5 Things You Need to Know About Renovations if You Live in an HOA Neighborhood
May 25 | by Jamey Vick
Living in a community that’s run by a homeowner’s association (HOA) definitely has its benefits. For example, many organizations can offer a variety of amenities -- including tennis courts, golf courses or neighborhood pools. These groups can also provide safety for families by lobbying local officials for protective gates and increased foot patrols.
But because many decisions must go through the HOA, this could become an obstacle if you decide to renovate your home. Before tearing down walls and swinging that hammer, you may need to get approval from your HOA first. Moreover, as you get going on your project, the last thing you need is unsightly construction waste annoying your neighbors and the HOA to come knocking.
What sort of projects need approval, and what other considerations are there? Here are 5 things you need to know about renovating in an HOA neighborhood.
1) Understand Individual & Common Property
Not all renovations need the green light from your homeowner’s association. But if you live in a condo or townhome, chances are some things will need approval. Property can be divided into two areas: Individual and Common. This will determine whether you need to consult your HOA.
Renovations to individual property can include:
- Painting interior walls
- Updating kitchen cabinets and countertops
- Installing new appliances, such as a fridge or washer/dryer
- Replacing baths, sinks and toilets
Common property includes changes to:
- Floors and ceilings
- Common walls, including doors and windows within those walls
- Ramps and stairways
- Pipes and electrical wiring that service more than just your property
Even though certain renovations may appear as though they’re on individual property, some aspects can be tricky. For example, replacing bathroom tiles may actually need HOA approval. The work could potentially impact waterproofing features, and create flooding hazards for people living underneath.
2) Consult the HOA handbook before seeking approval
Your homeowner’s association will have a manual that covers general covenants, conditions and restrictions. Often referred to as a CC&R, this document addresses common issues, which can include: Parking, pets, outdoor decorations and even paint colors.
Consult this manual first so you have a clear understanding of what’s expected of homeowners. If certain questions are already answered in the CC&R, this will save a lot of unnecessary communication between you and your HOA.
3) You’ll need to hire licensed tradespeople
If you do secure HOA approval, you’ll need to work with tradespeople who are licensed. To restructure pipes in your kitchen, you’ll have to hire a certified plumber. Any changes to load-bearing walls must go through a structural engineer. Never take chances hiring a tradesperson who isn’t licensed in your jurisdiction. Work that is dangerous or not up to standards could eventually become your responsibility.
Similarly, hire a waste disposal professional to get rid of your renovation debris. Professional, courteous staff, timely delivery and pickup, as well as waste containers that are not unsightly, is our area of expertise!
There could be huge consequences for not clearing out your materials properly. Never try to sneak drywall, unused paint or other items into your municipal trash bin. Instead, ask your HOA what the rules are surrounding dumpster rentals. Or better still, give us a call and we'll be happy to help.
4) There may be conditions even after approval
Even if you get the go-ahead from your HOA, check if there’s certain criteria you’ll have to meet. For example, there may be restrictions on:
- Hours during which tradespeople are allowed to work
- Types of materials used in the renovation
- The size of your permitted work area
HOAs often have the authority to impose fines for breaking contracts. Always speak to an association member if anything is unclear.
5) Use common courtesy
Sometimes, old fashioned common courtesy is the best way to navigate tricky situations. Discussing your renovation with neighbors and keeping them in the loop is something you’d appreciate if the roles were flipped. Neighbors likely won’t complain about your project if you keep them updated on all developments.
Use VaVia for Your Next Renovation
VaVia is proud to serve a number of major cities in Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and Arkansas. Our company is quickly expanding to other states, so there’s a good chance we offer dumpster rentals in your HOA neighborhood. Our dumpsters have been designed to blend in and we are experts at placing them into tight spaces to minimise the heavy lifting as you load them.
Once you’ve secured renovation approval, it’ll be time to figure out the logistics. Allow our team to take care of all your waste disposal needs, so that you and your contractor can focus on the things that matter!
For more information on renting a dumpster, call VaVia at 1-833-GO-VAVIA or contact us here.
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