Building a Deck in an HOA Community: What to Expect

Posted March 30, 2021 to Before You Buy: Tips, Advice, Checklists.

Tags: Decks

When you first bought your home, you knew it was in a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) neighborhood. However, were you aware of the approval process needed to do upgrades such as adding a new deck? If not, Sierra Structures is very familiar with the process, and we are here to provide guidance and walk you through from start to finish of what you should expect.

HOAs can be a pain at times, but they can also be a good thing. They keep neighbors from making gaudy renovations that reduce the quality of the neighborhood as a whole by maintaining architectural control over all properties in the community.

Before building a new deck in a HOA community, owners must first get approval from the HOA's architectural review board. The HOA website will contain an online application to complete.

Part of the application process will include exact specifications of your deck design including size, layouts, materials, colors, etc. We will provide you with those.

The HOA will review the application and give their response within the time frame allotted in the covenants. Once an HOA approves the application, you might need to get a building permit from the county before work can begin. Sierra Structures can assist with this process as well.

Sometimes an HOA will not approve the proposed deck. They might consider it too big or the scheme is not in compliance with the community's established requirements. When that happens, you have two options:

Option 1: Amend the proposal to please the HOA and resubmit.

Option 2: File an appeal. Before doing so, we recommend having some additional information to support your cause. Examples could be photos of similar designs of other decks in the community or a review of the covenants that could show the deck is still within the boundaries listed. If a deck is built without approval, the HOA can legally require you to tear it down.

As you can tell, dealing with an HOA can be complicated. At Sierra Structures, we have plenty of experience and will gladly assist you through the entire process. Contact us today to learn more.

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