Re: Re: design team
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 11:49:27 -0800 (PST)

On Jan 11, 2006, at 1:27 PM, katie-henry [at] wrote:

(2) People to keep track of the thousands of details and decisions and follow up to make sure they got recorded and implemented. Maybe it should have been the job of our developer/architect -- he's not exactly a detail guy -- but we continue to pay for our lack of record-keeping. In retrospect, since we didn't have anyone who would do this, we should have hired someone to attend our design meetings and take notes.

I can't stress enough how important this is. We were just facing an elevator repair of almost $6,000 and possibly much more plus sitting up all night to drain the elevator pit to save very expensive things from rusting when all we needed was someone from the Design Team who remembered how the sump pumps were related the elevator pit.

Every repair person who comes out in 5 years or even 1 year when the developer or contractor is long gone will understand only what they can see and only what they specialize in. The problem can be very simple but look very complex to the wrong expert. You will spend upwards of $50 an hour PER PERSON for them to figure out what is behind your walls or under the water.

Have people on your design team who always wanted to be engineers and you will be grateful to them forever.

I shudder when I see groups asking questions about how to find an architect. The question should be how do I find a developer or cohousing professional to help us find an architect. If you have several people in your group who want to become FULL TIME real estate developers, go for it. Otherwise call an expert.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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