How to Write a Memo for Building Renovations

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Writing a memo for building renovations requires detailed information given succinctly. Whether your memo is going to your building manager or a contractor, your recipient has to be understood clearly to avoid costly mistakes. Even if your memo is simply to ask your landlord for building renovations, it must be professional, not emotional.

  • List the dangers that require the building renovations or repairs. For instance, many older buildings have lead paint, which can be deadly for children if ingested. Asbestos, a known cause of cancer, is another concern in old buildings. Inadequate lighting can be dangerous around stairwells, in hallways or near entryways. In expressing your concerns, create a sense of urgency, but do not over-dramatize.

  • List the repairs needed to correct these dangers or inadequacies. Be specific on where you want the repairs. "Add more light in the hall" is too vague. Instead, spell out exactly what you want. Writing "add six canned lights in each hallway at regular intervals" lets the contractor know exactly what you want and enables him to order the correct supplies needed to complete the renovations.

  • Specify a time frame. Don't write in your memo that you want work done "ASAP." Explain which task you would like repaired first. Repainting a building before adding lights or removing asbestos makes no sense because the contractor will have to paint again once those repairs are complete. Be realistic in your expectations.

  • Budget your costs. Building renovations are expensive. Be frank about your budget in the building renovation memo. If your budget estimates are too low, the building owner might refuse to complete repairs if a contractor charges more. If your building renovation memo is to the contractor, specify how much you are willing to spend for each part of the renovations. This tells the contractor the kind of quality you want in supplies. Set aside a slush fund in your budget for unexpected repairs and the problems that tend to pop up during building renovation.

  • Research building codes. The building might have to have every part brought up to code even if your renovations have nothing to do with what doesn't pass. A simple renovation can turn quite costly if you have to bring several items up to code. List the building codes on your building renovation memo; state that final payment will not be made until the building passes all codes and inspections. This will ensure the contractor follows the building code guidelines.

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