One of the guiding principles of our co-op is self-sufficiency, and this extends to how we care for our building. If we fix up our house ourselves, we not only save quite a bit of money, but we also strengthen our community through working together. Some of the needed work is done by contractors, and much of it must be in compliance with Urbana building codes, but this leaves plenty that we can do. With enthusiasm and willingness, and appropriate outside help, we can manage to solve just about every problem, from remodeling to fixing broken furniture.
Maintenance first needs to be handled on an individual basis. Notice when something needs to be fixed. Take responsibility for minor problems, especially to prevent damage. Some examples are: closing windows before large thunderstorms, noting leaks in the roof or plumbing, etc. If the problem is more serious than you can do yourself, ask a Maintenance Coordinator for help, and perhaps be willing to learn a new skill. For more major problems, inform the Maintenance Coordinator who will arrange for more skilled members or a contractor to deal with the problem.
Maintainence Coordinator Edit
House maintenance gets done in various ways. The co-op has a Maintenance Coordinator, who arranges for needed work to be done. He or she does work herself or himself, is empowered to ask other members for help, and hires contractors for large projects. NASCO Properties holds the maintenance budgets and NP and COUCH help to coordinate major projects. Willing house members are encouraged to take on smaller projects, and every academic semester (including summer) we have a “work day” where everyone works together on maintenance and deep cleaning.
If you have an interest in learning carpentry or other skills, please get more involved. Living in a co-op is often a good opportunity to learn! Members can take the initiative for minor improvements to their rooms.
Always promptly return tools to where they belong in the basement workshop, and report any damaged tools to the Maintenance Coordinator. Please treat the tools well (note that some are lent to the house by members), and leave paint brushes, rollers, etc., clean when you are finished with them.
Please clear any maintenance purchase with the Maintenance Coordinator prior to purchase.
Work Days Edit
Twice a year or more, members come together to work on projects around the house (deep-cleaning the kitchen, putting up plastic sheeting on windows). The date is decided between house members. Attendance is mandatory. If a member cannot attend a particular work day, he/she may be assigned tasks to complete another day and may be required to pay a penalty fee. The penalty is equal to $10 per hour of work day missed.The details are specified by the house maintenance coordinator(s).
The date of the work day, and decisions about what needs to be done, are decided on by the house. The Maintenance and Labor Coordinators organize the actual event, make sure needed supplies are on hand, etc. Each member puts in at least an afternoon's worth of labor. (If you can't make the event, talk to the Maintenance Coordinator about making up the time either before or after the fact.) These weekends can be incredible fun, a great “bonding time” as members sweat and fix up the house together! The maintenance coordinators cook a full breakfast and we can order out for pizza for a lunch break.