Deteriorating Balconies & Stairways at a 248 Unit Apartment Community

The Damages


Long term deterioration was compromising the stairways and balconies and could jeopardize the safety of the residents. The client wanted to have the repairs completed without shutting down operations, retain their residents and minimize disruption to their community especially since this was a $1,197,796.88 expense they had not budgeted for. The deterioration was exacerbated by 2 primary factors. The original design of the roof directed rain water directly on to the walkways & stairway beams and created a “safe haven” for pigeons which was virtually inpossible for maintenace staff to access and maintain or clean out gutters. The roof was redesigned to redirect the rain water away from the beams, eliminate the pigeon “safe haven” and provide access for maintenance staff.


Challenges / Creative Solutions


Tensions between the City Building Safety Department & community management were running high. We made it our first priority to stabilize the structures with temporary shoring & bracing which helped to stabilize relations as well. We worked closely with management to relieve concerns from residents regarding both safety and aesthetics. We developed a plan to minimize relocations by performing work to maximize ingress & egress. When that wasn’t possible, we worked closely with management to develop a resident relocation plan providing as much notice as possible and providing frequent updates immediately regarding any changes to the schedule due to unforeseen circumstances. Temporarily relocated residents were moved to open units within the community and then relocated back as soon as the work permitted.


Assemblies were removed and installed using very large cranes further impacting vehicle traffic flow, parking and pedestrian walkway access. Most of this work had to be done over the top of the 2 story buildings to gain access to the units on the community’s interior.

Strained relations caused the Building Inspectors to be less than flexible & accommodating at first, however we worked closely with them to improve responsiveness which was so critical with such demanding conditions.




The repairs restored the structural integrity to the buildings, eliminated the safety concerns, reduced the potential for future deterioration and improved maintainability. The stress was relieved and relations restored between management and the City. Resident retention was achieved while minimizing impact on community. The client is very happy with the results.


© 2020 Kowalski Construction, Inc.  |  Tel: 602-944-2645  |  Fax: 602-944-6844

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