Facilities Maintenance by Handy Giant

we provide a full range of maintenance and handyman services to our retail customers. These are services such as tile replacement, showcase repair, ceiling tile replacement and painting.

Commercial Handyman Services by Handy Giant provides a full range of maintenance services to our retail customers. These are services such as display installations, showroom renovations, tile replacement, showcase repair, ceiling tile replacement and painting.

As part of our integrated facility solutions we provide services that include:

  • Bundled facility services
  • Operating procedure development
  • Building maintenance
  • Mechanical maintenance
  • Plumbing
  • Facility operations & maintenance
  • Central plant operations & maintenance
  • Janitorial
  • Machine shop
  • Painting
  • Carpentry
  • Security review
  • Building technical administration
  • Locksmith
  • Mechanical
  • Equipment inventory
  • Condition assessments
  • Capital planning
  • Project management
  • Space planning and allocation
  • Reporting
  • Contractor management
  • Building automation systems
  • Meeting & conference room service
  • Furniture management
  • Construction

Contact us to find out more about how our integrated facility solutions can help your business.

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Office and Store Cleaning Checklist

retail store cleaning

When you are busy running a successful company, dealing with clients, managing employees and handling contracts, the last thing you need to worry about is cleaning your office. That’s why you need a professional cleaning team. But before you hire a commercial cleaning service, make sure that you have developed an office cleaning checklist so that the cleaning service know exactly what you expect of them and what duties they will be required to undertake to fulfill their contract.

A larger commercial professional cleaner will usually have a wider variety of services to offer and often have more technologically advanced equipment, more highly trained professionals and are more experienced on cleaning much large commercial facilities.

For example, a larger commercial professional cleaner may have ultra-filtration vacuum systems (with HEPA filter to limit the amount of dust in the air), dusting equipment with nano-fibers to reduce dust and static. They may also offer extra services such as pest control, landscaping, parking lot maintenance and HVAC cleaning and maintenance. Another advantage of a larger cleaning company is that if you are not satisfied with their work they have a large enough staff to send you alternative personnel to do the job satisfactorily.

Reception Room/Foyer Cleaning Checklist

This is the first part of your facility that clients will se as they enter so it is vital that it makes a good impression. For this reason the reception area needs more than just a routine weekly dusting. It should be vacuumed daily. If it is carpeted the carpet should be stem cleaned on a regular basis to prevent it becoming stained to too dirty. If the floor is not carpeted it need to be treated and polished on a regular basis to prevent it from becoming dull. Any trash bins need to be emptied daily and all surfaces should be dusted and sanitized. Windows should be kept clean inside and out. Cobwebs should be removed from corners and ceiling s on a regular basis. Light switches and door handles should be kept clean.

Restroom Cleaning Checklist

Bathrooms absolutely must be cleaned at least one each day and more often if they have a lot of use throughout the day. This cleaning regime must include the hand basins, floors, toilet bowl and urinals. Hand sanitizers and towels should be replaced. Mirrors, hand driers and light switches should be cleaned. Waste bins should be emptied. Any air fresheners should be refilled.

Break Room/ Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

All surfaces should be sanitized particularly food preparation areas, cooking surfaces and sinks. Waste must be emptied daily. Tables and chairs should be cleansed. Remind staff not to leave left over food in the refrigerator.

Office Area Cleaning Checklist

All other areas should be dusted cleansed and vacuumed if necessary on a daily or bi-weekly basis as needed. Internal and external windows should be kept clean dan wasted should be removed regularly.

9 Quick Home Maintenance Tips

Home maintenance isn’t restricted to repairs. In fact, certain tasks–when performed regularly–may actually prevent things from breaking in the first place. But when things do go wrong (and it’s inevitable that they do), we have some backup plans that you can try before you grab the phone to call for pro. Appliances and plumbing are the most frequent offenders, but they also often can be the simplest to care for. From the gutters to the living room carpet, there’s a reliable method for keeping every part of your home clean, safe, and well maintained.

Quick Home Maintenance Tips. Handyman, Commercial and Residential Real Estate Care Services for Boston and Greater Boston

9 Quick Home Maintenance Tips

MUST-DO MAINTENANCE:

The quickest fix is to not have the problem in the first place. Here’s a checklist of items every homeowner should get to regularly.

1. Test your garage door opener monthly to ensure that it reverses when it hits an obstruction or when its sensor beam is interrupted.

2. Vacuum the clothes dryer’s exhaust duct at least once a year. If the duct is plastic, replace it (it’s a fire hazard). Rigid sheet-metal ducting is best.

3. Replace furnace filters quarterly, or as recommended by the furnace manufacturer.

4. Test all GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets monthly. Press the test button and use a voltage tester to make sure the power goes off.

5. Clean leaves and debris from the condenser of a central air conditioner seasonally.

6. Once a year, vacuum the refrigerator coils underneath the appliance.

7. Have the fireplace chimney inspected and cleaned annually.

8. Inspect window and door caulking and weather stripping yearly.

9. Replace the batteries in smoke detectors yearly. And remember, even recent hard-wired smoke detectors have backup batteries that must be replaced. If you have never checked yours, do so.

How to Prevent and Deal With Frozen Pipes

A 1/8-inch crack can leak up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, structural damage and the immediate potential for mold.

How to Prevent and Deal With Frozen Pipes advice by Boston Home Services

How to Prevent and Deal With Frozen Pipes? Advice by Boston Home Services.

Why Frozen Pipes Are a Problem

Water expands as it freezes. This expansion puts extreme pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor water faucets, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Also, pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.

A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can leak up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the immediate potential for mold.

In the US, frozen pipes cause significant damage every year, but they often can be prevented. Taking a few simple steps, even now, may save you the aggravation and expense.

Prevention

There are three common causes of frozen pipes:

1. Quick drops in temperature

2. Poor insulation

3. Thermostats set too low

There are a number of preventative steps you can take to keep your pipes from freezing:

  • Check the insulation of pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attic. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing.
  • Heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables can be used to wrap pipes. Be sure to use products approved by an independent testing organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., and only for the use intended (exterior or interior). Closely follow all manufacturers’ installation and operation instructions.
  • Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes, and use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
  • Use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.
  • A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
  • Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you’re asleep, but further drops in the temperature – more common overnight – could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.

If Your Pipes Do Freeze…

Don’t panic. Just because they’re frozen doesn’t mean they’ve already burst. Here’s what you can do:

  • If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber.
  • If your house or basement is flooding, turn off the water valve and immediately call 911.
  • Do not touch or use electrical appliances in areas of standing water due to electrocution concerns.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame because it could cause a fire hazard. Every year, many building fires are caused by people trying to thaw frozen pipes. All open flames in homes present a serious fire danger, as well as a severe risk of exposure to lethal carbon monoxide.
  • You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe.
  • Again, if your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on and call 911. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it. Likely places for the water turn-off valve include internal pipes running against exterior walls or where water service enters a home through the foundation.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.

Find the original article How to Prevent and Deal With Frozen Pipes here.

Common Air Conditioning and Heating Ductwork Problems

real estate plant maintenance Air Conditioning and Heating Ductwork

Common Air Conditioning and Heating Ductwork Problems. Boston Home Services

How’s my ducting?

National studies of residential duct systems indicate that many duct systems leak 40% or more.  This means that 40% of cooling capacity, heating capacity, and utility dollars are going into unconditioned space.  Duct leaks also cause pressure imbalances inside the home causing indoor air quality problems.

We find many duct systems to be poorly designed, installed or don’t have a improperly implemented maintenance program. A sure sign of duct problems is rooms that heat or cool unevenly.  Dust streaks around supply vents are often thought to be caused by a dirty duct system.  Most of the time dust streaks around supply vents are caused by leaks in the duct system between the “bucket”, the sheet rock, and the supply vent cover.  A venture effect caused by the moving air sucks dirt, humidity and heat directly from the attic.

Poorly insulated points or sections of ducting can cause moisture and microbial growth to occur.  Air is then circulated past the molds growing in the duct system, distributing mold spores thru out your home. Since these spores are created after the filter; even the best filtration system can’t fix this duct problem.

Proper duct design is also important in achieving and maintaining proper system operation and efficiency.  Some residential homes and commercials buildings have supply air outlets placed near the interior walls of the home.  This poor duct installation practice creates a need to run high duct static pressures in order to push air all the way from the interior wall to the exterior wall where the majority of the heat enters your home.  This one poor duct design feature creates a host of potential problems.

Definition: Property maintenance relates to the upkeep of a home, apartment, rental property or building – commercial or residential real estate.  Boston Home Management is a property maintenance company.

Performance Measurement for Maintenance Management of Real Estate

Performance Measurement for Maintenance Management of Real Estate

Performance Measurement for Maintenance Management of Real Estate

(Note: this is an adopted article  – editing in progress. Find original here: Performance Measurement for Maintenance Management of Real Estate )

Abstract: The benchmarking of real estate performance is a commonly used tool in the efficient and sustainable maintenance management of existing facilities. Performance needs to be measured and monitored to support stakeholders’ core business and maintenance strategies. Many of the performance indicators used to measure real estate are based on the area of the maintained property. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the appropriate methodology of facility management benchmarking and to show the use of benchmarking on the Hungarian real estate market. The results are based on a questionnaire survey with corporate real estate executives as well as facility management service providers.

1 Introduction

Benchmarking is a multiple step process that allows an organization to compare the aspects of performance, identify the differences, seek out alternative approaches, assess opportunities for improvement, implement the change, and monitor outcomes. It should all begin with an internal evaluation, comparing performance matrices of your own organization over time. Many sources are available for analyzing facility benchmarks. Of the facility management data published by trade and professional associations for comparing efficiency in the use of facilities, nearly all rely on comparing factors on a per-square-meter of occupied space or gross area basis. Australian examples of this benchmark data include the Facilities Management Association’s Benchmarking Studies, (FMA 1999 and 2002), and the Property Council Operating Cost Benchmark Series. In the UK examples include the Office Density Study (RICS 2001) which measures the amount of space used by various business activities. BCIS is the Building Cost

Information Service of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). BCIS Maintenance & Operating Costs benchmarking data – covering maintenance and operation costs such as cleaning, energy consumption and administrative costs – has long been relied on by property professionals. It provides a sound basis for early life cycle cost advice and the development of life cycle cost plans. Increasingly, this data is taking on a new importance as the industry places more emphasis on sustainability and whole life costs. The Investment Property Databank (IPD), Occupiers Property Databank, a benchmarking database in the UK, provides corporate occupiers with a comprehensive range of metrics against which to measure their facility’s performance and upon which to base strategic property decisions. Many of these metrics relate costs and business performance to the area of building occupied. (Gibson, V. 2000) The International Facility Management Association (IFMA), one of the most widely recognized professional associations for facilities management, regularly published its Benchmarks Research. The survey includes data from a sampling of organizations throughout North America representing a spectrum of industry types and facility uses. The creation of large databases, like those of the IFMA in the USA and the RICS in the UK, are resources for national and international best practice comparisons.

2 The Importance of Performance Measurements in Field of Facilities Maintenance Management

Maintenance costs are usually the second largest single expense component for facilities operation costs. Having a quantitative understanding of facilities operations lends itself to comparing the organization to others. One common mistake people make when developing a benchmarking strategy is selecting only organizations within their own industry to benchmark against. It should also compare the facilities to the operation of other facility types. Comparisons across industries allows for estimating the potential that may exist for improvement. Analysis of more descriptive case studies and networking must take place in order to raise the bar. Benchmarking can be an excellent measurement tool when comparing one facility to others in the portfolio. This type of benchmarking can help set company standards for performance and raise expectations through shared best practices. The majority of the metrics used to measure property performance are cost-centered, although some quality rating systems exist. Douglas, J. (1996) concludes that facilities performance measures allow managers to evaluate performance:

  • for property portfolio review, acquisition or disposal purposes,
  • to highlight where a building is lacking in performance,
  • to help prioritise maintenance or remodelling works,
  •  to provide identification or early warning of obsolescence in buildings and

• to assist in achieving value-for-money from building assets by aiding identification of,
• performance achievements as well as failures.

2.1 Benchmarking in the Facility Management Business Cycle

In the 1st edition of The Strategic Role of Facilities Management in Business Performance (RICS 2009) guidance note separates the Facilities Management cycle into five areas: Strategy, Sourcing, Operational, Review, and Continuous development and change management. Through this cycle, the facilities management function can effectively support an organization’s business strategy, which will derive value from the function rather than focus on cost. Benchmark metrics are important in any area of the cycle; the highest importance of the benchmarking is in the Strategy phase of the cycle. Benchmark data is a key tool in the facility manager’s toolkit, enabling decision making by developing facility management strategy. Facility managers have a major role to play in the benchmarking process and in the financial control and reporting processes.

2.2 Benchmarking for Sustainable Maintenance Management of a Nation’s Building Stock

The growth in the significance of building maintenance has occurred due to new- build activity, as well as to a growing awareness of the need to manage the condition and the operation of the nation’s building stock more effectively. The whole subject of maintenance management is the issue of Facility Management, which is a rapidly developing discipline.

Facility Management is important as regards the construction of buildings, their health and safety requirements, or their sustainability, whether they the buildings are viewed alone as an investment and/or a service. Buildings and their facilities should therefore be maintained and managed in ways that minimize their environmental impact but still meet the occupier’s and owner’s requirements. In this context, sustainability goes beyond the issue of environmental protection and resource conservation. Increasingly it is the drive to ensure delivery of this wider agenda which presents us with some of the biggest challenges, as legislative changes impact on building usability and increasing emphasis is placed on occupier requirements.

The opportunity should be taken at the time of replacement and/or refurbishment to introduce more sustainable components and materials. This can also provide the opportunity for extending life expectancy together with reducing environmental impact.

Architects and building engineers should accept that there is more to sustainability than just the energy-efficient design of buildings and that appropriate management and refurbishment of existing building stock is vital to meeting any form of sustainability targets. A combination of maintenance and life cycle replacement of materials, equipment and building components should therefore be designed with this in mind.

Within the real estate industry there have been different efforts to develop a method to measure environmental performance. In the United Kingdom, the most significant method defining and assessing environmental building performance is BREEAM, the BRE Environmental Assessment Method. BREEAM uses a consensus based weighting system to aggregate performance into one overall score for a building, which is then rated on a scale ranging from pass, good, very good to excellent. The main methodology used in the United States is LEED, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Scheme by the US Green Building Council. This is a point-based system, similar to BREEAM, but resulting in buildings being awarded bronze, silver, gold or platinum status.

There are many performance indicators applied by the real estate industry that address maintenance performance and cost effectiveness. The currently existing indicators collected by Pati et al. (2009) are listed below. An additional Maintenance productivity indicator is under development to compare various maintenance policies on costs and maintained building state. Maintenance productivity is defined as a ratio of a building’s state and maintenance cost, and may be used for maintenance policy justification and budget allocation.

The currently existing indicators are:

  • Building performance indicator (BPI)
  • Maintenance efficiency indicator (MEI)
  • Manpower sources diagram (MSD): a ratio of in-house and outsourcing expenditures
  • Managerial span of control (MSC): a ratio of a manager and subordinated personnel
  • Business availability in %: an available floor area over an entire floor area over year
  • Manpower utilization index (MUI) in %: a ratio of man-hours spent on maintenance and total available man-hours
  • Preventive maintenance ratio (PMR) in %: a ratio of man-hours spent on preventive maintenance and total maintenance
  • Urgent repair request indicator (URI) and general repair request indicator (GRI): occurrence/10,000 m2
  • Average time to repair (ATTR): unit repairing time in hour
  • Maintenance productivity (under development)Benchmarking is considered to be a valuable tool or process for assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of the maintenance operation. It is becoming increasingly common in maintenance management to seek benchmarks by which the performance and costs of a building or facilities can be measured against other comparable facilities or against previous cost data. However, it is imperative that true comparables are used. CEN TC 348 is the facility management standards committee operating across Europe and works on European standards development. The new CEN TC 348 prEN 1522-7, Facility Management – Performance Benchmarking has been published; it standardizes the method to be used when collecting data on maintenance, operation and occupancy costs.

Facility Management as an industry has emerged as one of the fastest growing sectors. The IFMA has developed a method for facility benchmarking that you may find useful to review in developing a benchmark for current FM services. The IFMA periodically sponsors benchmarking research projects, and the results are published in benchmarking reports. The Building Managers Association (BOMA), based in Washington DC, publishes an annual benchmarking report known as the BOMA Exchange Report. Another organisation that has developed a benchmarking methodology is the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC). Facility professionals should review this organisation’s benchmarking process and related information as it defines and uses benchmarking from a business perspective. APQC also has a Code of Ethics for Benchmarking that you may consider adopting.

Methodology

Identify Key Performance Indicators

Measure Performance of Company’s Facility Operations

Best-in-class Facility Performance

Compare

Own Performance

Determine which functions / processes to benchmark

Identify Companies with witch to benchmark

Writen by: Livia Roka-Madarasz. Find original here: Performance Measurement for Maintenance Management of Real Estate

3.1 Key Performance Indicators

In order to be able to measure the performance of the facilities, a set of so-called key performance indicators (KPI) must be defined. As regards the definition of the indicators, the following important factors should be considered:

• •

The indicator must be easily measurable, an most optimally it should come automatically out of a system, if possible;

Indicators must be defined not only for monitoring the actual process, but also for controlling it. Many of the performance indicators used to measure property are based on the area of the property.

1) Description of Facilities Industries represented, Facility use, Ownership,
Hours of operation, No. of occupants, Location of facility

2) Sizes and Uses of Facilities Gross area, Rentable area, Usable area, Square footage per occupant, Building efficiency rates, Workstation utilization rates, Office space per worker, Support area

3) Office space planning Vacancy rates, Space allocation policies, Office type and size

4) Relocation and Churn Organizational moves, Cost of moves, Churn rate

5) Maintenance,
Janitorial and Indirect Costs

Maintenance costs
• By age of facility
• Percentage of replacement cost
• Repair vs. preventive maintenance
• Outsourcing of maintenance function Janitorial costs, Indirect costs

6) Utility costs Utility costs, Utility usage

7) Environmental and Environmental costs, Life-safety costs Life safety costs

8) Support and Project costs Security costs, Project costs,
Space planning costs, Employee amenities costs

9) Financial Indicators Replacement value of facility, Lease type and cost, Cost of operations, Cost of providing the fixed asset, Occupancy cost,

Financial ratios, Total annual facility costs

3.2

Questionnaire Survey

Information was collected for the research report through surveys that were mailed to HFMS’s and MAISZ’s professional members. More than 26 surveys were returned with 21 deemed usable for analysis in 2009. Members were encouraged to pass the survey to the most appropriate person for completion. Respondents were asked to provide information on the facilities they manage for a 12-month period of time. Many chose to report the data for the 2008 calendar year. A total of 26 surveys were deemed usable for tabulation purposes. A completion rate of 80% was considered usable. If a certain question was left unanswered, the respondent was contacted to supply this pertinent data.

Facility Management Benchmarks report breaks down environmental, health, janitorial, cleaning, maintenance and utility costs by facility type, industry, age, main function, and many other sorts. The report also includes staffing and utility consumption data for nearly 200,000 square meters of facilities. The first additional factor that must be taken into account when calculating the relationship between the cost and the performance of the facility is the building’s age. The chart in Figure 3 shows the age of the surveyed buildings. The percentile chart shows that the 52% of the surveyed buildings are older than 26 Years.

The highest values of maintenance costs are for the Office function. The lowest of the operating costs for the Office function are the environmental costs.

Elements of industry specific operation costsThe percentile charts in Figure 5 shows that the lowest of the industry-specific operation costs are the environmental costs. Figure 5 shows the operation costs per Industry in HUF/ m2 /Year. The Industry types are:

  • Security Services,
  • Other Industries,
  • Other Services,
  • Electronics/Telecommunication,
  • Energy and related services,
  • Local Authorities,
  • Others

Conclusions

Real estate managers as well as professional bodies tend to measure performance from an operational efficiency and sustainability perspective. The benchmarking of real estate maintenance management is essential for the support of the sustainable operation of buildings. Facility Management benchmarking is the search for the best industry practices that lead to superior performance. It can be concluded that the method presented in this paper is applicable for benchmarking. It offers an opportunity for improving the organisation on a continuous basis and considers all better practices. The results of the research clearly support the case for undertaking a similar survey among other types of organisations to ascertain whether the best practice criteria are similar to those of tertiary educational institutions and whether the model can be used for other types of organisations as well. It would be interesting to carry out the same study regionally in order to find out possible culture-related differences. There is a need for further research in which descriptions of different types of relationships in the real estate industry and metrics for managing these types can be provided.

Writen by: Livia Roka-Madarasz. Find original here: Performance Measurement for Maintenance Management of Real Estate

Keywords: real estate performance; real estate benchmarking; real estate maintenance commercial residential; facility management; real estate and property sustainability