They’re becoming increasingly popular; areas of grass and vegetation hung from outside walls of properties or laid on flat roof areas. They kind of soften the look of the building and make a nice attractive feature with a natural touch.
Great news for an end-user, however they can be a pain to manage at a property and rack-up crazy costs.
Worst case scenario, if damage is made to these, for example lack of watering in the summer, and they end up dyieing, then you’re almost in the realms of a second mortgage to pick up the repair or more like replacement tab.
Seven Factors You Need to be Aware of
Therefore whatever interest you have in the property, for example a landlord arranging, an occupier wanting to see, or a property-manager trying to organise, here are some key factors to consider.
These are all from a wider property-management perspective to help with the bigger-picture issues and problems.
1. Are They For Real
This may seem strange at first, as surely they are real-life plants and vegetation involved, however you will be surprised how fake ones are becoming more popular.
Okay, it doesn’t sound too attractive having plastic-plants stuck to your property, but there can be huge cost-savings and wider choice of finishing touches that look perfectly okay.
2. What’s the Kit Involved
So, the main piece will of course be the actual grid-type construction that holds the ‘garden’, which of course needs to be chunky in order to hold all the plants and roof there.
Getting this clearly quantified in terms of sizes but also weight and even access- and delivery issues is therefore key.
And in addition, don’t forget any further behind-the-scenes kit such as the pump and pipework that may need to sit somewhere else, and possibly be less exposed to the elements.
3. How Water is Supplied
Simple gardening 101 here; plants need water to grow.
Therefore, make sure that you have a good water supply to this area, that is easily connectable with a clear water account and meter that can be tracked and paid for by the right person.
Also, ensure the pipework is safely and correctly installed, not being exposed to damage and bursts from poor weather conditions.
And most importantly, suss -out how water will be fed to the garden area, whether automatically or by some form of timer or manual watering. It’s critical that this is checked like clockwork in order to stop any water deprivation and garden-killing issues.
4. Having Checks in Place
Leading on from this last point, ensure the right inspection and maintenance agreement is in place as well, to not only check water-supply but ensure the plants are weeded or any seasonal changes made.
If things do need repair, then be clear on the frequency and basis of any contract with a wall-garden specialist, including any emergency call-out procedures as well.
5. Do You Have to Own it
Surprisingly, you tend to see more talk about hire agreements in this world rather than outright purchase.
Although this means you may never actually own the equipment, it may well help with manageable payments over time that can be funded through say an owner or service charge.
Whatever it is, make sure this is clearly understood and documented.
6. Other Pretty Looking Plants
Also remember that other forms of plants and vegetation can be considered rather than just funky-looking ones on the outside wall and roof.
So internal ones within a communal area are common, or even outside potted-plants and garden areas.
Just watch out for best value though, as although it may seem convenient for encompassing all in one contract, in reality it might just pay -off to keep separate and some simple plants from the local garden centre and a good gardener to sort out.
7. Getting the Right Permissions
And finally, make sure you have all the right permissions and liabilities in place.
This includes the property ownership through leases and titles and watching that they don’t overhang and encroach over other areas both within your property but also any next-door neighbours.
Plus, make sure any others such as planning permission and building regulations are also considered, along with any knock-on ones like alerting the building insurers and considering with the Fire Risk Assessment.
Getting Your Wall & Roof Garden Performing
Therefore as you look at installing such lovely features on a property, or you’re inheriting one with these, then it’s essential to go through these above seven factors to see the full picture.
You’ll then be no longer dazzfooled by just the pretty appearance, but able to rest assured that the running-costs and practical property-management matters also run just as perfectly in the background.
Need More Help?
Claim your FREE Property Management Pack here – including a 15-point Property Deal Cheat Sheet, and Introduction & Chapter from our amazon-best-seller book, the Property Management Guide.