The work done by your landscape professional will be a big part of your association’s property life for years to come — as it will influence the look and feel of outdoor living spaces — and more importantly, how your community and stakeholders use and enjoy the results!
Once you have selected the right firm for your project, there are a few things that can be done to ensure your work with a contractor is effective. Here are some of the things landscape professionals recommend to ensure the most effective partnership with their clients:
Communicate your HOA’s long-term vision for your property’s lawn, trees, irrigation, community involvement, or new common areas — and more. Do you want to refresh your entryways? Do you have areas you’d like to develop as exciting new, sustainable green ways? Are there places where tenants or owners want more privacy?
- Look at each landscape project as part of a process rather than a separate job with no connection to other things you’d like to do. Just as each chapter of a novel serves as a compliment to the overall book, so does each landscape project in its connection to your full outdoor setting.
- Avoid “Stop-and-Start” planning — this can create extra expense.
For instance, if you’re installing a new community common area and eventually plan to put in an outdoor lighting system too — then have the AC/electrical wire conduit lines installed while the area is under construction — rather than going to the expense of having to pull up the ground or any nearby pathways later.
From tree care to 10-year water delivery budgeting, Serpico’s commercial landscaping professionals can help create a master plan to allow you to create your ultimate outdoor landscaped setting, implemented in phases, as your HOA or tenant association’s resources allow.
Understand the importance of working with native flowers, shrubs and trees. These are the plants most likely to thrive in your landscape. Too often customers want the installation of rare plants or ones that were childhood favorites, without regard for what can grow successfully in their location. Temperatures, soil conditions and water resources should all be considered when selecting plantings for your landscape.
Consider what time investment you want to make in your landscape maintenance after the installation is done. You may want to consider how much time you want to invest in your property’s green spaces. If so, make it clear lower-maintenance shrubs may be considered.
- For your best landscape, tree and overall irrigation-water planning investments, talk to your contractor about a maintenance plan.
- Remember to ensure your HOA condo/townhouse or commercial property is safe.
Allow adequate time for your landscape project. If you plan to host a new phase of development or the annual HOA Association meeting for your property in that new common area you want installed, make sure that is communicated up front and with enough time for proper installation.
Once you are ready to begin your project, it doesn’t necessarily mean work will commence immediately.
- Permits may need to be secured,
- Crews will need to be scheduled,
- Weather considerations may need to be factored in and there may be a variety of other things that will affect the timing and successful completion of your project.
Know your budget. This seems like an obvious one, but too often landscape professionals sit down with new clients who have given little (or not enough) thought to how much they’d like to invest in their project.
An experienced commercial landscape professional understands how to make the most of your investment so be realistic with your financial parameters. Also, understand what the billing process is. Will the project be billed in installments or at the completion of the work? Be sure to plan accordingly.
Communicate any special community rules. While a landscape professional understands state laws and most city or town ordinances, they cannot be familiar with all neighborhood rules, such as those mandated by homeowners associations.
- Be sure to communicate any parameters related to your commercial deeds; easements; HOA rules; or Landscape Committee parameters — so your contractor can be sure to plan your project within established guidelines.
Ask any lingering questions. More than likely you have already asked a lot of clarifying questions in selecting your landscape professional; however, if there are any issues you did not cover, your first meeting is the time to get all remaining questions answered to your satisfaction.
- For instance, if you haven’t asked about insurance or licensing, now is the time to do so. Be clear on what projects your firm will do and what, if any, may be subcontracted out. It’s important to understand what project guarantees are provided.
Remember your landscaper is an outdoor enthusiast who wants to help your association and its community of friends, family and colleagues to enjoy open spaces as an extension of their homes or dream workplaces. Your landscape professional team should be comprised of trusted advisors for the living spaces you want to create — and Serpico Landscaping will provide you with the expertise and knowledge to fulfill your dreams.