoring on behalf of the Association to observe that work is being performed in accordance with the contract.  Our site visits are followed up with easy to read written reports and color photographs so our clients know how the repair work is progressing.

The replacement of the roofing for the Association shown below will first begin with the removal of the air conditioning units.   This Association consists of (1) 3-story building containing (24) units.  Replacement of the roofing shall begin next week and is anticipated to last three weeks.

mgt

05/16/19 Reserve Study Florida

posted by Jen

Our team is on-site this week in a suburb of Orlando, Florida performing a Reserve Study site visit for a large scale 55+ community.  This Association consists of (938) single-family homes and the Association is responsible for maintaining:

  1. Clubhouse including an indoor tennis court, stage, exercise room, library, kitchen, billiard room, craft room and meeting rooms
  2. Indoor and outdoor pools
  3. Craftsman barn
  4. (6) Tennis courts
  5. (8) Shuffleboard courts
  6. (4) Bocce ball courts
  7. (6) Horseshoe pits
  8. RV parking lot
  9. (5) Lakes
  10. All streets and common area lighting and landscaping
  11. Indoor pool and related components
  12. Outdoor pool and related components
  13. Craftsman barn

We have the expertise to provide comprehensive Reserve & Transition Studies for any sized Association and because we are regularly involved in many building repairs we have accurate information on construction costs for all types of components and building systems.

Give us a call today at 844-543-7743 or email Jen at jk@jhersheygroup.com to request a proposal.

mgt

05/10/19 Transition Study in PA

posted by Jen

We are on-site today at this beautiful condominium association just west of Philadelphia performing a Transition Study site visit.  This 55+ community has recently transitioned over from the developer and consists of (64) units in (2) 4-story buildings.  These buildings contain underground parking, a fitness center, library and solarium! Contact us today at 844-543-7743 or click here to fill out our online Reserve/Transition Study Request Form. With budget season right around the corner, now is the time to complete your Reserve or Transition Study so you have an accurate and detailed capital improvement plan moving forward.

 

 

 

mgt

050119_Project Management

posted by Jen

J. Hershey Building Consultants regularly provides complete project management for our Community Association clients including the initial property evaluation, design of drawings and specifications, assistance with bidding and construction monitoring. It is our goal to simplify the lives of the property managers we work with everyday by being their “go-to” firm!  Give us a call today at 844-543-7743 to discuss your project.   Below is an example of a current project!

Construction has wrapped on the balcony repair and railing replacement project for the Association shown below. Our team has been involved from the start providing all phases.   This Association consists of (152) units in (6) 3-story buildings.

 

mgt

04/25/19 April’s Blue Print

posted by Jen

The April issue of The Blue Print is now available to read by clicking here!  This month’s newsletter unveils a brand new section titled “J. Hershey Media” where we will keep you updated on articles, podcasts and videos we have created.  We also talk about several J. Hershey Building Consultant projects currently in progress for our community association clients in three different states!  Along with community association projects in Illinois, Michigan and Florida we also have active projects in Pennsylvania and Ohio!  As we celebrate our 10th Anniversary in May our success would not be possible without our clients, business partners, friends and family.

mgt

04/10/19 Spring Projects

posted by Jen

Spring has sprung and the J. Hershey Building Consultants team is busy providing Project Management services for several large community association projects!  Project Management services include:

  • Providing construction monitoring to include in-progress site visits to review the construction status.  Site visits are followed with a written report that outlines the construction work performed, schedules, payment applications as requested, and issues that may arise.  We also provide contract administration to include answering questions generated from the Association, property management and contractors.

When you hire J. Hershey Building Consultants to provide all phases of work from the initial evaluation through project management this is the type of service you can expect….

“Initially we hired J. Hershey to determine the scope of work for our re-roofing project and write the specifications.  Your work was done in a timely manner and well detailed.  The bidding phase went smoothly, and your firm fielded various bidders’ questions in a disciplined manner.  Also, your bid summary was comprehensive and assisted us in selecting a contractor. The construction went smoothly and finished on time.  Your firm performed timely site visits to verify workmanship, etc… and periodic payout requests were handled in a timely manner.  All in all, we highly recommend your services.”
Property Manager
RealManage

The images below show various community association projects where we are currently providing Project Management services.  Please reach out to us today at 844-543-7743 or jk@jhersheygroup.com to discuss your upcoming project needs!

Facade Repair Project

Balcony Railing Replacement Project
The top floor balcony shows the original railings and the lower balcony railings have been replaced

Roofing contractors are measuring for new custom metal flashing

 

 

 

mgt

04/03/19 Who is performing YOUR Reserve Study?

posted by Jen

Do you know the qualifications of the person performing your Association’s Reserve or Transition Study?

Is the person who is visiting the property a licensed professional or are they an unlicensed employee who may or may not have a college degree in architecture or engineering?

Does the licensed professional produce bid repair documents or provide construction monitoring of capital improvements for multi-family properties or is their experience restricted to the preparation of Reserve Studies?  We consider it to be beneficial for a professional who is preparing your Reserve Study to have experience with building design as well as involvement in the building construction process.

When you hire J. Hershey Building Consultants, your Study may likely performed by the President of our company, John Hershey.  With over 30 years of experience, John is a Reserve Specialist, Licensed Architect, CAI Educated Business Partner and a member of the CAI National Business Partner Council.  John is regularly contacted by Property Managers and Property Management companies to solve complex issues that arise at Community Associations.

Click here for our easy-to-use online Reserve/Transition Study Request Form.  Below are examples of a recent Reserve Study and Transition Study completed by our team!

RESERVE STUDY
The Association shown below is responsible for maintaining the exterior of (63) ranch-style homes along with a pond, gazebo, lighting and landscaping.

TRANSITION STUDY
The Association shown below maintains the exterior of (27) units in (9) 2-story buildings along with mailbox kiosks, streets, sidewalks, lighting and landscaping.

mgt

03/18/19 “What’s the Diagnosis…Leak Investigation”

posted by Jen

J. Hershey Building Consultants is a proud member of Community Associations Institute Chapters in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.  Recently, our President, John Hershey, had an article published in the CAI South Gulf Coast Community Voice Magazine!  “What’s the Diagnosis…Leak Investigation” focuses on one of the most common and frustrating issues property mangers and community associations face…water leaks! Please click here to view the article which begins on page 10.

As a CAI Educated Business Partner and a designated Reserve Specialist, John regularly travels to events throughout the country, guest speaking, networking and building relationships with property managers, association board members and business partners.  Please reach out to John today at jmh@jhersheygroup.com to discuss any upcoming speaking engagements or article needs for your company or publication!

mgt

03/11/19 Building Evaluation

posted by Jen

In 2015, we performed an evaluation and provided drawings and specifications for a facade repair project at the Association shown below.  This Association is now ready to move forward with making the repairs.  Before we can issue the drawings for bidding we will perform a second building evaluation to determine if additional repair work is needed due to the amount of time that has passed.  We will then modify the drawings as necessary and prepare the bid packets.  To request a proposal for your building evaluation needs please contact Jen at jk@jhersheygroup.com or 844-543-7743!

mgt

02/27/19 February Blue Print

posted by Jen

Our February issue of The Blue Print is hot off the press and ready for your viewing!  Click here to read a wonderful testimonial from a long time J. Hershey client and learn about current design and consulting projects in the works!

 

mgt

02/20/19 Home Renovation

posted by Jen

The J. Hershey Architecture team is on-site today at this home in Chicago measuring the space to prepare drawings for the proposed addition and renovation! This home was built in 1896 and  renovations will include expanding and redesigning the second floor to accommodate two bedrooms and a larger second floor bathroom.  Are you considering a home renovation or addition this summer?  Now is the time to being the process so that you are ready to go when the ground (finally) thaws!  Give our expert architects a call today at 844-543-7743 for a proposal!

mgt

02/08/19 Reserve & Transition Studies

posted by Jen

Do you know the difference between a Transition Study and a Reserve Study?  The main difference is that a Transition Study is typically done when the property has transitioned from the developer to the homeowners. Click here for a great article further explaining the difference from our friends at the law office of Kaman & Cusimano, LLC.   This week, the J. Hershey Building Consultants team is on-site in Columbus, Ohio, performing Transition & Reserve Study site visits at the properties shown below! Click here for our online Reserve Study Request Form to submit your proposal needs today!

In 2012 we completed a Reserve Study for the high-rise condominium association shown below in downtown Columbus.  In 2016 and again this week have performed an update to the existing Reserve Study.  Our Client had these wonderful words to say about working with the J. Hershey team:

“I have worked with John Hershey since 2012.  In 2012, we executed a nationwide search for a professional Reserve Study company to examine Miranova.  J. Hershey Architecture was selected as the company to complete the survey.  The work was stellar and put Miranova on the right path for fully funding the reserve account in addition to safety compliance, ADA compliance and deferred maintenance projects.  In 2016, Mr. Hershey completed a study update and verified that Miranova was indeed maintaining itself to industry standards.”
Kim Bock, Property Manager
Miranova Condominium Association, NAI Ohio Equities

This 4-story loft building contains (47) units and has recently transitioned over from the developer.  The association is responsible for maintaining the roofing, common area components including the lobby, hallways and elevator as well as common area mechanical spaces.

The association shown below contains (178) single family homes.  They are responsible for maintaining a playground, entrance monument, sidewalks and streets.

 

mgt

01/29/19 January’s Blue Print

posted by Jen

Do you know the difference between a Transition Study and a Reserve Study?  Are you a CAI Business Partner that would like to earn the special designation of a CAI Educated Business Partner?  Answers to these questions and more including the scoop on an upcoming J. Hershey Architecture design project can be found by clicking here to read our January issue of The Blue Print!

mgt

01/18/19 Structural Evaluation

posted by Jen

The J. Hershey Building Consultant team performed a Structural Evaluation this week at the building shown below.  This two-story building on the north side of Chicago was built in the 1920’s and contains (2) units.   Our Consultant was directed to evaluate the condition of the floor structure beneath the kitchen of the first floor unit for possible water damage.   Our site visit was followed by a written report detailing our findings complete with color photographs.   Property Managers regularly seek our expertise for recommendations on structural issues, determining the source of water infiltration into Units and performing building evaluations.  Please give us a call today at 844-543-7743 or email Jen at jk@jhersheygroup.com to request a proposal for a building evaluation at your Community Association!

 

 

 

mgt

01/09/18 Winter Reserve Studies

posted by Jen

Happy New Year!  Community Associations should not let the cold weather or threat of winter deter them from having their Reserve Studies completed during the 1st Quarter!  Our President, John Hershey, is on-site today performing a Reserve Study site visit for a large HOA in northern Illinois.  This Association consists of 746 units including a combination of single-family homes, duplexes and townhouses.  Having a Reserve Study completed early in the year gives your Association the opportunity to get a head start on potential capital improvement projects or other repair needs as determined by the Study.  In the coming month, the J. Hershey Building Consultants team will be performing Reserve Study site visits in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois! Click here to complete our easy-to-use Reserve Study Request Form or email Jen at jk@jhersheygroup.com to request a sample report for review.  Our Level 1 Reserve Studies are always completed by a Licensed Professional with Reserve Specialist credentials!

 

mgt

12/18/18 December’s Blue Print

posted by Jen

Happy Holidays!  Our December issue of The Blue Print is one of our most important issues because it is where we thank you…the clients, friends and business partners who have helped make the J. Hershey Group a success! Click here to see how we give thanks and highlight upcoming events where you can find the team throughout 2019!

mgt

12/03/18 – Roof Maintenance

posted by Jen

The Association shown below has hired us to prepare drawings and specifications for the replacement of the roofing at (2) of their (5) 3-story buildings.  During a recent site visit to observe the current conditions of the roofing and perform field measurements for the drawings and specifications a large amount of water was found to be ponding on the roofs.  This ponding was caused by leaves and debris clogging the drainage system.  A great reminder this time of year, would be to have your Community Association maintenance representative review the condition of your flat roofing for ponding to reduce the risk of water infiltration into the building.  Give us a call today at 844-543-7743 to discuss your upcoming 2019 capital improvement project needs.

mgt

11/29/18 November’s Blue Print

posted by Jen

Along with two exciting announcements regarding our President, John Hershey, this month’s issue of the Blue Print gives readers a snapshot of the various types of community association projects the J. Hershey team works on throughout a single month.  No two projects are the same!  This issue also features a list of community association events throughout 2019 where you can stop by to say hello and network with our team!

 

mgt

11/12/18 Water Infiltration

posted by Jen

The J. Hershey Group of companies and its team members have an extensive knowledge of residential and commercial design, engineering and construction.  This allows us to provide our property management clients with a full range of services that many others do not offer. We offer this range of services to help simplify the efforts associated with the daily responsibilities of property managers.  Last week, we performed a site visit to determine the source of water infiltration into the first floor of condominium unit in Chicago, Illinois. Our site visit was followed by a written report detailing our findings complete with color photographs and an estimated cost of the proposed repair work.  Residential property managers regularly seek out our President, John Hershey, for his expertise in resolving water infiltration issues.  Click here to read an article on water infiltration written by John and published in the CAI Illinois Common Interest magazine!

 

 

mgt

11/07/18 Roofing Evaluation

posted by Jen

J. Hershey Building Consultants recently performed an evaluation of the flat roofing on (3) 4-story buildings, as shown below, for a community association in northern Illinois.  The purpose of the evaluation was to determine the remaining useful life of the roofing.  We have the capability to perform evaluations on every site and building component issue that may be found on an community association’s property. We perform evaluations related to site drainage, erosion, building settlement, structural cracks, underground parking garages, wall cladding, wood balconies, steel and concrete balconies, flat roofing, sloped roofing and flashings, ice damming, attic ventilation, water leaks and infiltration.  Give Jen a call today at 844-543-7743 or jk@jhersheygroup.com to discuss your building evaluation needs!

mgt

10/04/18 Construction Administration

posted by Jen

The J. Hershey Building Consultant team is currently providing Construction Administration services for several projects.  Examples of these projects include a roofing replacement of (5) 2-story buildings containing (25) units and a masonry repair project for (12) single-story buildings containing (79) units.  Our services during this phase include in-progress site visits to review the construction status.  Each site visit will be followed with a written report that outlines the construction work performed, schedules, payment applications as requested, and issues that may arise. The J. Hershey Building Consultant will also provide contract administration to include answering questions generated from the Association, property management and contractors.  If your Association is considering taking on a capital improvement project in the spring of 2019, now is the time to hire the architect/engineering firm to evaluate the project, create the drawings and specifications and prepare documents to bid the project during the winter!  Contact us today at 844-543-7743 to discuss.

ROOFING REPLACEMENT 

MASONRY REPAIR

 

 

 

 

mgt

09/17/18 Exciting News!

posted by Jen

We are pleased to announce that effectively immediately, John Hershey, President of J. Hershey Building Consultants, has been asked to serve as a Board Member on the Community Associations Institute (CAI) National Business Partners Council.  According to CAI, “The Business Partners Council represents product and services providers and professionals. The Council is made up of twelve members, with at least one person who is one of the following: Accountant, Attorney, Banker, Insurance Professional, Information Technology Professional, and Reserve Specialist. The Council provides input on policy matters to the CAI Board of Trustees, and serves as a key resource to staff”.   John is a member of nine Community Associations Institute Chapters and regularly travels to CAI events throughout the country, guest speaking, networking and building relationships with property managers, association board members and business partners.

mgt

09/14/18 Window Replacements

posted by Jen

J. Hershey Building Consultants visited the Association shown below to determine if windows replaced by a Unit Owner were installed according to the specifications we prepared.  Our site visit will be followed with a written report complete with photographs, detailing our findings.

We regularly perform site visits to Community Associations to determine if the work performed by a Contractor was in accordance to their contract with the Association.  We understand that Community Associations are always looking to save money, however, we have found that when our company is hired from the beginning to assist with specifications, bidding and construction oversight, our involvement could not only save the property manager’s valuable time but also save the Association money that would offset our fees.

Please give Jen a call today at 844-543-7743 or jk@jhersheygroup.com to discuss your upcoming capital improvement project!

 

mgt

08/29/18 Late Summer Reserve Studies

posted by Jen

J. Hershey Building Consultants are on-site today in Media, Pennsylvania, performing a Reserve Study for the Association show below.  These newly constructed buildings consist of (26) 3-story town-homes. The Association is responsible for maintaining the exterior of the buildings, rear parking spaces, site lighting and common area landscaping.  This Association is within walking distance to downtown Media and many of the units feature elevators!

With budget season in full swing there is still plenty of time for community associations to request and receive a Reserve Study proposal!  Lock in 2018 prices by having the Reserve Study approved at your 4th Quarter Board Meeting.  Give Jen at call at 844-543-7743 or jk@jhersheygroup.com to request a proposal.  You can also click here to fill out our easy-to-use online Reserve Study Request Form.

mgt

08/27/18 August Blue Print

posted by Jen

Our August issue of The Blue Print features up-to-date information on current J. Hershey projects from a gutter analysis we will be performing in northern Ohio to the completion of a home renovation by our Design Build team in Libertyville.  We are also looking to hire a Licensed Architect or Engineer with Reserve Study experience, more information on how to apply can be found in the J. Hershey Happenings section!

The Blue Print by J. Hershey, August 2018

mgt

08/13/18 Professional with Reserve Study experience wanted!

posted by Jen

We are looking for a Licensed Architect or Licensed Engineer with Reserve Study experience to join our J. Hershey Building Consultant’s team!  This person can be licensed in any state and will have the opportunity to work on multiple projects within a short period of time.  Experience with production drawings and construction management is desired but is not a requirement and this person may work remotely from home or from one of our four office locations.  To apply please send resume and cover letter to John Hershey at jmh@jhersheygroup.com!

mgt

07/25/18 July Newsletter!

posted by Jen

The J. Hershey Building Consultants team has been busy in recent weeks working on projects in multiple states from Illinois to Ohio, over to Pennsylvania and down to Florida!  Click here to read our July issue of The Blue Print which highlights these community association projects along with beautiful images of the home the J. Hershey Design Build team recently completed in Libertyville, Illinois.

mgt

05/23/18 – May’s issue of The Blue Print

posted by Jen

The J. Hershey team had a great time networking at the CAI National Conference and Trade Show earlier this month!  Click here to read the May issue of The Blue Print which include a recap of the National Conference, updates on current community association projects, in-progress pictures of J. Hershey Design Build home renovations and much more!  As always, for all your consulting, design, construction and community association needs please do not hesitate to contact us at 844-543-7743 to discuss your project!

mgt

05/15/18 Happy Anniversary

posted by Jen

The J. Hershey team is celebrating our 9th anniversary today!  Thanks to our amazing Clients, we are thrilled at the growth the company has experienced these past nine years including the addition of offices in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida as well as the introduction of J. Hershey Building Consultants and J. Hershey Design Build in 2017!  As always, it is our mission to be your “one-stop shop” helping to guide your design, consulting or construction project from start to finish.  Please contact us today at 844-543-7743 to discuss your upcoming project needs and thank you for being part of our journey!

mgt

05/09/18 – Roof Replacement

posted by Jen

The J. Hershey Building Consultants team is preparing constructions drawings and specifications for the replacement of the roof shown in the images below. This Association consists of (1) 3-story building containing (24) units and is located in Westlake, Ohio, close to the shores of Lake Erie. Once the drawings are complete and approved by the Association we will assist with bidding and construction oversight for the duration of the project. It is not uncommon for J. Hershey Building Consultants to save our Clients time and money when they hire us to perform all four phases from initial evaluation through construction administration. It is our goal to be your “one-stop” shop guiding the project from start to finish.  Please give us a call today at 844-543-7743 or email Jen at jk@jhersheygroup.com to request a proposal!

mgt

05/02/18 Capital Improvement Projects

posted by Jen

Now that spring has sprung, our team has been busy performing construction administration services for community association projects where drawings, specifications and bidding were completed with our assistance at the end of 2017. During construction we perform scheduled site visits to monitor the progress, assist with payout requests, answer questions on behalf of the board and prepare written reports for the association detailing the progress.

Current construction administration projects as shown below include the roof replacement of a 4-story, (36) unit building, the roof replacement of (25) 2-story town-home buildings and we just completed construction drawings for the balcony railing replacement of (152) units in (6) 3-story buildings. We are now moving into the Bid Phase of the balcony railing replacement project and will be meeting bidders on-site this week to review the specifications and answer any questions so they may prepare their proposals for the Board’s review!

Give us a call today at 844-543-7743 to discuss your capital improvement project needs.  It is not to late to begin construction this summer!

 

mgt

04/25/18 April’s Blue Print

posted by Jen

From specific questions to ask your potential Reserve Study professional to images of in-progress J. Hershey Design Build projects our April issue of The Blue Print has something for everyone!  Click here to read and as always, feel free to give us a call at 844-543-7743 to discuss any of your project needs!

mgt

04/23/18 Questions to ask your Reserve Study Professional

posted by Jen

Last week, J. Hershey Building Consultants performed a Reserve Study site visit at a vintage 4-story walk-up building in Evanston, Illinois, which contained a laundry room, package delivery room, storage lockers, an underground parking garage as well rear wooden stairs.  A Reserve Study site visit was also performed for a town-home association which consisted of (8) buildings containing (36) units.  Along with review of the exterior of each building the Association also maintains a pond, general landscaping and the street.

When hiring professionals to produce a Reserve Study it is important to ask detailed questions regarding the experience of the professionals…this should go beyond the standard…”Has the professional previously produced Reserve Studies for properties which are similar to our property”?

Some questions to consider may include:

·Is the person who is visiting the property a licensed professional or are they an unlicensed employee who may or may not have a college degree in architecture or engineering?

·Is the person who is visiting the property a licensed architect or a licensed engineer?  If they are a licensed engineer, then what type of engineering degree?  Examples may include, civil engineer, structural engineer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, etc.  A licensed architect is commonly very familiar with all aspects of building construction.  On the other hand, someone who is an electrical engineer is unlikely to have in depth knowledge of structural design.

·Does the licensed professional produce bid repair documents or provide construction monitoring of capital improvements for multi-family properties or is their experience restricted to the preparation of Reserve Studies?  We consider it to be beneficial for a professional who is preparing your Reserve Study to have experience with building design as well as involvement in the building construction process.

·Depending on the type of property, we recommend the Association give consideration to have multiple professionals involved in the preparation of a Reserve Study.  A town-home Association with no common mechanical systems for example may not significantly benefit from having multiple professionals involved.  However, a mid-rise or high-rise building with common mechanical, electrical, and fire protection systems may benefit from the individual expertise of multiple professionals, especially those who are familiar with current design practices when evaluating capital improvements.  One or more professionals to consider when evaluating a building with complex systems may include an architect, structural engineer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, and elevator consultant.  An architect or an architect and a mechanical engineer is generally recommended for complex building systems.

Below are some images from our visits last week.  To request a Reserve Study proposal please give Jen a call at 844-543-7743 or click here to fill out our easy-to-use online request form!

mgt

04/18/18 – Facade Repairs

posted by Jen

In February, the Board of Directors for the Association shown below hired us to perform an evaluation of the facade on each of their buildings.  Based on our detailed written report, the Board has now hired us to prepare specifications for the facade repairs.  In March, this Association also hired us to perform an evaluation of the roofs.  Each of the (25) roofs was reviewed to determine their condition and a matrix was prepared listing roof repairs needed in order of importance.  This Association is located northern Illinois and consists of (79) units in (25) single-story buildings.  Give J. Hershey Building Consultants a call today at 844-543-7743 to discuss your capital improvement project needs!

 

mgt

04/11/18 Dolce Organic Salon Grand Opening

posted by Jen

In 2017, The J. Hershey Architecture team designed the conversion of an existing 6,000 square foot medical office building into the Dolce Organic Salon, Med Spa and Salt Room.  On Sunday, May 6th, from 12:00pm-4:00pm they are having a Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening at 18820 Bagley Road in Middleburg Heights, Ohio.  The Grand Opening will include tours, refreshments, discounts, entertainment and more!  Make sure you stop by and check out their amazing Salt Room.

To discuss the opportunity to design your commercial or residential space, give us a call at 844-543-7743!

 

 

mgt

04/09/18 Reserve Studies in the Snow!?

posted by Jen

J. Hershey Building Consultants were on-site in Columbus, Ohio, to perform a Reserve Study on this chilly, snowy day!  This past weekend our Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania offices all saw several inches of snow…we all wish we were working out of the Orlando office this week!  This time of year it melts quickly and does not inhibit our ability to view the common elements the Association is responsible for maintaining.  This Association includes (35) units in (4) 2-story buildings with a separate fitness center.  The street is also maintained by the Association.  Give us a call today at 844-543-7742 to discuss your Reserve Study proposal needs.

mgt

04/3/18 – Reserve Study Near Case Western Reserve University

posted by Jen

Last week, the J. Hershey Building Consultants team was on-site to perform a Reserve Study site visit for the Association shown below in Cleveland, Ohio.  This Association consists of (19) town-home style units in (5) 3-story buildings.  Along with a review of the building exteriors which include attached garages and 4th floor decks the Association is also responsible for maintaining mailbox kiosks, driveways and landscaping including fencing which you can see in the image below.  These high-end town-homes are located across the street from Case Western Reserve University and were recently built!  This Association will now have a detailed, professional, Reserve Study in place to help them accurately plan for the future.   To inquire about a Reserve Study proposal for your Association please click here for a link to our easy-to-use online request form or email Jen at jk@jhersheygroup.com.

View of the front of the buildings

View from the top floor decks

View of the attached garages at the rear of the buildings

mgt

03/29/18 March Blue Print

posted by Jen

Happy Spring!  The J. Hershey March issue of The Blue Print is now available to read by clicking here!  This special issue announces the addition of two new members to our team.  Please join us in welcoming Krystal Balmes and Anne Yannarella!  Our March issues also features several community association projects the J. Hershey Building Consultants team is working on from the initial evaluation through the creation of specifications and drawings for repairs.  The J. Hershey Design Build team is busy wrapping up construction over the next month on three homes in the northern Illinois area.  Each Blue Print issue so far this year we have brought you a progress video from one of the homes in Libertyville, Illinois, and this issue features video #3.  As always, please feel free to contact us directly at 844-543-7743 to discuss any of your upcoming project needs!

 

mgt

3/26/18 – Ohio Building Evaluation

posted by Jen

J. Hershey Building Consultants were on site today at the Association shown below in Wasdworth, Ohio, to perform an evaluation of the roofs, overhangs, gutters and downspouts. The Association includes (23) 2-story buildings containing (136) units. Upon completion of the site visit the Consultant will create a written report detailing their findings including color, captioned photographs and recommendations for repairs as necessary.

Once the Board reviews and approves the Written Report they have the opportunity to continue working with J. Hershey Building Consultants on the other phases of the project. Those phases include creating the drawings and specifications as necessary for any repairs, assistance during bidding and performing construction administration for the repairs once the Contractor has been hired.

It is not uncommon for J. Hershey Building Consultants to save our Clients time and money when they hire us to perform all four phases from initial evaluation through construction administration. It is our goal to be your “one-stop” shop guiding the project from start to finish.

Please give a call today at 844-543-7743 or email Jen at jk@jhersheygroup.com to discuss your upcoming project needs!

 
mgt

03/22/18 J. Hershey Design Build – Home Renovation Update

posted by Jen

The J. Hershey Design Build home renovation in Libertyville, Illinois is progressing well!  The front porch as shown in the image below is being re-built using a composite railing system and the wood siding has been removed from the exterior and is being replaced with vinyl siding.  The roof line at the rear of the home has been raised and this area, as shown below, will become the new master bedroom, master bathroom and laundry area!  New windows are also going in this week throughout the entire home.  Click here to view a video of the progress!

mgt

03/05/18 Libertyville Home Under Construction

posted by Jen

The kitchen is being framed out in the J. Hershey Design Build project shown below in Libertyville, Illinois.  This single-story home has been gutted from front to back and the new design includes a new master bedroom and bathroom, kitchen and living area.  Give Jen a call today at 847-549-5499 or email at jk@jhersheygroup.com to discuss your home renovation project!

mgt

03/02/18 Water Infiltration Site Visit

posted by Jen

J. Hershey Building Consultants are on-site today performing a water infiltration evaluation at this high-rise building in the heart of Lincoln Park in Chicago!   Three units within this building are all experiencing a similar issue.

Property Managers regularly use J. Hershey Building Consultants as an expert source on solving water infiltration issues for community associations.  Our detailed, non-biased opinions, give Property Managers the steps necessary to correct the issues which other professionals and contractors are unable to solve.  We currently have a 100% track record in solving these issues and as always, if a J. Hershey staff member is unable to determine the source of your water infiltration problem there is no charge for our service!

Give Jen a call today at 844-543-7743 or jk@jhersheygroup.com to discuss project needs at your Association!

mgt

02/28/18 February Blue Print

posted by Jen

The February issue of The Blue Print is now available to read.  This issue highlights happenings at each of our companies including the completion of a J. Hershey Architecture designed 6,000 square foot salon and spa in Middleburg Height, Ohio!  Our J. Hershey Building Consultants team has been busy performing reserve studies and building evaluations which has lead into the preparation of specifications and drawings for capital improvement repair projects scheduled for this spring and summer.  This issue also features progress updates on the four J. Hershey Design Build homes currently under construction throughout northern Illinois! Check out the link above and give us a call today at 844-543-7743 to discuss all your project needs!

 

mgt

02/22/18 J. Hershey Happenings – Trade Shows and Lunch and Learns

posted by Jen

The J. Hershey team brought lunch to a northern Illinois property management firm this week and presented a seminar on Roof and Attic Issues within Community Associations.  This seminar was good for (1) CEU Credit for Property Managers with the CAM designation! We currently have (4) seminars approved by the Community Association Management International Certification Board (CAMICB), each one is worth (1) Continuing Education Unit.   Give Jen at call at 844-543-7743 or email jk@jhersheygroup.com to schedule a seminar at no cost to you!

 


 

This weekend we will be attending the Community Association of Illinois’ 36th Annual Condo-HOA Conference! Stop by our Booth #116 Friday or Saturday to learn more about the variety of services we can offer to Community Associations as well hear about our Lunch and Learn opportunities.  We look forwarding to see you!

mgt

2/6/18 J. Hershey CEU Credit Approved Seminars

posted by Jen

J. Hershey Building Consultants offers 6 FREE seminars per quarter for Property Managers to get their CEUs.  Each course is held in YOUR office and is certified through CAMICB.  We’ve already held 5 sessions in 2018!  Contact Jen at 844.543.7743 or jk@jhersheygroup.com to schedule your session.  Below are images from recently completed CEU Seminars in Illinois and Ohio!

mgt

01/31/18 January Blue Print

posted by Jen

Click HERE to read the January 2018 issue of The Blue Print!  J. Hershey is now comprised of three distinct companies, each of which is featured in this issue along with our new website and phone number!

mgt

09/26/17 September Blue Print

posted by Jen

Our September issue of The Blue Print is ready for viewing! Do you know what sets J. Hershey Architecture apart from our competitors? Check out our “Association Projects” section below for some insight! This issue not only highlights our Association projects but also some great design projects our Team is currently working on.

mgt

9/19/17 Association Budgets

posted by Jen

It is that time again where Community Association Boards and Property Managers begin to think about their budgets for next year.  A great article came out recently in the Chicago Tribune talking about the importance of making sure your yearly Association budget is done correctly. It is hard to have an accurate budget without a current Reserve Study! Email Jen today at jk@jhersheygroup.com to request a Reserve study Proposal or a Sample Report!

mgt

9/7/17 Privacy Wall

posted by Jen

We are currently designing repairs to the stucco privacy wall for an Association as shown below in Pennsylvania. The wall stretches approximately 900 feet. Along with the privacy wall repairs we are also redesigning one of the drive entries to include reworking the ingress/egress, adding a “faux” gate house with electronic powered gates and re-configuring the road pavement.

mgt

8/29/17 Roofs

posted by Jen

The low slope roof sections at the property shown below were recently re-roofed and unfortunately it now has more leaks than before. We were asked for our expert opinion to evaluate the cause of the current leaks. Note: Unfortunately, professional specifications and construction oversight were not performed prior to our involvement as is often the case.

mgt

8/22/17 CEU Credits

posted by Jen

Are you a Property Manager needing CEU credits but do not have the time to travel somewhere for a class? What if we could bring the class to you? J. Hershey Architecture is certified by CAMICB to provide 1 CEU Credit for Property Managers on the topic of Water Infiltration or Reserve Studies. We can come to your office and present a one-hour Lunch and Learn, afternoon break, or breakfast seminar at a time that works for your entire Team at no cost to you! Pass this on to whoever in your office oversees scheduling office events and have them call 847-549-5900 or email Jen at jk@jhersheyarchitecture.com to schedule. It’s that easy!

mgt

8/09/17 Caulk

posted by Jen

Caulk is a great product when used properly, but very often it’s use exacerbates the issue rather than correcting it. If you have water infiltration issues please give us a call before attempting to make the repairs.

mgt

08/07/17 Chicago Water Storage Tank

posted by Jen

Due to recent failures of some aging rooftop water storage tanks on historic Chicago buildings, many Associations are choosing to have them removed if no longer in use. This past weekend we performed construction oversight for the removal of the water storage tank shown below. This particular building was built in 1921 and converted to residences in 2006, which means their water storage tank was almost 100 years old!

mgt

7/26/17 July Blue Print

posted by Jen

Check out our July issue of the The Blue Print which features an update on John’s recent travels to our Orlando office and an upcoming speaking engagement with CAI Central Ohio! This issue also covers the wide variety of expert services we can offer property managers to simply their lives and be the one-stop firm for the needs of their Associations.

mgt

7/20/17 Swimming Pool

posted by Jen

In this heat wave a pool is a wonderful amenity. Why not enclose it for use throughout the year. That is what this community Association in Pennsylvania would like to do. For a design consultation with one of our design professionals contact us at www.jhersheyarchitecture.com.

mgt

7/14/17 Florida

posted by Jen

JHA staff had a fantastic time last night attending the CAI Central Florida Meet the Managers Event in Orlando! As a Business Partner we rotated the room every three minutes, networking in a “speed dating” format with Property Managers from over twenty different management companies!

mgt

7/11/17 Erosion

posted by Jen

There is a right way and a wrong way to control erosion along the shoreline of a pond. We were informed this stonework was done only a year ago (probably at a significant cost) and it is already failing. How many problems can you see with this construction?

mgt

7/6/17 Structural Issues

posted by Jen

Do you have a community association with structural issues resulting from poor drainage like the retaining wall in this photo? Have you hired multiple contractors over the years and still don’t have it solved? Send our President, John Hershey, an email at jmh@14.141.175.107 with your questions and let’s work together to solve your water related issues.

mgt

7/4/17 Happy 4th of July

posted by Jen

Happy 4th of July from all of us at J. Hershey Architecture! Did you know that on July 13th JHA staff will be attending CAI Central Florida’s Meet the Managers Event? This sold-out, limited seating event gives business partners a chance to sit down and meet one-on-one with property managers in a “speed dating” format. As a member of multiple CAI Chapters we understand that successful relationships between business partners and management companies helps to ease the daily stress on managers by providing them with a reliable support system.

mgt

6/26/17 June Blue Print Newsletter

posted by Jen

J. Hershey Architecture’s June issue of The Blue Print is now ready to view!  This issue includes updates on our association and design projects including an exciting commercial project in northeastern Ohio!

mgt

6/19/17 Repair Projects

posted by Jen

Construction administration for repairs is a service we regularly provide for multi-family Associations. For each Association shown below, we first performed an initial evaluation of their balconies to determine the extent of renovations needed, then created the repair specifications and assisted with the bid process. Contractors were chosen for the repairs and we are now monitoring the work with weekly site visits followed by a comprehensive report detailing the progress. If your Association is in need of a repair/replacement project contact us today at 847.549.5900 for a proposal!

rsz_221  rsz_6

mgt

6/16/17 Design Projects

posted by Jen

Our Residential and Commercial Design Team has been busy designing multiple projects! A snapshot of what they are currently working on includes:

1. Designing a 20’x20′ bonus room with a wet bar for a vacation home just a block away from the shores of Lake Geneva in Wisconsin.

2. Converting an existing 8,000 square foot medical office building into a salon and spa complete with multiple treatment rooms for facials, massages, manicures, pedicures, hair styling and more.

3. Designing a second-story master bathroom and closet addition above our Client’s existing garage and a first-floor deck off the existing family room to enhance their outdoor views.

mgt

6/9/17 Habitat for Humanity

posted by Jen

We are honored to have had the opportunity to create the design drawings for these two Habitat for Humanity homes that will be breaking ground in North Chicago next weekend! J. Hershey Architecture has had a long-standing relationship with Habitat for Humanity Lake County and we would like to say congratulations to the the James and Lewis families as they begin a new chapter in their new homes!

Image

mgt

6/7/17 JHA Team Building Event

posted by Jen

JHA Staff members participated in an off-site team building event yesterday! Along with planning future company goals some fun was had including the “Marshmallow Challenge” as shown below. Teams had to create the tallest structure possible using only 20 pieces of spaghetti, 3′ of masking tape and a small piece of twine. Bill, Jen and Chris crushed John and Rob with the winning structure being over 27″ tall! Here is a link with more information on the “Marshmallow Challenge”! A great day was had by all.

mgt

6/5/17 Reserve Study Update

posted by Jen

Has your Community Association had a major capital improvement project completed since its last Reserve Study? We performed a Reserve Study update for this Association after the completion of a re-roofing project so their Reserve Schedule can be updated for greater accuracy. Give us a call for a proposal!

mgt

6/1/17 Masonry Review

posted by Jen

If your property is 40 years old or greater it may need the masonry mortar joints re-pointed. We can prepare scope specifications for the mason so the new mortar closely matches the original unlike the work shown in these photos. Email us for a proposal!

mgt

5/31/17 Property Evaluation

posted by Jen

The HOA shown below is newly constructed and has not been entirely transitioned over from the developer. We were asked by the Property Manager to evaluate drainage issues some Homeowners are experiencing in their backyards and provide our expert opinion and recommendations (as necessary) for corrective actions the developer should be taking. If your Association needs an expert building or property evaluation give us a call today!

mgt

5/24/17 JHA Reserve Studies

posted by Jen

JHA staff was on-site this week in northern Ohio performing three separate Reserve Study site visits! Each site visit will be followed by an easy-to-read, property specific Report. This Report is an investment for your Association that will serve as a useful reference document for many years. To request a Reserve Study RFP please click the link below!

https://jhersheygroup.com/cons…/reserve-study-request/

mgt

5/2/17 JHA’s May Blue Print

posted by Jen

Click here to view our May issue of The Blue Print where we feature a link to John’s recently published article on water infiltration as well as a snapshot into our current community association and residential design projects!

mgt

5/19/17 Reserve Study Podcast

posted by Jen

J. Hershey Architecture’s President, John Hershey, was recently invited to sit down with Tony Campisi, Executive Director for the CAI Pennsylvania/Delaware Valley, for a Podcast on the importance of having a Reserve Study for your Condominium or Homeowner Association. You can listen to the Podcast by clicking here! Please visit our website at www.jhersheyarchitecture.com and click on “Reserve Study RFP” to request a Reserve Study proposal for your Association!

 

mgt

Building Evaluations

posted by Jen

This month we will be performing both a Reserve Study and a Balcony Evaluation at the building shown here. JHA staff was on-site for a meeting with the Board to prep for the upcoming site visit!  Spring is the perfect time to schedule your building evaluations!