First impressions are everything. IKO Community Management knows a well maintained neighborhood enhances curb appeal and adds direct value to individual homeowners. This is the time of year your HOA association should be considering ways to update green areas in the community that may show signs of aging from mature landscaping. Having your community shine is a great financial investment. Here are some tips for improving your HOA Community curb appeal this spring.
As hard as you may work on your own home to keep it beautiful, your HOA board should be working to maintain the beauty of your community. Driving through a neighborhood that is well maintained automatically has you feeling that this is a great place to live as well as one that will be on the higher scales if you were to be a buyer. And, as a seller, the benefits can really pay off.
IKO would like to share tips for your HOA on curb appeal!
- Have a Plan. Your board will have discussed a plan and a budget for sprucing the community well before the planting season starts. Landscaping is usually one of the largest and often the most visual part of a community. Having a professional landscape designer will help in making decisions with the committee’s vision for the neighborhood. If your community is large and has several common areas to be cared for, breaking these down into sections and prioritizing will help to figure out what is most crucial.
- Replace Mature Trees and Shrubs. Having your professional landscaper inspect trees and shrubs for any type of disease, fungus, or plain old age will give you an idea of what plants will need replaced. Shrubs can sometimes have a short life span and often time need replacing after about 10 years. They also can get to a point where they have grown too large and trimming them back will only have them looking straggly and sparse. Many flowering shrubs will have lost their luster. With varieties of the new hybrid plants, consider replacing with a more drought-tolerant shrub and ones that can survive in sun or shade. Many shrubs bloom at different times and having a professional contractor’s input can have your neighborhood in bloom throughout the spring, summer and fall.During the winter months trees will sometimes take a beating with ice, snow, and wind. Trees may need to be replaced along main streets in your community. Have your professional landscaper discuss tree replacement and do find out how big the trees will be in 10-15 years. Ask about root systems on these trees. This could prevent later problems such as cracked curbs and gutters and raised sidewalks that become a hazard for residents. Do find out other important information such as do they produce any kind of fruits, nuts, or hazardous droppings. Will there be many leaves in the future that will fall? This could later increase your fall maintenance expenses.
- Consider Ground Cover. Ground covers are a great way to beautify areas in your neighborhood. Using ground covers, dwarf shrubs and tall grasses will often reduce maintenance and water costs. Ground covers are usually low growing plants that have a running, trailing or spreading growth habit. They can add many colors and textures to complete your landscape and they are perennial so that can help keep the cost of planting every spring lower. Ground covers are an excellent choice as a substitute for turf grass especially in shady locations or in spaces where mowing is not practical. Did you know they also minimize erosion on steep slopes?
- Upgrade and Repair Irrigation Systems. Over time, old irrigation lines can start to deteriorate from the freezing and thawing of the seasons. Cracks, breaks, and clogged lines can cost your HOA money over time. Plants will not be watered properly and lines with cracks leaking extra water cause unwanted water bills. Older irrigation may not provide much water conservation. The newer systems can be programmed to make every drop count. If your community has a reduced water consumption, it could be time to have your landscape contractor replace and design the best system for you with new sprinklers, a hose system with drip irrigation on plants and timers.
- Replace and Replant Flowering Annuals.Plant selection from early spring till the later fall months will enhance the beauty of your neighborhood. Early blooming plants such as pansies can handle the colder mornings but once the weather turns hot, they tend to die out. Replacement with other annuals that can handle the heat will need to go in their place. In the fall, your neighborhood will want colorful fall flowers that again can survive on those colder mornings. Your landscape professional can help your HOA decide what plants will work for your areas in the community. Have a plan for replanting early as other communities will want to be doing the same. The great thing about annuals, even though they die out each year, is they produce constant color with their blooms.
- White Wash Community Fencing. Many communities now have more sophisticated vinyl fencing in the common areas which need little to no maintenance. Even those will sometimes get broken and will need fixed or replaced. If your community has wood fencing, it is now time to rejuvenate by having them painted or stained for a longer life. This will also help them from rotting. Insects can be a problem with wood fencing. If your HOA has the funds, it may be time to think about replacing with a more durable product.
- Mailboxes and Street Signs. Landscaping, repairing curbs and gutters, fencing and irrigation are not the only items needing attention when improving curb appeal. Many neighborhoods have custom design mailboxes and street signs that line the streets of the neighborhood. Faded, bent, or broken mailboxes and street signs may need replacement. Believe it or not, potential buyers will pay attention to these somewhat smaller details. Your HOA may have the means to replace these items. If not, suggest the board to get quotes. When a community has well-kept mailboxes and street signs it really shows off the style or look of your neighborhood.
Like your home, your neighborhood is your investment. Keep your community looking great and be the envy of all other communities. IKO Community Management hopes these few tips will help your neighborhood be the talk of the town. Everyone will want to live there!