Renovating your home can be an effective way of boosting value while also creating a space that better fits your family’s needs and preferences. But before you dive in and get your heart set on installing a gorgeous pergola or knocking down a wall in your living room, you want to ensure that you have all of the required approvals from not just the city or township, but also your HOA. In order to protect the value and integrity of the neighborhood as a whole, the HOA may have some say in your project depending on what you want to change. Working together with the association can help the process run more smoothly and avoid some obstacles.
- Review the CC&Rs and required forms.
The governing documents should detail what is and is not permitted by the HOA. This is a great place to start as you begin thinking about renovating your home. By understanding the rules and expectations, you can plan accordingly to ensure your project is in compliance. Also review any forms you need to submit for approval by the HOA to see what they are looking for. Once again, this can guide your planning process and help reduce potential violations.
- Talk to the board.
Even if you don’t think you’ll need approval from the HOA, it is better to double-check and have that peace of mind. You can also ask for clarification on anything that may be confusing in the governing documents. Review your preliminary plans with the HOA to gather feedback and necessary approvals before going ahead and paying for final drafts to be drawn up or materials to be ordered. Make sure you have all approvals in writing just in case there should be questions later.
- Discuss the details.
Once you have approval for your project, there are a few other things you’ll want to iron out with the HOA before getting started. For instance, are there specific hours that contractors are allowed to work? (Generally, it’s between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.) Do they need to park in a certain location? Do materials need to be cleaned up at the end of each day? You may also want to notify your neighbors as a common courtesy, especially if the renovation will be noisy, or they may be impacted by the equipment used.
As long as you follow the rules and work together with the HOA, renovation projects aren’t usually an issue. But if you make changes without checking first or securing the necessary approvals or permits, you may be forced to undo what you’ve done and find your project becomes a lot costlier than you initially planned. Between talking with the board and checking the governing documents, you should be able to find the information you need to get your project underway.
If there are questions or issues that arise, working with a property management company like Kuester can be a great resource. Trained property managers can provide insight and guidance that can save lot of time and headaches. Contact Kuester today to learn more about how we support homeowner associations.