5 Tips for Better HOA Landscape Maintenance

November 28, 2011

housesTypically, landscaping represents one of the largest annual item in an HOA committee’s budget. Moreover, because residents see the HOA landscape every day, landscaping is a highly visible HOA maintenance responsibility. Portland and Lake Oswego landscaping experts recommend that HOA leaders follow the tips below to achieve superior HOA landscape maintenance.

1. Write a detailed request for a proposal.

Include plans for snow maintenance, pruning, etc. Members will feel more confident in the HOA maintenance situation if they know when landscaping projects are scheduled to occur. It’s also wise to list your preferences for plant specimens, fertilizers and landscaping equipment. For instance, if your members abhor the idea of waking up to a leaf blower early on a Sunday morning, specify when leaf blowing and other loud tasks should occur in your landscaping specs.

2. Set landscaping priorities.

Every HOA maintenance plan should set clear goals. For instance, many HOA landscape committees focus their efforts on beautifying highly visible areas, since this approach maximizes curb appeal.

3. Set clear routes of communication.

It is inefficient and confusing for residents and committee members to ask landscaping workers questions. Instead, designate key contacts through whom all landscaping communication should flow. For instance, your HOA landscape committee chairperson could be the point person on the resident side, while the project foreman could handle all communication on behalf of the HOA maintenance provider.

4. Reduce maintenance costs through strategic landscape design.

Your HOA landscape committee can save money by selecting plant specimens that are the proper size at maturity. Too often, committees fail to plan for the long-term; they choose plants that will soon outgrow their space and require costly replanting. Another way to minimize HOA landscape costs is to design plantings to be self-mulching. (Dense groups of plants can self-mulch, reducing the amount of time workers must spend on HOA maintenance.)

5. Install smart irrigation systems.

Having the proper irrigation system can save HOAs a bundle. For instance, Tigard and Lake Oswego landscaping committees can cut costs by installing weather-sensitive irrigation systems. On rainy days, these systems are smart enough to reduce or entirely cancel water cycles, slashing water bills.

[ Photo by: woodleywonderworks, on Flickr, via CC License ]