Remember shag carpet? Wood paneling? Avocado-green kitchens?
Once the “in” choices in home décor, these styles have since – and, perhaps, fortunately – fallen by the wayside. They’ve been pulled up, torn down and covered over to make way for more updated, modern trends.
The same should be said of your community’s landscaping.
If your home or condominium is more than 20 years old, it may be time to revamp the outdoor look of your neighborhood.
And with spring right around the corner, your community association may have already begun planning some landscape renovations or refurbishments.
There are several reasons to update landscaping, including:
- Shrubbery and trees are dated and unattractive
- The plants have lived beyond their life expectancy
- Original landscaping did not utilize local plants that grow best in this climate
- Trees are large and overshadowing shrubbery and plants
- Tree roots may be causing safety hazards along sidewalks or in underground pipes
A community association that takes on the worthwhile endeavor of refurbishing landscaping should know that it can be expensive.
The best place to start is with a comprehensive plan (most are multiphase and run from three to five years). And for that plan, it’s best to hire a professional. A landscape architect can help design the plan by locating priority projects, identifying the best plants and grasses, and helping zero-in on a cost estimate.
Many community associations now factor in future landscaping within their annual budgets. If not, they will need to find a plan for paying for the refurbishment in each of its stages. But taking on the cost now can save thousands down the road, especially if your community has private water and sewer lines. Once tree roots take hold in those lines, it is a huge expense to tear up roads and sidewalks to get to them.
If you are a member of your association’s board, don’t forget that any neighborhood-wide change is a great opportunity to engage residents and seek feedback. While final approval of any landscaping plan is up to the board via a formal vote, it’s important for residents to feel their input is heard and valued. After all, they will be living with the new plants, grasses and trees for many years to come!
Communication is also key once the plan is put into motion. For community association board members, it’s important to notify residents when work will be underway near their property, especially since a multiphase project means one street or condominium building might not see that work for many months or even years.
While it is a massive undertaking, landscape refurbishment is a great way to modernize your community. Like new carpet or a fresh coat of paint, a contemporary landscaping design can go a long way toward updating the overall look of a community, and it makes the properties within it that much more appealing to buyers.
Mike Stonestreet is a 28-year veteran of the professional HOA management industry who has achieved one of the highest education-based designations in the field, that of Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM). Community Association Management Services (CAMS) has been a leading association management company since its inception in 1991. CAMS is a trusted provider of management services for more than 265 associations throughout North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. To find out how CAMS can benefit your community, call 910-256-2021, email [email protected], or visit www.CAMSmgt.com.