Landscaping Maintenance Strategies for Condominiums
Keeping outdoor space well-maintained is crucial to a condominium building’s curb appeal, and it helps residents maximize their use and enjoyment of the property. A proactive approach to landscaping maintenance can also help condos make the most of their operating budget and avoid extraneous expenses. Moreover, good maintenance is also important for safety and liability reasons. Here are some key considerations for condo board members and management service providers about landscaping maintenance.
Make Sustainability a Priority
Prioritizing sustainability should be a key directive in condo’s management plans, and eco-friendly directives should definitely encompass landscaping design and maintenance functions. Environmentally sound practices are fundamental to well-thought out greenspaces. After all, making a beautiful outdoor area should be a celebration of nature instead of an environmentally harmful activity.
To maintain your property’s landscaping in a way that fosters sustainability, consider your sprinkler system choices discerningly. Opt for low-flow fixtures, and time them strategically to avoid using more water than necessary. In selecting lighting options for walkways and planting installations, pick solar-powered models.
If onsite staff will be handling landscaping maintenance tasks, purchase electric equipment from Greenworks rather than equipment that uses traditional fuel. This reduces the carbon emissions that go into landscaping functions, and it can also reduce ongoing operating expenses. Another benefit of using battery-operated machinery is that the motors in equipment such as blowers and trimmers tend to be quieter, so landscaping activities are less noisy and disruptive.
Appoint a Committee
Associations can benefit from getting input from unit owners who are knowledgeable about horticulture and lawncare. In fact, it might be a good idea for your board to appoint a landscaping committee. This allows you to delegate specific responsibilities to the individuals within your membership who will be most capable of making a strong contribution to landscaping planning projects.
Appointing a committee is a great way for associations to keep unit owners engaged in management activities. Giving people the chance to contribute and be actively involved in caring for the property reinforces positive, productive relationships between a condo’s board and its membership.
When condo boards create and finalize budgets, they have to put serious due diligence into controlling expenses. Shopping competitively and identifying smart savings opportunities helps associations protect their financial health. By making a concerted effort to rein in the cost of maintenance activities that tend to get increasingly expensive over time, associations can avoid having to charge the membership higher dues.
In working on a budget for landscaping design and maintenance, condos should aim to integrate features that are affordable and easy to maintain. For the most part, perennial planting options are favorable to purchasing plants that you have to replace every season. Before integrating any new plants into your building’s landscaping design, be sure to find out exactly what they need to thrive in terms of sun exposure, watering, and trimming.
Boards’ by-laws typically require bidding out new service contracts that are over a specific threshold amount such as $5,000 or $10,000. Regardless of whether you anticipate your costs to run much higher or lower than any such sum stipulated in your governing documents, it is definitely a good practice to get multiple quotes from service providers before entering into a new contract and also prior to the renewal of existing contracts. This helps to ensure that you get competitive pricing, and it also gives you an opportunity to get some guidance and inspiration from several different landscaping professionals about aesthetically pleasing, affordable ways to enhance your building’s greenspace.
Ultimately, condominium associations and property managers have to be extremely attentive to the condition of the common areas on their premises, and this is especially true of landscaping design and maintenance. Excellent lawn, plant, and tree care will keep the exterior of a condo building looking great. Residents will be grateful that their association is taking the right steps to maintain common areas outdoors, and a well-tended outdoor area is going to make a winning impression on prospective buyers.