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Subject: Landscaping cost
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Author Messages
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:409


04/06/2018 6:31 PM  
Our HOA is on it's second company in 6 years and the new landscapers are doing what the old landscapers are doing.
The management company emailed me back that the company that we have now bid just above what we were paying the old landscapers which is a tad over $3000 per month
Other bids to perform the same job came in at over $8000 per month

We have just over 300 single family homes, a pool area with palm trees and hedges "sage variety" same in the park some sage type hedges
All homes have one tree like a crepe myrtle and some bushes, shrubs, hibiscus etc. nobody has grass it is all crushed gravel.

What is a realistic price that a landscaper should bid to maintain the fronts of every home each month. The last landscapers would come by every other
week with a leaf blower to blow out any leafs and dust and when the season persist take a hedge trimmer and trim up the hedges.
The down side is our common areas and some homes has fountain grass and whoever keeps letting it happen the landscapers keep weed whacking the fountain grass
to the stub. four of my neighbors today had our landscape with flowers and bushes in full bloom whacked to chit today with the
community managers response was well that worker won't be coming back here.

I find the $8000.00 bid to be overkill because we don't have lawns to mow, only in the park and the lawn there don't get mowed that often, and the common area
budget is different from the home owners contribution.

What kind of cost do you other owners have with similar landscapes?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15577


04/07/2018 10:55 AM  
Maintaining the front of each home is costly.
Hedges, flower beds, minor pruning all take manpower.
Mulch, if part of the cost, adds up as well.

I have a single family home in TN.
I hire a company to winterize the flower beds (two large beds in the front and two small beds at the end of the drive. It costs me $300 to prune the bushes, pull weeds, remove annuals and haul away the debris. There are two workers that spend 5 to 8 hours on the property. I consider this cost inexpensive for the work they do.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:409


04/07/2018 11:29 AM  
Why does this forum site double post?


Thank You Tim for the reply.. Out here in Vegas there really is no major manpower to maintaining homes with xeriscape.

I am seriously contemplating starting a petition to recall our board members because in the last few years our common area landscaping now looks Like it was
hit with a nuke. The homes are even beginning to look worse. What really ruffled my feathers is yesterday a worker for the landscaping company misunderstood
that he needed to trim all the shrubs & plants in front of all the homes in the development. So he went all Joan Crawford on everyones plants to half the homes on my street before
somebody stopped him.

I am considering running for the board to stop this madness and return our community to looking like it did six years ago.


BTW what is anyones experience with fountain grass? should it ever be trimmed to the nub?

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7170


04/07/2018 11:46 AM  
Our HOA the lawncare did not take care of shrubs/bushes/trees/flowers. They just mowed the grass areas. You had to pay extra for trimming of any other items. Their contract started in April and ended in October. Where in the fall time they would just blow the leaves.

So do you know what the terms of the existing contract is? Have you gotten other bids? Have you done a comparison to other contractors for the same work or the work you want to see? Who is to directly contact the lawncare to direct them on what to do? Doesn't seem like an individual owner should be doing that. There should be a POC for handling this all.

We paid 2,500 a month for lawncare. That price has surely gone up over the years. No one charges the same amount for lawncare as they did 5 years ago. I know in our area they don't.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15577


04/07/2018 11:50 AM  
Posted By LetA on 04/07/2018 11:29 AM

Why does this forum site double post?




Double posting is typically the result of left clicking the submit button twice.

Either by accident (double click is typical to open things and many will automatically double click)

Or

By a slow network/website - screen doesn't change as quickly as the poster thinks it should and they think the submit didn't take. Therefore, they click submit again - resulting in double posting.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7420


04/07/2018 12:10 PM  
LetA

It is impossible to compare cost as there are so many variables. If one is able to change vendors and keep or raise the landscaping standard at about the same cost, then that is sufficient.

Of course one question might be why did they change at all.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:409


04/07/2018 2:31 PM  
Yes Melissa they did get other bids, some top bids came in at $8500.00 per month which would equate to about $30 per home, which we don't have lawns or snow
to shovel, so those bids were rejected. Another company bid a few hundred over the las company ( abut $3900) and won the bid. Since then, the neighborhood has gone to pot. The biggest labor intensive part of the job is leaf blowing all the dust-debris from the front of the homes. Every house was blown once
a month tho it seemed like every week because the neighborhood looked great.


And John to answer you question, that is why I believe the community manager is the one in charge not the BOD because ironically the HOA next to ours has the same manager
and the old landscapers (which was ours too) was replaced with the landscapers we have now, and no we have no affiliation with the other HOA other than we share the same community manager..


I posed something on our community social media to the effect that with the persistent problems we have been experiencing with the past landscapers has carried
over to the new company leads me to believe that we have a problem with either the HOA management company or the BOD or BOTH, perhaps both need to be replaced.

I received an email from the community manager with a screenshot of what I posted with a reply from the CM I thought from previous conversations that we had
an understanding.. Would you take that as a threat of sorts??
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1972


04/07/2018 3:44 PM  
Posted By LetA on 04/07/2018 11:29 AM
Why does this forum site double post?

It's a pain in the neck but part of the reason is when you hit the "Submit" button there's no real feedback that your post is being processed. That leads to clicking again and, as you see, things get posted twice. It happens a lot. Sometimes a sticky mouse button will jitter a bit and if it sends 2 clicks instead of 1 that will also result in a double post. Best way to handle it, in my opinion: click once and only once. Wait 30 seconds before clicking again if it appears the post did not "take".
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15577


04/07/2018 6:04 PM  
LetA,

When you went to bid, I expect the Association wrote the statement of work (# of times/frequency of each service)?

How many bids did you seek and how many received?

Typically, it's a good idea to toss the lowest and the highest unless there are reasons to take them other then the cost.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:409


04/07/2018 10:48 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 04/07/2018 6:04 PM
LetA,

When you went to bid, I expect the Association wrote the statement of work (# of times/frequency of each service)?

How many bids did you seek and how many received?

Typically, it's a good idea to toss the lowest and the highest unless there are reasons to take them other then the cost.





Yes they did, and because front of house landscape maintenance is in our CC&R's, FOH landscaping is billed and bided separately from common area landscaping
even though the same company does both probably a bundled discount.
ND
(Florida)

Posts:189


04/09/2018 5:47 AM  
Maybe there are other issues and concerns going on in your HOA with the BOD and MC, but simply because the landscaper did a crummy job a couple of times, I don't necessarily agree that it's time for a recall/replacement of everyone . . . especially in the likely event that there's not a group of ready, willing, and able people to replace them and smoothly transition.

Also, nothing irritates me more as a hard-working volunteer for my community trying to make well-informed decisions that benefit most homeowners than seeing the ranting and raving of people on social media because they feel they have been wronged, think they know better, or they disapprove of something. There are better ways to go about pointing out an issue and helping to work toward a solution rather than being a social media Monday morning quarterback. Instead of seeing an issue and pointing the finger at what you assume to be an inept BOD/MC, bring some ideas/solutions/recommendations to the table and offer your assistance . . . maybe directly to the BOD/MC and not on social media.

That said, maybe you do have an inept BOPD/MC . . . in that case, stop thinking about joining the BOD (since that's what so many people say), and actually do it. Devote your spare time and energy toward helping to better your neighborhood and improve on the issues that you see. "You either have to be part of the solution, or you're going to be part of the problem."
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7420


04/09/2018 7:22 AM  
Posted By ND on 04/09/2018 5:47 AM
Maybe there are other issues and concerns going on in your HOA with the BOD and MC, but simply because the landscaper did a crummy job a couple of times, I don't necessarily agree that it's time for a recall/replacement of everyone . . . especially in the likely event that there's not a group of ready, willing, and able people to replace them and smoothly transition.

Also, nothing irritates me more as a hard-working volunteer for my community trying to make well-informed decisions that benefit most homeowners than seeing the ranting and raving of people on social media because they feel they have been wronged, think they know better, or they disapprove of something. There are better ways to go about pointing out an issue and helping to work toward a solution rather than being a social media Monday morning quarterback. Instead of seeing an issue and pointing the finger at what you assume to be an inept BOD/MC, bring some ideas/solutions/recommendations to the table and offer your assistance . . . maybe directly to the BOD/MC and not on social media.

That said, maybe you do have an inept BOPD/MC . . . in that case, stop thinking about joining the BOD (since that's what so many people say), and actually do it. Devote your spare time and energy toward helping to better your neighborhood and improve on the issues that you see. "You either have to be part of the solution, or you're going to be part of the problem."




Well said.
SueW6
(Michigan)

Posts:255


04/09/2018 10:32 AM  
FYI - Most Grasses are trimmed in the spring. However, some people don't like seeing them during winter months, so they get trimmed 50% in fall. Here in Michigan, people like to see the snow on top of them.

Then trimmed to the nub in Spring.

KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1272


04/10/2018 4:55 AM  
Landscaping is quite expensive and it appears, from the reading the post, that the HOA board solicited bids and all the quotes were inline in terms of dollar amount.

My suspicion is that the project specification that every house (300) be directly served, in addition to the common areas, is what is elevating your costs. With such direct service, the maintenance team is then subject to feedback and dealings w/ those 300 property owners - which can (or may not be) labor and time intensive.

Whether landscapers mow, shovel snow or blow dust off driveways, it's about the time spent on the job.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:409


04/10/2018 5:53 AM  
Melissa, That leads me to another point. Who is supposed to lead, conduct and call each HOA board meeting to order? Is it the community manager or the board president/
Because our community manager controls the whole smash even audio recording the whole session, everything goes through him, motions, questions etc.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15577


04/10/2018 6:39 AM  
Posted By LetA on 04/10/2018 5:53 AM
Melissa, That leads me to another point. Who is supposed to lead, conduct and call each HOA board meeting to order? Is it the community manager or the board president/
Because our community manager controls the whole smash even audio recording the whole session, everything goes through him, motions, questions etc.




LetA,

Whos fault do you think it is that it is done that way?

In my opinion, it's the Boards fault for allowing it to happen.
I suspect that the PM/MC were handed the reins in the past , or saw a need and filled the gap, and no Board has been willing to take the reins back.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5090


04/10/2018 4:54 PM  
I strongly agree with Tim's last message.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7170


04/10/2018 5:51 PM  
I agree with Tim... However, will say it's what a HOA wants when it comes to management. It may want a management company to be in charge and run things. The people on the board are just volunteers. Only requirement is to be an owner to be a member in most cases. So they may not want the responsibility, feel comfortable, or believe they need a Management company. If so, then the HOA hires a MC.

Now the lines do get blurred between MC's and Boards. Either by the MC influence or the Board lack of interest/knowledge. A self managed HOA or one that recognizes the relationship of a MC to a HOA is a bit clearer. The MC is often a sub-contractor to the HOA to do what it's contractually obligated to do. The HOA pays the MC for that service.

It may be the contract with the MC has them deciding on vendors, rule enforcement, or other duties. So can't blame the HOA if that is what they have done. Decided to pay someone to do their duties and sign checks. Who can you blame for that? Yourselves for deciding on this is what is to be done.

Former HOA President
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:409


04/10/2018 9:33 PM  
Sadly, it has been that way even when my HOA was under declarant control. That is why I always assumed by the ay things were run since the declarant handed over
the association to the members that the BOD was just a rubber stamp.


Thank You for the feedback, it gives me something to ponder.
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