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How to Create a Landscaping Budget for Capital Improvement Projects

5 Minute Read

Are you struggling with planning and budgeting for your landscape long term? Creating a vision for your property that is both cohesive and sustainable is no easy task.

You should not have to find problems throughout your property and point them out to your landscape contractor. Your landscape management company should be experts who provide you with a clear plan for not only the next 90 days but for the next 1-10 years. You need a landscaper that is proactively striving to improve your property.

Improvements to your landscaping not only make your property look great, they make you look great too. Let’s check out what Branch Manager, Anthony Johannesmann, had to say about capital improvement projects and how to set a budget for them.

What is a Capital Improvement Project?

Simply defined, capital improvement work is any landscape project that requires an additional investment outside a customer’s normal landscaping budget. The work is an upgrade or an enhancement to the property that increases its value.

walkway and benches with plantings near pool area

Typical capital improvement projects can include work like upgrades near high-use areas such as clubhouses, pools, or parks, additions of green spaces, and enhancements near focal areas like entrances or monument signs.

Planning for a Capital Improvement Project

No matter the size or scope of your landscape project, advanced planning is required for any capital improvement work to be a success. This plan starts with your 90-day Property Improvement Plan (PIP), which is developed when we first add your account to our service roster.

hoa property manager with monarch account manager

“The items on the Property Improvement Plan are like a menu of enhancements,” states Anthony, “that can be completed on your property. We include investment ranges, photos of the area as it is, and some basic improvement ideas. The overall goal of a PIP is to provide suggestions that give the owner a clear long-term vision for their property.”

Some items may remain on your PIP for years as they may be more costly or not necessarily an immediate priority. Your improvement plan should help you think about all aspects of your property. Just because we identified a potential project, that doesn’t mean it has to become a priority for you. Once you select a project from the Project Improvement Plan, it is customized according to your landscaping budget.

Budgeting for a Capital Improvement Project

Advanced planning is also necessary for your company or community to acquire the money it requires to fund the landscaping capital expenditures you select. Most of our clients do not typically tend to have the money for capital improvement projects as soon as they receive their Project Improvement Plan, considering work can range from $10,000- $500,000.

“It really depends on the specific site,” explains Anthony, “and each company’s detailed budget. For example, if you think you may have $15,000 to invest in a project, but end up only having $10,000, we can customize and adjust through the planning process to have a beautiful project completed in the area you desire.”

aerial photo of commercial property with several plantings and walkway

When considering the budget for your project, keep in mind that landscape management companies have had to pivot in order to cover rising labor and material costs.

Here are a few additional landscape budgeting items Anthony mentioned you should consider for any landscaping capital expenditure.

Design Costs

Most capital improvement projects require a design fee. Smaller projects may have a conceptual or hand-drawn design by a designer. For projects that have a larger impact on the property, a landscape architect is utilized to keep the style consistent and the project safe for all. Depending on the size and scope of your project, consider planning for design costs.

landscape professionals meet with client about landscape

Irrigation Infrastructure

Landscape enhancements, even if they have little planting, require adjustments to be made to your existing irrigation system. Your current system may need to be modified, meaning sprinkler heads or lines may need to be moved or added. If a large amount of planting is included in your plan, you may want to add a new designated zone or shift your system to smart water management. These adjustments protect your investment in both the short and long term. Regardless of the project, your irrigation system will be impacted by the upgrades.


Landscape Maintenance Impact

It is extremely important to consider the recurring cost that your landscape enhancement will require. Plant selections can be altered depending on your budget for recurring maintenance fees. Here are a few landscape maintenance budget items to consider:

  • Seasonal color installations and removal. Remember seasonal plantings typically last about three months, so they need to be rotated throughout the year typically more than two times.
  • Yearly mulch installation to new landscape beds.
  • Fertilization for new plants and turf areas.
  • Horticulture services like pruning, trimming, and weeding for all new landscape beds and plant selections.

landscape maintenance crew pruning flowers

Installing a Capital Improvement Project at Your Commercial Property

Planning and budgeting for a capital improvement project can feel overwhelming if your landscape service provider is not proactive. When your landscape management company plans for the long-term, the end result of any capital investment project is a design that is sustainable. Plans that are not carefully thought through and don’t consider a 5, 10, or even 15-year outlook can leave you having to spend more money to adjust your landscape as it grows.

Selecting the right landscape management company to complete your landscaping capital improvement means choosing one that considers all the details. It means considering everything going on at your property as a whole, like installing irrigation before your new sidewalks are poured and waiting to install grass until after the sidewalk project is complete. Your landscape management company should facilitate all aspects of your project, including developing a customized solution for your allocated budget.

If you are ready to partner with a commercial landscape management company that will devise a plan for your capital improvement project, communicate efficiently, and handle all the details, then we are here to help. Get started by filling out our consultation form. We’ll meet to learn more about your property and work together to protect your investment.

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Written By: Monarch Landscape Management

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