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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.