Written by Richard Thompson

There is an old saying that goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Nothing is truer when it comes to a homeowner associations. If your HOA does not already have one, forging an Annual Planning Calendar will be an enormous step toward solving many nagging maintenance and administrative problems.

What goes into an Annual Planning Calendar? All significant maintenance and administrative events should be included. Basic categories include:

Maintenance Deadlines like pool permit, elevator permit and backflow valve inspections

Non-routine Maintenance like carpet cleaning, window washing, gutter cleaning

Major Repairs & Replacements like roofing, painting, pool replastering

Administrative Events & Deadlines like board, owner and committee meetings plus filing deadlines for federal and state reporting. There are several major reasons to implement an Annual Planning Calendar:

Efficiency. It is important to spread the work load out as much as possible so that board volunteers are not stretched to the breaking point. First make a to do list and consider the amount of volunteer time will be involved. Distribute volunteer items over time to spread out the work. Oversight of contractor tasks can be divided up by committees like maintenance, budget, landscaping if you do not have a professional manager.

Conservation. The Annual Planning Calendar will help conserve your association’s money. By planning your major maintenance projects ahead and getting proposals early, you can often take advantage of off-season pricing. If nothing else, you may have first crack at the contractor’s schedule. More importantly, by doing preventive maintenance when it needs to be done, asset life can be extended to its fullest thereby conserving capital.

Communication. The Annual Planning Calendar sent to all members since they have the right to know how money is being spent. Since everyone will know when things will take place many phone call inquiries can be eliminated. If members are “in the know”, they will be more willing to cooperate with its implementation. While there are similarities between associations, yours may have some special items that should be included. Meetings should include the date and place if the location is not usual.

What is the best time to prepare the calendar? Ideally, it should be put together in conjunction with your annual budget but it if you don’t already have one, the sooner the better. It is simple to put one together and it need only be one page in length.

Like a budget, once there is a history to look back at, the Annual Planning Calendar can be refined and improved. By planning ahead, the progressive Board of Directors can put an end to “squeeky wheel” maintenance and management by crisis. It is a powerful tool that the “pros” use and so can you. Here’s what one looks like:


  • 8 Annual Homeowner Meeting
  • 10 Get proposals: roof replacement, pool replaster, treework
  • 11 Inspect decks
  • 15 Forward Year End Financials to CPA
  • 20 Sweep parking lots


  • 13 Board of Directors Meeting
  • Review roof, pool replaster proposals Newsletter


  • File tax return by the 15th
  • Annual fire extinguisher inspection


  • 1 Maintenance Committee Inspection
  • 15 Pool replaster project begins
  • Dewinterize Buildings
  • Walkthrough with Landscape Contractor
  • Clean Clubhouse and stairwell carpets


  • 5 Work Party – Plant spring flowers
  • 12 Board of Directors Meeting
  • 25 Pool Opens
  • Newsletter
  • Announce Summer Social
  • Clean gutters
  • Wash windows
  • Sweep parking lots


  • Roof replacement project begins
  • Deck repair project begins


  • 15 Summer Social
  • 20 Treework begins


  • 15 Board of Directors Meeting Newsletter


  • Order Reserve Study Update
  • 10 Close Pool
  • 12 Chimney Inspections & Cleaning
  • 15 Budget Committee Meeting
  • 25 Wash windows


  • 5 Work Party – Plant fall flowers
  • Winterize Buildings
  • 15 Mail winterization notices
  • 22 Walkthrough with Landscape Contractor


  • 1 Grounds Committee Inspection
  • 22 Board of Directors Meeting
  • Review & approve budget
  • Newsletter
  • Request Board Candidates
  • Announce Christmas Party


  • 5 Clubhouse Cleaning Party
  • 12 Christmas Party at Clubhouse
  • 15 Clean gutters

For more innovative homeowner association management strategies, subscribe to www.Regenesis.net.