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Adding Value with Water Features

Bringing in water elements to your community can create beauty and add to your properties value. These water features add beauty and value to any property or building, whether they are inside a lobby or common area or outside a gathering area or main entrance.

“Water features are pretty common on Florida HOA properties,” says Michal Cihal, vice president of operations at Total Landscape Concepts, Inc. in Davies. “Everything from ornamental fountains to ponds and waterfalls; they are pretty and inviting for residents and guests. There’s an appeal for the property. Most people are attracted to the sound and visual of water.”

Louis Palermo, vice president of sales and operations at Palm Beach Aquatics, says that water features were more popular at one point, but the amenity took a hit when the economy took a dive. “In 2008, everything changed and foreclosures were out of control, so there were limits on the association dues that were being paid and, as a result, landscaping took a hit, including the upgrades on the properties,” says Palermo, whose company specializes in lake fountains and aerators. “Putting in water features was at the bottom of the list and cut first. Now, we’re starting to see more upgrades to HOAs again and, if there’s a lake on the property, they are ready to make a change in the look.”

Jason Bowen of Kane Brothers, who has many customers in south Florida, says ““Floating fountains are simple, depending on the orientation of the pond,” he says. “When the homeowners association is choosing a feature, we have to determine what’s good for them and what are the overall goals. Do they just want to move water and appease a local municipality, or create something that’s high-impact and attracts an audience? What’s the budget? A floating fountain is inexpensive compared to something more custom, like a waterfall.”

Louis Palermo, vice president of sales and operations at Palm Beach Aquatics, says that water features were more popular at one point, but the amenity took a hit when the economy took a dive. “In 2008, everything changed and foreclosures were out of control, so there were limits on the association dues that were being paid and, as a result, landscaping took a hit, including the upgrades on the properties,” says Palermo, whose company specializes in lake fountains and aerators. “Putting in water features was at the bottom of the list and cut first. Now, we’re starting to see more upgrades to HOAs again and, if there’s a lake on the property, they are ready to make a change in the look.”

Choosing the right company to install the water feature is vital to preventing leaks and other problems. The building staff should also be instructed to remove, on a daily and as-needed basis, any debris and dead plant matter. They should be trained to check the chemical balance of the water and inspect the feature regularly for leaks. Seasonal maintenance applies most commonly to outdoor water features. These need to be winterized to prevent damage to the structure and to the water pipes during colder months. Some water features also come with a heater that prevents the water from freezing and, ultimately, breaking the equipment.

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