Capital Improvement Projects For HOAs: 3 Ideas For Your Association

Posted by Joseph Barnes on Dec 10, 2020 10:00:00 AM

While HOA maintenance costs are those expenses that are regularly part of the ongoing upkeep and care of the property, there are also capital improvement projects for HOAs that should be budgeted over time in order to help retain or increase the community’s value. Capital improvements are important because they keep a community competitive and desirable.

After all, homebuyers have lots of HOAs to choose from, so keeping up with capital improvements that will help keep your community on par (or perhaps more desirable), is essential.

When thinking about these types of projects, the ones that naturally come to mind are paving projects for gated communities or roof replacement for condos and townhome associations. Both of these are essential to the well-being of the community but are the types of projects that can take many years to save for.

Although a roofing or paving project is what comes to mind, the fact is, landscaping projects can also be valuable as part of the capital improvement for HOAs and can give you much quicker results.

Landscaping improvements typically won’t take as long to save for (as compared to major projects like roofing or paving) but can really make a dramatic transformation to your property as a whole. Whether you’re a community manager or an HOA board member, if you’re looking for capital improvement ideas for HOAs, we’d like to make some suggestions for your landscape that could add tremendous value for your residents.HOA landscape with enhancements

1. Consider a Phased Plan

When it comes to landscaping as a capital improvement project, phasing it out over a relatively short period, like 5 years, makes a lot of sense. A different area of the landscape can be tackled each year.

Here’s just one possible suggestion.

  • Year one might mean getting major irrigation issues tackled.
  • Year two might be focused on more aesthetic enhancements like flowers around the clubhouse or the HOA entryway sign, or maybe even a brand-new entryway sign.
  • Year three might be tree work on existing trees that are in need of pruning.
  • Year four might be the addition of new trees.
  • Year five might be a brand-new new landscaped area such as a new common space for community events.

But that’s obviously just one idea for a phased plan. Exactly which projects are completed (and what year they’re completed in) will depend upon the specifics of your HOA’s needs. But you can see how each year an enhancement can be made that improves your community as a whole. By the time five years are up, you’ll have a total transformation that really didn’t take that much time to complete.

Of course, you don’t have to plan to have a project completed every year, either.
HOA landscape view
Some of these large-scale landscaping projects can be expensive and your HOA might need a little bit of time to save. For example, the installation of a large number of mature trees could be a $100,000 project. That might seem overwhelming without proper planning. But if you plan it for three years down the road and save $30,000 for two years and $40,000 that final year, it will be much more easily achieved.

Just like roofing or paving, it’s important to think about these types of projects in advance so that you’re planning and saving.

2. Tackle the Most Pressing (and Most Difficult) Areas First

One of the great aspects of working with a phased plan is that you can start with the most pressing and the most difficult areas first. It’s not like you have to jump in and tackle everything all at once (which may be too cost burdensome on your budget).

Whitley Place Park HOA is a great example of this.
Whitley Place Park HOA landscaping
One of their pressing problems was the health of their turf, which had struggling spots due to their irrigation system not functioning properly. Being based in a part of Texas that is prone to long periods of drought, irrigation was an immediate order of business. When Yellowstone Landscape took over their project, it was imperative that we get their irrigation system back to functioning properly before they lost more areas of turf to summer drought conditions.

It’s not uncommon for us to find that many HOAs are working with outdated and unreliable irrigation systems. With smart irrigation technology now available, an upgrade makes a lot of sense.

For any HOA considering landscaping as a capital improvement project, upgraded irrigation will be an important first step that will support other projects you might have in mind. After all, without ample and reliable water, no other plant-related or turf-related project will be able to perform optimally. There’s no getting around the fact that lawn and landscaped areas need water.

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3. Talk to Your Residents about Capital Improvement Projects for your HOA

Just like you would with a future roofing or paving project, it’s important to keep residents informed about landscaping projects that are planned as capital improvement undertakings. Most residents are really excited about projects that will increase the value of the community (and their individual properties, too).

The truth is, we find that residents are usually pretty enthusiastic about landscaping, in general.
HOA property enhancement flowers
Landscaping is one of those upgrades that really does make an aesthetic improvement that you can notice pretty quickly. A new roof is really important and cannot be ignored, but for most people, it’s not terribly exciting, either. It’s an expensive project and you may not really notice a difference.

But we’ve heard from HOAs that it doesn’t take much to get residents on board with planned landscaping projects. It can also be beneficial to get feedback from residents and help get them engaged in the planning.

At Yellowstone Landscape, we welcome the opportunity to be involved in communicating with your residents. We think that keeping residents’ informed is really important and we’re more than happy to play a role in that effort. We love contributing articles and information to your community newsletter, sharing on social media, or even participating in committees that you might already have organized to oversee your capital improvement work.

Choosing a Landscaping Partner for Capital Improvement Projects for your HOA

We applaud you for thinking about enhancing your HOA community with a landscaping plan outside of the scope of typical, ongoing maintenance. By partnering with a trusted partner, you can help ensure that your capital improvement landscaping project is completed in a way that adds tremendous value to your property.

We know that these types of enhancement projects can attract new home buyers and generate the best resale value. Of course, they can also help your existing residents to be more satisfied with their home and their community as a whole.

All of these things are a big deal.

At Yellowstone Landscape, we care deeply about developing partnerships with property managers, community board members, and even residents so that we can truly offer you the best. When your community is investing in large-scale projects, it’s important that everyone is happy. We don’t take our responsibility in that lightly.

That’s why we’re committed to serving you and being a guide every step of the way.

Are you looking to partner with a commercial landscape company that has your HOA’s best interest at heart? Request a consultation today. We’ll meet to learn more about your property and its challenges and come up with a comprehensive plan to take care of all of the details for you.

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Joseph Barnes

About The Author

Joseph Barnes

Joseph Barnes has served as Marketing Manager of Yellowstone Landscape since 2013. He writes on a variety of topics related to the commercial landscaping industry.