[dropcaps]T[/dropcaps]ime is a scarce, non-renewable resource. Planning ahead for your upcoming NYC co-op or condo painting project you can avoid many of the hurdles even small contracting projects face.

Read Your Alteration Agreement.

Get to know your building management company and your building manager. They will provide you with a copy of your building’s rules for renovations. Called the alteration agreement, both tenant and contractor must abide by these rules. The alteration agreement specifies the documentation you must submit, worker access to the building, and details regarding workplace maintenance. Many buildings limit working days, hours, and the number of projects allowed at any given time as a convenience to other tenants and staff in the building. Alteration agreements sometimes require you to submit a work completion date. Missing your deadline can cause you to incur daily fines. Being aware of these time constraints in the planning stage can help minimize these time wasters later.

Hiring Professionals

If you live in a co-op or condo you can not just hire any painter, nor should you want to. Saving money in the short run may cost you later. Hire a contractor who has a valid Home Improvement Contractor License and holds current insurance for both liability and workers compensation. The contractor’s liability policy will need to name the building association, managing agent, and apartment owner as additional insured. A sample certificate of insurance (COI) or set of instructions are often included with alteration agreement. To avoid delays, submit all necessary paperwork to the contractor as soon as possible. It often takes a few days for the insurance company to issue COI’s. The contractor’s office will then submit these certificates to the building for final approval. If your home was built prior to 1978, professionals are required to hold an EPA Lead Certification. Holding a certification means that they have undergone training for lead-safe work practices to protect your home and family from the dangers of lead-based paint. Any subcontractors (electricians, plumbers, etc.) your main contractor brings on premises will need to submit this paperwork as well.

Know Thyself

Poor decision making by the client leads to delays and stalls during working hours. Plan your colors schedule ahead of time and don’t wait until the primer is on the surface to make up your mind. Alert your painting contractor as soon as possible if you waver in your decision making so they can work with you. A professional painting contractor will happily make samples ahead of time if it saves priming and repainting a mistake later on. Make your purchases up front. Items not usually stocked in stores like fixtures, custom paint colors, special finishes, and wall coverings, require extra time for special orders and delivery. Keeping to the scope of work decided on and not adding to it later will also keep your job on track. Good contractors will know how many hours it will take to complete a project based on production rates that they have amassed through years of painting on projects just like yours. Unintended delays happen. Finalizing your options before you begin may save you from costly overages. The more you know what you want, and the more you communicate those needs to the contractor, the less time you will have to spend making last minute decisions in the middle of a busy day.

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