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re: condos

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What a timely post. Condos area all the rage in Central FL, from conversions to new. My old company is one of the best in Orlando and they won't touch them because of their liability insurance. My E and O insurance is based on NO condos or townhomes. I have not done any yet but get asked all the time. For me to pay more for my insurance it will have to be a large project with the right kind of building materials, and the fee would have to be sweet.
 
Some of the problems in FL with condos are with condos on or near the beach having corrosion problems. I just paid a huge assessment on my condo to have concrete balconies sawcut, bars cut and added, old style concrete railings replaced with aluminum, etc. The only engineer affected was the guy who we hired to do the inspection and a report for the GC to use in his repairs.
 
I would stay away from anything but top notch concrete or concrete block construction. No townhomes with any wood, in FL you are looking at mold, rot, termite, etc.If your name is on the dwgs you are easier to sue then the siding contractor or roofer or whoever formed the LLC for that job and has since returned to home state ______. Ditto Stan's comments about it does not matter what part you designed, you could get brought in on a roof leak, poor flashing, leaking windows, rotten siding, corroded reinforcement, etc. Maintenance is a group effort and if the condo board is slack and cheap, maintenance can be slack, and pretty soon you have 100 owners screaming about their building that is falling apart.
 
Condos are good for developers, real estate agents, and mortgage brokers, and maybe some contractors. PERIOD.
 
I do wonder if you designed an apartment building, 5 years later they "convert them" to condos (this is very popular now here), then can you get sued by 100 different people?
 
 
Andrew Kester, PE
Principal/Project Manager
ADK Structural Engineering, PLLC
Lake Mary, FL