2 Story Apartment Fire Takeover
The project was a two-story apartment building fire reconstruction in the amount of $354,736.43. The structure was originally built in 1984, and was comprised of eight individual units (four first story and four second story residences). The purpose of the project was to rebuild the structure back to its pre-loss condition while establishing compliance with current code standards.
The property had gone into receivership, and the management company was reporting to them. We were working with the Community Manager, District Manager and Vice President of the management company. The Receiver hired a consultant to oversee our restoration work, who was also reporting to the Receiver. Though the previous contractor had begun the repairs, there was no record that NESHAP had ever been contacted. There were a lot of people involved in this difficult project, and it seemed as if everyone’s patience was growing thin. We wrote five proposals before beginning work, and prepared twelve customer-requested change orders throughout the duration of the job. In addition, microbial contamination was discovered during reconstruction, which required remediation. We were given 90 days to complete the project once it commenced. Difficulties were commonplace on this project from the moment we transferred the building permit. This was due largely to the frustration, distrust and concerns of almost everyone involved as a result of the challenges caused by the previous contractor.
Multiple change orders and the discovery of mold contamination caused the project scope to change 13 times during the course of construction, all of which needed to be addressed within the allotted 90 days.
Challenges / Creative Solutions
The fire occurred 18 months prior to us starting the job. During that time, another contractor, who was a friend of the building’s previous owner and not experienced with fire reconstruction, was attempting to restore the structure. There were 25 inspection requests up to that point, with only 6 of them passing. Even work that had been previously passed by the city building inspectors had to be redone by Kowalski Construction. We received a request from the property management company to inspect this property, and were in disbelief upon discovering the fire had occurred over a year ago and that another contractor had been working on the job. We were told that the temporary fence needed to be re-secured, and that there might be some exposed wiring that was still energized. We dispatched someone immediately, and discovered both of these issues were true as they described.
All the issues that were encountered meant that Kowalski Construction had very little margin for error in order to accomplish this complex restoration project.
The fire-damaged building was rebuilt to current code standards within a tight time frame. An improved relation between the City Building Safety Department and the Apartment Community was also established. The residents in the community, especially those living adjacent to the damaged building, were relieved to have the eyesore eliminated. The Receiver and Management Company were able to close the book on this problematic situation, and the Management Company was able to begin leasing the units again. Kowalski Construction completed this project properly and on schedule.