Cut Costs Without Cutting Corners: 7 Ways to Save Money on HOA Landscaping Bids

If you’re in charge of trying to save some money on your HOA landscaping bid, we understand your dilemma.

You want to save money — but without sacrificing quality.

You need your HOA community to look great, both for the residents who already live there, and to attract future buyers.

Cutting corners isn’t an option. But cutting costs is, says Cory Essman, Division Manager at North by Northwest Commercial Landscaping & Grounds Management.

He shares a few tips that will save you money in the long run:

1. Use Drip Irrigation 

Drip Irrigation allows water to drip slowly and accurately to the roots of plants, either from above the soil surface or buried below the surface. It minimizes waste from evaporation and uses less water.

Essman doesn’t recommend it for annual beds, as the flowers get replaced so often, the irrigation lines would get disturbed. 

But replace spray heads with drip irrigation in other planting beds and you can save significant money on irrigation.

2. Stay on Top of Irrigation Repairs

It costs less to fix a small irrigation system problem than to fix a big one. Common sense, right?

HOA irrigation repairs

But customers often delay repairs, Essman says, until the problem gets really bad. 

Your landscaping company should include monthly walkthroughs by their irrigation technician to stay on top of any issues, he says, “keeping costs way down.”

3. Keep Irrigation Running 

You might assume giving your irrigation system a rest will save you money.

But here in Texas, we have spells of severe drought.

Once the ground dries out, Essman says, irrigation pipes get brittle and can break. He calls it “dry line shock.”

Any major repairs to fix it will cost more than routine maintenance.

Also, if you don’t stay on top of irrigation, your landscaping will decline, and you’ll face extra costs to replace dead plants and turf. Bad news for your HOA landscaping bid.

4. Use Smart Irrigation 

If you don’t already have a smart irrigation system installed, you’re wasting money as you read this.

HOA irrigation system maintenance

Replace old irrigation controllers with smart irrigation controls that tell your system when to turn on and off. 

They don’t start up based on time of day,  but hone in on local weather forecasts and your exact landscape conditions, so the watering schedule is exactly right for your landscape.

You use as little water as possible. Your landscape thrives. You save money on your HOA landscaping bid. Win-win-win.

5. Xeriscape  

This is a weird word that holds significant cost savings for landscaping. It means landscaping that requires little or no irrigation.

Think contemporary beds of rock and gravel with cacti and agave. Lower maintenance, lower cost.

Agave, a sturdy, spiky desert plant, just needs trimming once a year, Essman says. That’s it.

Switch your water-hungry grass and flower-based landscaping over to xeriscape, and you could get a discount on your monthly landscaping maintenance fees, Essman says, saving on your HOA landscaping bid.

6. Use Native Plants 

Again, less water means less expense. Native plants thrive with little care because they’re designed to grow here. 

You don’t have to sacrifice beauty, because we have a lot of native stunners around here.

A few Essman favorites:

Salvia Greggii

Also called Autumn Sage, it’s a soft, mounding shrub with aromatic, minty green leaves. Its flowers — in pink, purple, orange, or white — attract hummingbirds. 

salvia greggii shrub

Spineless Prickly Pear Cactus

Calling it spineless isn’t an insult — this prickly pear actually has no sharp needles. During the summer, it grows large, bright yellow blossoms that attract hummingbirds. Fun fact: It also produces bright red fruits called tunas.

Spineless Prickly Pear Cactus

Bat-faced Cuphea

“This is a cool one,” Essman says. “It looks like a little bat face.” The curious plant with the purple and red blooms thrives in Texas heat and tolerates drought.

bat-faced cuphea

Gopher Plant

“This Is my favorite,” Essman says. “It does real well with hardly any water.” This evergreen succulent looks great in a low-maintenance rock garden. Watch for clumps of pale yellow flowers in mid-to-late spring.

gopher plant succulent


Sedum in big pots looks great and is low maintenance. Essman likes Lemon Coral Sedum, a pretty, textured succulent with spiky yellow-green foliage. Heat and drought tolerant, it’s great for containers and in the landscape. 

Lemon Coral Sedum succulent

7. Smart Planting

Plant your annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees where they’ll thrive long term, so you don’t have to pay to replace plant material that dies because it doesn’t like its spot.

Do they need full sun? Full shade? Good drainage?

Plant a tree in the wrong spot and its growing roots can destroy a sidewalk — costing your HOA money to both repair the sidewalk and remove the tree.

Wise research up front will save money down the road. Professionals know exactly what plants will thrive on your property, saving you money on your HOA landscaping bid.

Partner with North by Northwest for Your HOA Landscaping Bid

We’re proud of the meticulous landscaping we do for our HOA customers and the great relationships we’ve forged with their boards. 

You want to save money on your HOA landscaping bid, but we know you also want your community to look great, feel welcoming and attract new buyers.

We’d love to partner with you to make your landscaping impressive and your job hassle-free.

Are you ready for stress-free landscaping? Schedule a time to meet with one of our experts today. We’ll gather the details, create a customized plan just for you, and you can stop stressing as we improve and beautify your HOA community.

Request a Consultation

Image sources: salvia greggii, spineless prickly pear cactus, bat-faced cuphea, gopher plant, lemon coral sedum