When your home is in need of a new roof, it can be a stressful endeavor. And this task can become even more work when you live in an area that is governed by a homeowners' association. HOA's can have a big impact on your roof - so when you are about to undergo a new roofing project, it's important to have your information gathered, forms filled out, and questions ready. When it comes to working with HOA's, you need to have your ducks in a row before you can begin.
The Function of an HOA
A Homeowners Association isn't simply an additional fee that you pay every month. It is a body that facilitates and maintains the covenant and by-laws that homeowners in a neighborhood have agreed upon.
An HOA's main function is to maintain and improve the properties under the association. This means that any changes that you would want to make to your property, in particular to the exterior, need to be approved by the association. The HOA can either allow, modify, or deny changes you wish to make. So it's important that you request permission and get approval on your project before you go to the next step.
If you were to proceed without permission, you can be punished in a variety of ways that may include fines and even legal actions.
Steps You Should Take
When you are planning to undertake a home improvement project, you should be sure to fully understand what you can and cannot do. HOA's have opinions and by-laws on most big project you could work on within your home, which is why you have to be diligent before undertaking a major endeavor.
For example, read any literature you've ever gotten that covers exactly how your HOA functions. Then, get in touch with your association to find out if there is any paperwork you need to fill out. You might need to complete a request form, and if you drag your feet on filling it out, your roof must wait. When filling out forms, be sure to provide as much information as possible to help move the process along quickly and without questions or clarifications.
What You Can and Cannot Get
Because HOA's have to approve any decisions you make about the exterior of your home, don't be surprised if you are limited in the design choices you make for your projects. Of course, not all HOA's are the same. So when you want to get a new roof be sure to ask the association if you have any freedom in your design choices.
Roofing gives homeowners a tempting array of options, from cedar shake roofs, to metal roofs, and slate roofs. However, the association may only allow a single type and style of roof in order to maintain a similar overall appearance within the neighborhood. Knowing these limitations ahead of time will save you time and money.
Finding the Right Contractor
Through the entire process, it's also important to find a contractor that has worked with HOA's before. They should not only be familiar with the policies, but also have an understanding of the timeline.
Additionally, if they have previously completed work within homeowners associations, they will be able to advise you on how to proceed through the steps you need to take. That includes giving you tips on what to say when you're filling out forms, and simply understanding the pace and formalities that come with working within a homeowners association.
When getting a new roof within a homeowners association, here's the best theory to go by: it's better to ask for permission than forgiveness.
Getting a new roof is a major project that is stressful in its own right. But if you have an HOA, that stress only increases, as you must besure to follow the right protocols to build a compliant roof. To decrease your stress levels and ensure that the process goes as smoothly as glass, finding a skilled contractor with previous HOA project experience is your best bet. To learn more, please contact us.