Home Improvements and HOAs

Posted October 16, 2020 to Before You Buy: Tips, Advice, Checklists.

Tags: Decks, Fences, Gates and Operators, Pergolas & Arbors, Screened Porches

Homeowners’ associations can be great or they can be a total disaster. Hopefully, they strike a balance where the organization is strict enough to provide amenities and keep property values up, but not so strict that they don’t allow owners to have control over their property. When it comes to home improvements, people are a bit nervous about HOAs, but there’s no need to be.

Here are some tips to working with an HOA for home improvement projects:

  1. Don’t be scared: Most associations want to make sure the property value is preserved. So while it may seem like there are lots of rules, they’re usually fairly basic, and those are the same rules that owners agreed to when purchasing their home. Keep in mind that HOA boards are neighbors, not some unknown entity.
  2. Provide examples: Always try to show photos of projects similar to what you’re considering, especially if it’s not the norm for the neighborhood. By showing photos and examples of how it might look, it will show the committee what to expect instead of leaving it to their imagination.
  3. Look at the guidelines: The guidelines are in place, and homeowners are usually given the association details before they close. We realize it’s hard to think about how someone will use a house ten years down the road and which home improvements they may want, but those guidelines are there from the get-go. Even if the desired project isn’t within the guidelines, some HOAs will try to work with owners to reach a compromise.

You don’t have to train for battle to get approval for a home improvement project from an HOA. Keeping an open mind and being clear with your project request will go a long way in securing that home improvement you have been dreaming of. At Sierra Structures, we help homeowners in the Triangle area navigate their home improvement request with their HOA. Contact us to get started.

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