Homeowners Associations (HOAs) are known for their rules and regulations, which can make home renovations a bit more complicated. Before you embark on any home renovation project, it’s important to understand what the rules and regulations are for your HOA. Here are a few things to keep in mind when seeking HOA approval for your home renovation.
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Step 1: Understand Which Projects Require HOA Approval
The types of homeowner improvement projects that require HOA approval can vary depending on the specific HOA’s guidelines and regulations. Generally, any exterior modifications to the home or property that can affect the overall appearance of the community may require HOA approval. Examples of projects that may require approval can include:
- Installing or changing the color of the exterior of the house
- Building a new structure on the property (e.g., a shed, a pergola, etc.)
- Adding or modifying a fence or retaining wall
- Landscaping changes, including installing new trees or plants or changing the grading or drainage of the property
- Replacing or modifying the roof, windows, or doors
- Adding or modifying outdoor lighting fixtures
- Adding or modifying a patio or deck
- Painting the exterior of the house or other outdoor structures
- Installing solar panels
- Installing a satellite dish or antenna
Step 2: Review Your HOA Guidelines
It is important to check with the HOA and review their guidelines before starting any home improvement project to ensure that you are in compliance with their regulations.
HOAs typically have guidelines for what types of renovations are allowed in the community. Review your HOA governing documents carefully and ensure that the renovation you have in mind is within the guidelines. Some HOAs may require pre-approval of renovations, while others may prohibit certain types of renovations altogether.
Step 3: Request Approval from Your Town and HOA
Communication is key when making home renovations in an HOA. Ensure you communicate with your HOA about your renovation plans and obtain any necessary approvals before starting the work. This will help ensure that your renovation is in compliance with the rules and regulations of your HOA.
Obtain Necessary Permits from Your Local Town
Even if your HOA approves your renovation, you may still need to obtain permits from your local government. Make sure you understand what permits are required and obtain them before starting any renovation work. Your HOA may also require these permits before they will grant HOA approval.
The type of permits needed to provide an HOA would depend on the specific renovation or construction project being undertaken. Generally, permits may be required for work such as electrical, plumbing, or structural changes, as well as for additions or alterations to the exterior of the property. It is important to check with the local government and HOA guidelines to determine the necessary permits required for a specific project.
Submit Your Improvement Request to Your HOA
When you submit your home improvement request, you may have to submit it to an HOA committee named the Architectural Review Committee (ARC). Your HOA may call it something different, but it’s the individual or group within an HOA that handles home improvement requests and approvals.
An ARC is a group of individuals within a Homeowners Association (HOA) responsible for reviewing and approving proposed changes or modifications to the exterior of homes or properties within the community. The committee typically consists of volunteers who are homeowners within the community, and they are responsible for ensuring that any proposed changes comply with the HOA’s guidelines and regulations. The ARC’s goal is to maintain the aesthetic and architectural integrity of the community while also allowing homeowners to make changes or modifications to their properties. Homeowners must typically submit an application to the ARC and receive approval before beginning any exterior changes or modifications to their property.
Step 4: Work with Professionals
It’s important to work with professionals when making home renovations, especially in an HOA. A professional can help you understand the rules and regulations of your HOA and ensure that your renovation is in compliance with them. They can also help you obtain necessary permits and ensure your renovation meets local building codes.
In many cases, contractors will need to submit information to an HOA if they are performing work on a property within the community. For example, suppose a homeowner plans to make exterior modifications to their property that require approval from the HOA’s Architectural Review Committee (ARC). In that case, the homeowner will likely need to provide the ARC with information about the contractor they plan to use. This information may include the contractor’s contact information, a description of the work they will be performing, and proof of the contractor’s insurance and license. The HOA may also require the contractor to sign an agreement stating that they will comply with the HOA’s guidelines and regulations while performing the work. Additionally, the contractor may need to obtain any necessary permits and provide proof of those permits to the HOA before beginning work.
Step 5: Be Respectful of Your Neighbors
Home renovations can be disruptive to neighbors, especially in an HOA where homes are in close proximity. Be respectful of your neighbors by informing them of your renovation plans and minimizing disruptions as much as possible.
Seek the Help of an HOA Professional
If you’re a trustee or board member struggling to manage your HOA, it’s worth contacting a professional management company like Innovative Management for help. With years of experience managing HOAs, Innovative Management can provide you with valuable guidance on navigating HOA guidelines and regulations, ensuring that your property is managed efficiently and effectively. They offer various services, including financial management, maintenance, and homeowner communication, making it easier for you to manage your HOA properties. By working with Innovative Management, you can have peace of mind knowing that your HOA is in good hands and being managed by experienced professionals.
Contact Innovative Management today to start a conversation.