Condominium and HOA Reserve Studies for All Northeast Ohio including:
Cleveland, Akron, Strongsville, Elyria, Lorain, Parma, North Olmsted, Solon, Shaker Heights, Hudson, Medina, Lakewood, Youngstown,
Avon Lake,Toledo, Mansfield and most northern Ohio counties.
All work by local state licensed Professional Engineers (PEs) and Reserve Specialists.
Established in 1970
Reason for Reserve Study
The purpose of a reserve study is to fulfill a responsibility that the association has to its residents to
maintain an ongoing understanding of the condition and funds sufficient to cover the repair and
replacement of capital requirements of the property. This study will serve as a working tool well
into the future.
What we do
The Criterium Engineers Condominium Association and Home Owners Association Capital Reserve Study combines an engineering review of building components with a financial analysis to determine what must be set aside on a periodic basis in a capital reserve fund to cover anticipated repairs/replacements of various system components within the facility in question during the next twenty years. In our analysis, we employ software developed exclusively for Criterium Engineers by KPMG.
Condominium associations and other Common Interest Realty Groups will appreciate Criterium Engineers comprehensive approach to reserve studies. If your reserve is underfunded, we will develop practical alternatives that combine common sense engineering and "Big Five" accounting expertise. If your property has known problems, or if we uncover them, we are available locally to develop repair designs, bid packages, and manage construction. If you have never had a reserve study, you will have peace of mind knowing that a reliable analysis has been performed by competent professional specialists and that you have done your capital budget due diligence.
The software provides Common Interest Realty Groups with an analysis of their current capital budget and reserves, future requirements, and various funding options for ensuring the viability and health of the capital reserve fund. The standard Reserve Study consists of 4 elements:
•Condition Assessment and Valuation
•Funding Budget Plan
1. Is a local Ohio company accessible for a close working relationship with the property
manager and association Board of Directors.
2. Staff are Reserve Specialist and registered Professional Engineers (P.E.'s) who are legally qualified to
comment on the structure of the building.
3.We are backed by the home office of Criterium Engineers which is a nationwide organization of
independently owned Professional Engineers in over 60 offices nationwide. To summarize the
qualifications of the home office, Criterium Engineers has:
* Examined more than 500,000 buildings throughout the United States.
* Experience with hundreds of condominium and home owner associations.
* Experience as a condominium association officer.
* Senior staff member involvement throughout project.
Based on our information about your complex, we will developed a capital reserve study. Our
approach to preparing a reserve study involves two phases.
The first step of the reserve study will be to use the data accumulated during our site visit to assess
the specific condition of the property. Our effort here will be to develop an inventory of the existing
major components, evaluate their current condition, and estimate expected remaining useful life of
each major component.
We will compile the data to use as a basis for projecting a reserve fund that will be adequate to take
care of non-annual maintenance/repair items. This fund will take into consideration a reasonable
return on invested monies and inflation for which we would expect you to consult with your
accountant prior to our finalizing the reserve budget analysis.
When you choose Criterium-Ackerman Engineers, our financial analysis incorporates an
engineering review to achieve as close to level-funding as possible, rather than simply use industry
The Reserve Study package includes:
•A table that lists anticipated replacement/repair items complete with estimated remaining life expectancies, projected repair/replacement costs, frequency (in years) when these items require repair/replacement, and a projection, based on this frequency, of the year in which these items will require attention.
•A table that shows the annual expense listing per year with subtotals of anticipated repair/replacement costs for each of the twenty years. The table also presents these costs as adjusted for an assumed rate of inflation.
•A table and graph that represents end of year fund balance vs. capital expenditures based on the currently funded program and reserve balances. Any special assessments planned and/or received to date are included.
◦Up to three alternatives that will fund a reserve account based on anticipated capital expenditure projections, presented in graphic and tabular form for review. These alternatives include:
■Level funding for twenty-year period with the option of special assessments as necessary.
■Escalating funding over twenty years by constant percentage per year; no special assessments.
■Escalating funding over twenty years by constant percentage; with special assessments.
•A table and graph representing the three alternatives in comparison with each other. The table shows the anticipated capital expenditures vs. the annual ending reserve fund balance for each alternative.
We understand and comply with state and industry standards and AICPA requirements. We also understand the often politically sensitive nature of Common Interest Realty Groups. We have proven our ability to work effectively with owners, boards and managers. Request Proposal
Communication is a fundamental part of effective consulting services to any organization. As part
of our project, we will identified a plan where we will be communicating with you
to disscuss our progress and to gather your feedback after the draft study is submitted. This aspect of
our service exceeds what many consultants do for this type of project.
One of the primary business duties of Community Associations is maintaining and preserving property values of the Association’s common property. To do this properly, Associations must develop funding plans for future repair or replacement of major commonarea components. A reserve study is a budget planning tool that identifies the current status of the reserve fund and establishes a stable and equitable funding plan to offset the anticipated future major common-area expenditures.
1. All Reserve Study preparers are not equal.
There are a number of ways to evaluate the qualifications of the person or firm whom you are going to retain to perform your study. Key factors when making your decision should include the following: knowledge and experience of the provider, ability to understand the clients’ needs, local expertise and availability, quality control and accountability, and professional education. A key to evaluating this qualification is to have this portion of the work performed under the direction of a licensed Professional Engineer (PE), as the license confirms that the person has been trained and educated in performing this type of evaluation.
2. All Reserve Studies are not equal.
Until just a few years ago, most reserve studies included a list of all of the components, their replacement cost, and remaining useful life in order to determine what the next years funding should be. After many years of discussion and development, the Reserves Committee of CAI should include not only this “Financial Analysis” but also a comprehensive “Physical Analysis.” This is now the standard. The physical analysis is important because it determines the existing condition and actual expected life of the common elements. The financial analysis focuses on the planning and budgeting of replacing these common elements, and includes a cash flow projection of the reserve fund over a 20-year period.
3. Full Funding of a Reserve Study may mean that you are over funded.
There are a number of different “Funding Goals” which are recommended for use as the basis for your Association’s future reserve fund planning. “Baseline Funding” is when the cash flow projection reaches $0 at some time over the projection period. “Component Full Funding” is based on keeping every individual component within the Study 100% funded. In most instances, this will result in a significant amount of funds, which are never used during the cash flow projection period. “Threshold Funding” is when the amount in the fund during the cash flow projection period is based upon keeping a minimum balance within the fund. “Statutory Funding” is based upon the establishment of the amount to be funded as dictated by the local state requirements.
4. The Replacement Costs included within a Reserve Study should consider replacement alternatives, not just replacement with the exact same component or system.
In many instances the original component, which is being replaced, either is no longer available or has become outdated since it was first installed. By making recommendations for alternatives to the initial installation, the Association may be able to install a replacement component or system with a significantly longer life, such as a new type of roofing system, or a component or system which is much more energy efficient such as a new HVAC system. In both cases, this will result in either a reduction in the recommended contributions to the Reserve Fund or a reduction in your energy costs.
5. The Reserve Study can be used for much more than just estimating the Association’s contributions to the Reserve Fund.
The Reserve Study cash flow analysis can also determine how the Association’s Reserve Funds can be invested. They give the Association the ability to plan for the actual replacements, therefore making it easier to negotiate more effectively with contractors. An investment plan can be established to maximizethe return on these funds based upon when they will be needed.
6. The Reserve Study will not be the only funding the Association will need for the upkeep of the common elements.
The Reserve Study is only for the major repair or replacement of the common and limited common elements that are the Association’s responsibility. A reserve fund is intended to cover non-annual maintenance, repair and capital improvement costs. If the proper maintenance is not performed, it can result in a significant loss of useful life for the reserve components.
7. The actual cost of performing the replacement work, when it occurs, may vary from the costs included within the study.
In preparing the reserve study, the replacement costs that are used are based upon both industry estimating standards as well as the actual cost of similar projects that have been performed. Actual costs at the time work is done are influenced by many variables, and in order to keep the replacement costs as well as the anticipated useful lives current, the Reserve Study should be updated (including a site visit) on a regular basis
For Structural Design Work Call 440-236-5779