Capital Projects can go by many names and engagements including full portfolio refreshes or standalone location updates. The end-result is to achieve a long-term strategy for your landscaping needs by providing a faster turnaround time, while successfully protecting your property assets’ longevity. In addition, partnering with a trusted landscape vendor will provide you with the right information to structure the right budget across multiple sites in your portfolio. Knowing and utilizing best practices for your landscape projects will protect your capital budget while delivering the long-term savings your maintenance budget needs.
You need to level-set your landscape and see what’s available, and then begin to identify opportunities to improve your current project objectives.
Let’s scope it out!
The scope of work is the essential first step you must complete for any landscaping capital project. You need to level-set your landscape and see what’s available, and then begin to identify opportunities to improve your current project’s objectives. To do this, you need a field expert to physically walk your properties to identify the areas of opportunities needing repair. Once a scope is submitted, it is up to your stakeholders to review and ensure they captured the essence of what you wanted to accomplish. It’s highly recommended that you have a reliable Project Manager (PM) to take the reins so that communication is accurate, and intentions are met.
After all, tomorrow is another day. . .
While the site walks are being executed, a separate critical step needs to occur in parallel: engagement with the local municipality. Across the United States, municipality codes vary within landscaping refreshes. Obtaining permits to even replace an existing plant material or to remove mulch can raise issues. If no permit is required, that’s a huge convenience. Unfortunately, this is never the case. Even a simple call to a local official can often take weeks, but once you engage with a representative, your plans need to be submitted, then altered, and finally resubmitted. Often, the entire permit process will go through a monthly board review for approval, requiring lengthy waiting periods. Navigating through the permitting process can be grueling. It’s recommended to stay committed to the process and have your landscape partner manage the permitting process for you.
Running multiple projects in parallel can often deliver a greater bang for your dollar!
Let’s get down to business!
Shifting from the review and approved process, the next few details incorporate several other factors into your landscaping capital projects. A Purchase Order (PO) is needed so items are clearly defined and approved, and to establish the cost of the project. Additionally, to keep track of your finalized project plans, software solutions like Jira or Basecamp should be used to ensure all plan and process visibility. Next up is checking your irrigation. Irrigation is a critical component of any landscaping capital project, especially if any type of plant material is being installed. Finally, if possible, try to align a complete refresh of all your landscaping and property assets. There is nothing worse than installing $20,000 of new landscaping installations and standing in a pothole or crack–filled parking lot. Running multiple projects in parallel can often deliver a greater bang for your dollar!
Completing your capital projects can be a great ordeal. However, it doesn’t have to be. Some clients think fall is the best time to complete the work, but the risk that occurs involves the permitting process taking longer than expected. It’s suggested to get your site lists in order during the winter months, to allow room for design and the approval process, which secures the approvals in the spring so execution can work in advance of the summer. Additionally, having a complete total direction is important. Before starting a landscape capital project, confirm your goals from the start so that your entire process blossoms.