HOA… these are three letters that tend to scare homeowners, and to be honest who wouldn’t be scared? Often times, these people will come through and ruin your entire plans whether it’s a new fence, deck building, or parking your RV in the driveway to have a beer and peacefully watch Sunday football. Honestly, it feels as if they are on a mission to find things homeowners are doing wrong. So, surprise them and be the one overly prepared homeowner that will leave them astonished. One of the most commonly denied types of renovations by HOA is fences. A lot of Homeowners Associations have regulations on the type of fence, the material you can use, the color, the profile, and even the height. As a homeowner, the thought of dealing with your HOA and meeting all the regulations is probably turning you away from even doing the renovation. So, we are hoping that this little guide full of tips for working with your HOA will help motivate you to push through it. We promise, in the end, you will be glad you did.
#1 – Read the Regulations
We know, this sounds awful. Who wants to sit down and spend 20 minutes of their precious day reading through boring old regulation manuals? Well, unfortunately, this is the best way you can become familiar with the regulations and be completely educated and prepared for what to expect. This should be the first thing you do, so you are aware of regulations before you go to pick out materials and products you love just to be turned down.
#2 – Create a Written Plan
Before you submit anything to your HOA, you want to make a written-out plan that includes all the specs for your new fence. Everything from the material, style, color, profile, and height. You could also pick some back up options and submit those as well in case your number one choice gets rejected, that way you can still move forward with your fence project.
#3 – Include Photos and Drawings
Do not just submit a written-out request with the product specs. Include photos and drawings so whoever looks at your request can get the full picture of what your fence is going to look like.
#4 – Document EVERYTHING
Keep a journal and keep track of literally every correspondence you have with your HOA. Keep track of dates you send the request, keep copies of the exact request, and make note of every person you speak with and what they said. It sounds crazy but it’s always better to be overly prepared and organized than not at all.
#5 – Rejection
If your plan does get rejected, don’t let this ruin your renovation process. Take a breath and start over. More than likely, they will tell you why it was rejected and what you can fix in order to get approval. Communication is key, communicate with the HOA and get all the information you could need so you can submit a plan that perfectly fits their requirements as an HOA.
#6 – Do Not Listen to Your Contractor
Do not let your contractor start building before you get a written approval that you can keep as proof. Unfortunately, most contractors will tell you that a fence is approved by HOA when really it’s not just, so they can get paid and get done faster. Don’t rely on anyone’s word but the HOAs.
#7 – Take Care of Yourself
You will probably get stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed during this whole process which is okay, but remember to take care of yourself still. Relax, have a glass of wine, watch your favorite show, or do anything to keep your anxiety level down.
Homeowners Associations are not fun and are rather difficult to deal with, so we hope this guide helps you even in the slightest. If you have more questions or would like some guidance through the process, give us a call and we would be more than happy to help. We will do our best to be patient and work with you to answer any questions you may have and educate you as much as we can. Good luck with your fence building process!