Reconstruction vs. Repair – What Is It?

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So what’s the difference between Reconstruction and Repair? Generally it’s scope of the work combined with quantity and the ability to take advantage of more modern materials, techniques and efficiencies in planning and operation into the future.


REPAIR – If a project has one deck to repair, the HOA will generally repair the one deck with an “in-kind” process and materials that are readily available at the local material supplier by a local tradesperson with and entity right-sized for the project.  The work is completed and then next year when there are 2 more decks, if the same vendor and materials are available and codes or condition have not changed, there might be a similar repair.  However, if any of the variables change, the repair will be different this time around and that process will continue until the variables change again.  This typically leads to a greater and greater challenge to manage all the variables and forecast the lifecycles and maintenance of all the assorted conditions the decks might have on the project over decades.

RECONSTRUCTION – If a similar project had 100 decks that needed attention today and another 100, 300 or more predicted to need attention in the future, a reconstruction process would be the appropriate approach.  Due to the quantity, a detailed more modern design with all the features that would make the deck reconstruction project a greater value would be included. This will drive the lifecycle longer, with less maintenance and at lower cost than typical “in-kind” repairs can be made in quantity.

The reconstruction process would assess the condition of all decks in this case and any adjacent structures that could be affected by the process to understand a one-time complete reconstruction. Plans and specifications would be generated and a tracking process instituted so that a long term process can be managed in harmony with today’s repair. Warranties and right sized vendors would also be utilized to insure the work at this scale was successful.  The role of the property manager, owner or successor would be simplified by being provided with appropriately qualified manufacturers, enforceable warranties, proper building permits, quality construction as-builts and effective care and maintenance instructions.

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