Your HOA’s Reserve Study indicates that your roof and siding should be replaced in 8 years, but yesterday while walking to your car you noticed the siding is in pretty bad shape. You begin the process of asking around for a good local contractor who can provide a high quality renovation at a relatively low cost. While you receive one or two mediocre recommendations, a large number of friends and colleagues you talk with tell you horror stories about poor quality, faulty workmanship, and the dreaded construction defect lawsuit.

How can I protect myself, my unit, and my association from dealing with construction defects and ensure that our complex will be renovated correctly when I know very little about construction? As you ponder that question for weeks and continue to ask around for advice from other associations, board members, and property managers you hear about an innovative process called Quality Assurance Observation (QAO).

QAO is the process of verifying through observation, at pre-determined incremental stages that particular processes and assemblies are being constructed according to plans and specifications. Simply put, QAO makes sure things are built right.

The process has recently been implemented on projects from small HOA renovations to large  high end resort projects. All instances have involved owners or stakeholders who want to add a layer of protection from low-quality construction and stay out of court for construction defect claims. The QAO process is simple, effective, affordable and transferable, and can be applied to all structures on any type of construction or renovation project.

QAO was developed in an effort to reduce the current trend of skyrocketing construction defect claims because there is rarely a third party checking if things are built correctly. It is not the city inspectors job to look for poorly constructed assemblies, and it is something that slips through the cracks on far too many construction projects. That is where bringing in a QAO practitioner can dramatically reduce your risk of dealing with defective construction. You can also explain to your contractor the benefits that QAO brings to you as well as to them. They don’t want to end up in court because a worker accidentally forgot one step out of twenty when installing a window on a Friday afternoon.

Implementing a Quality Assurance Observation program on your next construction or renovation project will 1) Verify that the work is being done correctly 2) Save you the time and money you would spend in court or to have faulty work redone 3) Add value to your HOA 4) Create a truly sustainable structure and 4) Protect your biggest asset – your home.