Condominium Association leadership and management is complex and never ending. I was thinking about this while reading an excellent article, Preparing Your Association For Winter.

Many insurance policies have protective safeguard provisions during the winter months regarding the maintenance of heat to prevent freezing of pipes resulting in water loss claims. A frozen pipe which breaks can be catastrophic in a high-rise building.

The article’s best point, however, may have been from architects who noted:

‘The best thing that a condominium can do in the winter is to plan for summer and spring projects,’ urges William Hicks, a licensed architect and principal of the Chicago-based Hicks Architectural Group. ‘We work with so many associations that, the minute it gets down to 32 degrees, they hibernate, they don’t make decisions, they defer… then suddenly around April when the first flowers bloom, it’s a madhouse, with a board frantically fretting about the roof or the windows or the paving. At that point, quality contractors are booked, pricing is higher, and the market has shifted to prefer the seller rather than the buyer.’

To plan for one season without taking into consideration how that planning may affect the next is unwise. The most successful boards will take practical action while maintaining a big-picture outlook. ‘We’ve had experiences where condo associations do significant concrete flatwork during the summer,’ says Hicks. ‘Winter rolls around, they realize they want to avoid ice on said concrete, and they end up using the wrong snow melt chemistry and destroy that fresh concrete. They’d never have done this had they planned far enough in advance to receive proper instruction regarding snow melting material.’

This is fantastic risk management advice. Proper planning prevents poor performance.