Arches update

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Arches update

Post  Admin on Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:16 pm

Over the past few months we discussed what we should do with the arches. In the past the arches had plants on top but watering and drainage issues caused the plants to die. We looked at fixing the irrigation and drainage but the costs were rather high and there wasn't a guarantee that other issues wouldn't come up. We decided to take a potentially different option. We asked our gardener about fake plants instead. Last week the gardener came back with a proposal and it was considerably less than we expected.

So the plan is the add these artificial plants after the painting is done.

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Re: Arches update

Post  H. on Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:40 pm

I thought the real plants were lovely.

What exactly is wrong with the drainage? Is there a less expensive way to fix it? If it's defective, might Shea be responsible?

Alternatively, perhaps just a bit less water would do the trick.

Or maybe ivy or some sort of climbing plant with roots in the ground.

Artificial plants - some are quite realistic. You almost can't tell they're not real without touching them. But if they are outdoors, wouldn't they fade quickly? I've seen artificial plants at cemetaries, and they look awful.

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Re: Arches update

Post  john on Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:20 pm

We do have quite a bit of flowers and landscape in the complex, so maybe the arches don't need the plants nowadays. Mixing fake and live plants can be a bit odd IMO. In the beginning when the rest of greenery wasn't well developed, the flowers on the arches did look lovely.

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Re: Arches update

Post  Admin on Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:58 pm

Thanks for the comments.

There are a couple of issues with the arches - drainage and irrigation. For the cost of fixing one archway we can plant every arch. Our proposal for fixing the drainage was "on the cheap" compared to the original quote. Proving Shea is liable is a waste of time. It would take years, plus there's no real evidence so proving it will be very difficult. The only one who will gain anything will be the lawyers.

One take away I have is that we should make sure these plants can withstand direct sunlight and not fade.

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Re: Arches update

Post  H. on Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:17 pm

Hi, Tom,

What's the specific problem with the drainage? Ditto with irrigation?

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Re: Arches update

Post  Admin on Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:19 am

If I remember correctly the columns have some form of pipes that are their to drain the water. I believe those pipes are clogged. For irrigation my understanding is that is all over the board, some need new valves or the water is not running. Each archway is different.

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Re: Arches update

Post  JBrowning on Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:43 am

Yes, please be more specific we need schematics and part numbers. JUST KIDDING.

I like the idea of putting some plants up there. Will a fresh coat of paint, the plants and new pool furniture, this place is going to look real nice.

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Re: Arches update

Post  Admin on Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:13 am

That's the goal!
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Re: Arches update

Post  H. on Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:53 am

Admin wrote:If I remember correctly the columns have some form of pipes that are their to drain the water. I believe those pipes are clogged. For irrigation my understanding is that is all over the board, some need new valves or the water is not running. Each archway is different.

Probably clogged with leaves. If we ever get them fixed, we should put screens in to prevent that from happening again.

This is probably a silly suggestion, but you'd be surprised what repeated applications of plain old bleach can do for a clog. I got my pipes clogged once by running a whole mango through the disposal. I was going to go out and buy a plunger but poured some bleach in the sink (I forget why exactly). Every now and then I'd turn the thing on and pour in more bleach (the level of orange water would eventually sink). To my surprise, the bleach ate through the mango fibers and cleared the clog.

Anyway, I was asking because I wondered if this was something some of us DIYers might be able to fix. I wouldn't mind climbing up there and taking a look.

Or maybe we could get them fixed in a phased project instead of all at once - say one building per year, and then put in real plants as each one is fixed. Then we could all look at the pretty plants. My recollection is that we used to have trailing rosemary up there, and it was so pretty and smelled so nice.

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Re: Arches update

Post  marcelleqb on Tue May 12, 2009 8:24 pm

The problem with fake plants is that they will get dirty - especially with all the building that is/will be going on in our area. There will be over 8000 new homes built in the next 8 years in the immediate area. They will also degrade pretty quickly in the sun and no longer look good after just one season.

I seem to remember that there were only a few arches that were faulty, but most were doing quite well. When the HOA hired new landscapers, they turned off the water and the rest of the plants died. This was the same group that butchered the trees up front, at the entry way. I'd rather have real plants or no plants, but not fake plants, which would look cheap and be a waste of money.

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Re: Arches update

Post  AlexB on Wed May 13, 2009 1:46 am

As long as the drain pipes are not damaged (or sections have become separated), it shouldn't be that hard to clean them out. If it becomes necessary, it should be possible to rent the necessary tool (we used one at home years ago to remove roots clogging the sewer drain and, as I recall, my dad just rented the thing).

Depends on how big and long the drain pipes are, I guess, as to whether you would need to use a hand held thing or could use a machine driven one.

Wouldn't we want the drains unclogged anyway? Otherwise, I'd think we get pools of water up there (at least for a few months) which could potentially cause the arches to get damaged over time, or be insect breeding grounds.

Should you decide to go for the community repair approach, I'd be willing to help though! I'm always up for amusing my neighbors by putting my face in front of a drain pipe just in time to get a face full of mud...

Clearly my preference runs towards live plants, but then again I like the ducks (not really the geese which is where most of the droppings come from in my experience), wish the courtyards had fruit trees instead of weird sticky ball tree things, and wish grounds people everywhere would use lower maintenance plants and stop hacking them to near death constantly (although I realize that is against their business model) ...

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Re: Arches update

Post  masood on Fri May 15, 2009 5:31 pm

I pesronally like real plants but since real plants need maintenance and potential problems in the future the best option would be to leave the arches like they are and not do fake plants. Fake plants will collect dust and look old and ugly in the long term.

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Re: Arches update

Post  Admin on Sun May 17, 2009 1:48 pm

I think we're all in agreement that we all prefer real plants. The issue is cost. The irrigation and drainage is not a simple or inexpensive proposition. We could leave the arches as is or we could try the fake plants in one arch. I'm willing to try.

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Re: Arches update

Post  SteveG on Wed May 20, 2009 1:41 pm

If we take the approach to do nothing with the arches, what will be the future impacts? If the drainage is not working properly, what happens in the winter months when it rains? Don't the arches fill up with water? I would imagine a good structural engineer designed it to withstand this load (filled up with water), but will there be maintenance problems if we don't do anything?

I personally don't like the thought of plastic plants. I didn't live in Villagio when the plants were not mature yet, but now I think the amount and variety of landscaping is sufficient. Actually, I think who ever did the landscape design planned for way too many trees. There are trees that are planted 5-10ft apart which are way too close. Probably looked and functioned better when the trees were young.

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