JULY 2017 – Montanosa Apartment Complex
Every time we work on a client property we’re given the opportunity to bring creative landscape solutions to life. This is a challenge we absolutely thrive on and embrace. Sometimes solutions simply involve enhancing natural features and other times they call for complete remodels and major construction.
In this client success story, we describe our design-build-maintain process and how we thoughtfully used innovative systems, materials, and procedures to strategically address our clients’ specific needs – beautifying their property, saving them money, and preserving precious natural resources.
Background – About the Client and Property
During the fall of 2016, the managers of the Montanosa Apartment Complex had a big problem. California was in the midst of one of the worst and most prolonged droughts in history, and their property had large areas of non-functional turf and shrubbery that required massive amounts of watering and maintenance.
Located in the Tierrasanta neighborhood of San Diego, California, Montanosa is one of many communities managed by Essex Apartment Homes. They needed to find a way to make the property easier to maintain, and save water and money, while still presenting an environment that was visually appealing to residents and passing motorists. Enter LaBahn’s Landscaping.
Step 1 – Consultation and Design, Focusing on Client Needs
One of our top priorities in renovating landscapes is preserving natural resources and focusing on water conservation. With that in mind, we also pay attention to every detail throughout the design process. Our goal is to work with clients to design beautifully constructed landscapes that are inviting and have great curb appeal. We meet with clients to learn about their problems and goals, and then get to work bringing their visions to life.
For this project, we first met on-site with the client to discuss key areas of concern, with water conservation being first and foremost. We measured the property, took photographs, and recorded detailed notes about the client’s preferences and objectives.
The property manager articulated her vision well, though didn’t have a set list of specific plant materials in mind, which gave our designer, Ryan Burrow, some freedom to be creative. The client wanted clean, contemporary lines and a colorful display that was easy to maintain.
“I was able to create a plant palette and some mock-ups that were approved in following on-site meetings. In total, I would say we met between three and four times to finalize the designs and get the contracts signed and ready for installation. They didn’t want areas of mulch that had to be replaced, which is why we chose Decomposed Granite (DG). It’s packed down and chemically stabilized so that it can be walked on and becomes almost impervious during rains,” says Ryan.
Step 2 – Building the Design, Bringing the Vision to Life
As we begin the building phase, our talented construction teams implement the design using state-of-the-art technology and precision. We remove and restore landscapes with exquisite detail and deliver quality products in a timely manner. While this phase might seem like a great undertaking, it’s truly exciting for our whole team to see the design coming together. We take pride in our work and in delivering on the promises we make to our clients. We stay up-to-date on construction progress and what improvements need to be done along the way, and we stay in regular communication with clients to ensure satisfaction.
At Montanosa, we began the build stage by removing the non-functional turf areas in the “island planters” that marked all of the entrances to the community. We then revamped the seven “Montanosa” monument signs by removing existing surrounding shrubs and replacing them with colorful drought-tolerant plants and accent boulders. Each planter was finished with DG, which left a very clean and easy-to-maintain final surface. We also converted their sprinkler system to a drip irrigation system.
Step 3 – Ensuring Beautiful, Well Maintained Properties
A key part of our process involves thinking through how a property can most efficiently be maintained over time, and then choosing plant materials, construction methods, and maintenance systems that will facilitate that plan. Our designers and construction experts create smart solutions and implement industry best practices to ensure the beauty and integrity of all client properties. Our maintenance specialists follow through with consistent monitoring and regular attention to detail, making sure that every landscape we touch looks fresh, clean, and beautiful at all times.
The objectives for this project included improving the site’s overall appearance, making it easier to maintain, and conserving water. With the plant palette and materials that Ryan selected, the property’s entrances have a colorful and contemporary feel, and the site is now easier to care for. The “island planters” no longer require weekly moving, edging, blowing, or fertilizing.
Importantly, because we switched the client to a drip irrigation system, we’re not only conserving a significant amount of water (we estimate a 30-40% savings), we’ll also be saving the client money in the long-term, since drip systems are much easier and less expensive to maintain and repair than high-pressure sprinkler systems.
Although California is no longer considered to be in a state of drought emergency, dry seasons are cyclical and history shows that we will continue to have unseasonably dry years in the future, so it’s important to continue to conserve whenever and wherever possible.
Outcome – Mission Accomplished
Our mission is to provide the best landscaping and customer service in San Diego County. This project is a great example of us accomplishing that mission. With client objectives achieved and a vision fulfilled, we’ve provided sound solutions that will help them maintain and enjoy their beautiful landscape for years to come.
Since completing this project, we’ve continued to work with the Essex team, and enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship with them. They’re very happy with the outcomes of the design-build portion the project, and also with our weekly maintenance performance. We continue to find ways to enhance and improve their properties, and look forward to working them in the future.
Are You Ready to Start Your Next Landscape Design Project?
We would love to be a part of your current landscape maintenance program or help you in the next phase of reconstructing your landscape. No project is too small or too big for our team to handle. Visit our contact page or set up an appointment by calling our office at 619-579-9151.