Major home improvement projects, such as installing a deck, require a lot of planning and preparations. You need to hire a contractor who will build your new outdoor living space, select materials, create a budget, decide on a deck style and more. Another thing to factor in when planning your project is your homeowners organization (HOA). If you live in an HOA community, you likely need its approval before you can start building your deck.
Read on for tips when building a deck in an HOA community.
HOA Applications and How to Get Approval
What Is an HOA?
An HOA has sets of rules for you to follow to prevent affecting the value of the properties around your home. If you fail to adhere to the organization’s regulations, you may end up paying a fee. Before your deck building project can begin, you will need to get the board’s approval first. You may need to make changes or adjustments if your HOA has issues with your deck.
Even before you obtain permits for your home improvement project, you will need an HOA approval first. It means that before designing your outdoor living space, you should send your project proposal to the board for approval. You will need to create an application with a detailed description of your new deck and then submit it to your HOA. Once approved, you can now move on to the next step of your project.
What if You Already Started the Work Without an Approval?
Keep in mind that you should never start any construction project without seeking approval from your HOA. An HOA can hire professionals to demolish your addition and add a lien on your property for its cost. However, your HOA may ask you to make certain changes before you can proceed with your project.
If the work has already begun, let your HOA board know immediately about your project. You can continue with the construction if the members approve what’s been done so far. If not, the work needs to stop as the board reviews your project.
When Should You Expect to Get a Response From Your HOA?
After submitting your application, you should expect to get a response from your HOA within two months. Make sure to keep your acceptance in a safe place for your records. In some cases, your HOA will ask you to have your neighbors sign off on the change. Complete this task immediately to avoid issues with the organization in the future and so that you can carry on with your remodeling or home addition project.
Dos: Remodeling in HOA Communities
Do Read Your HOA’s Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs)
Every HOA will have different CC&Rs. If you are considering adding some upgrades to your home, be sure to read and review your HOA’s CC&Rs carefully. Keep in mind that these documents are constantly changed or updated, so be sure you have the current versions. You can always approach a board member if something is unclear to you.
Have Your Project Pre-Approved
The application forms you need to submit to your HOA are outlined in the CC&Rs. In case they do not state the required documents, ask a board member. HOAs usually require you to submit a project proposal along with some other documents. It will help to determine which home remodeling projects require HOA approval.
Hire a Skilled and Experienced Contractor
No matter what changes or additions you are making to your home, hiring a qualified contractor is essential. After your HOA approves your deck building project, you now need to find experienced professionals to do the work. Your HOA may recommend companies that are knowledgeable when it comes to HOA rules and restrictions.
HOAs usually require hiring licensed and insured professionals. When assessing potential contractors, ask for proof of licensing, insurance and bonding. Only consider companies that specialize in the kind of home improvement you are planning. Experts recommend obtaining at least three quotes from different contractors to help you determine which one is best for your project.
Whether you are getting a new deck or roofing system, it pays to invest in a contractor who has experience with HOAs. Before any construction starts, discuss the rules and regulations with your contractor to avoid problems later in the project. The work times should be clear as well as where the contractors should place materials and debris outside your home. Renovations that involve plumbing and electricity would likely require HOA approval. It is because water and electricity lines run throughout your community and could affect other houses.
Obtain Necessary Permits
Certain kinds of renovations need permits from your municipality or city. Typically, the CC&Rs indicate if your project requires permits or if your contractor should obtain them for you. The board may ask for these permits as well before any work in your home starts.
Be Considerate to Your Neighbors
Building a deck can create a lot of noise and mess. Remodels can be disruptive to your neighbors, so always be considerate. Minimize inconvenience and disturbance by ensuring your contractor only works within HOA-approved construction hours.
Let your neighbors know about your project in advance so they can make necessary adjustments. You can email them about the estimated duration of the project. In your message, tell them that they should feel free to reach you if they have concerns or queries. Doing so will prevent miscommunication and conflicts between you and your neighbors.
At AllPoint Construction, our team is here to help you create an outdoor living space that is not only attractive, but also functional. We only use the best quality products for our decks and patios. You can count on our team to handle all the permits necessary for your project, and we will ensure that our work meets all state and local codes. Besides deck installation, we also install roofing, siding, windows, doors, gutters and more! Give us a call at (734) 407-7110, or fill out our contact form to get a free estimate.