Whether you live in a towering mid-block high-rise or a sprawling suburban development, landscaping not only helps a co-op, condo or HOA increase and retain property values, but has a positive impact on residents themselves—beautiful, functional green spaces and plantings increase pride of ownership, influence morale, and just generally make a place more pleasant to be in for owners and visitors alike. And unless there happens to be a master gardener or landscape architect on a building board or grounds committee, chances are that the community's administrators will have to call upon a professional landscape specialist to help make the most of their building's potential.
Before You Make the Call
So you’ve decided to get the help of a landscape professional….what now? There are some things that you can get in order before you make that call for help, things that will make the process much easier and more likely to yield the desired result.
It really helps if the board or committee has an idea of what they are wanting to attain, says Jeff Molizon of The Brickman Group Ltd. in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. For example, he says, determining “the scope of services. Take a clubhouse project, for example…will they be wanting to concentrate on the pool area, or enhancing the front plantings. There are many ways to approach a new landscape design project, and having those goals in mind ahead of time is very helpful.”
“Considering the budget parameters and time line for completion is also important to us,” says Teresa Carleo, the president and CEO of PFI, Inc. (Plant Fantasies, Inc.), a full-service landscape contractor and landscape designer based in New York City.
“My first consideration when starting any project is to understand the client and what the usage will be,” says Carleo. “What is the intent of this property? Does the owner have a vision? For example, if the owner wants the area to create a sense of calm for reflection, would there a water feature? A lawn? A flowerbed?”