Targeted versus complete restoration
Nothing seems to confound strata councils more than deciding between undertaking major exterior envelope repairs and doing localized or targeted repairs. They may have received conflictingreports from building envelope engineers, some favoring complete restoration while others recommending more localized work.
For strata councils, a key question often is whether to undertaketargeted repairs which will cost less in the short run, or moreextensive repairs, which may head off further costs in the future. Council members must think through the long range implications for the building and should choose the option which provides the best long-term solution, even if it requires higher costs up front.
Sometimes, localized repairs are a cost effective solution. For instance, if water damage appears to be limited to deck surfaces and handrails, then repairs could be completed as required in those areas only.
However, complications can arise when there is damage in a variety of locations and the overall evidence suggests that substantial decay or water ingress is occurring. In these cases, some questions to consider are:
• If only targeted work is approved but major damage is uncovered during the repair process, the final cost may be substantially higher than if a complete restoration had been undertaken from the start.
• How can a builder/contractor guarantee localized work? In the event that new damage occurs, how does one determine fault?
• If the strata council authorizes targeted repairs and substantial damage occurs later (even if it does not originate at the repaired areas), all parties involved (council, contractor, and engineer) may be exposed to legal action from a new, more aggressive council who feel that the ‘experts’ should have recommended a complete repair in the first place.