4 Exterior Home Enhancements That Need HOA Approval

San Francisco townhomes
Thinking of changing your home’s exterior? First check your community’s homeowners association rules.

Many homeowners belong to a homeowners association that charges fees and sets community standards. The HOA provides group amenities, keeps the neighborhood or complex uniform and attractive, and helps maintain property values.

While you own your home, belonging to an HOA involves a tradeoff: sacrificing some rights to enjoy the community’s benefits. That means before you change your home’s exterior, you need to check the HOA’s rules.

Here are four home improvements that often require an HOA’s approval.

Row House with aluminum siding
Check with your homeowners association, if you belong to one, to verify that you can paint your home. Row houses, like this one, often are governed by HOA rules. (DepositPhotos)

1. Updating Your Siding

Severe weather may damage the siding on your home, leaving it vulnerable to the elements. You’ll need to replace the siding right away to prevent additional damage to insulation and waterproof layers.

While you might want to take this opportunity to change the siding to stone or brick, your HOA must approve the change. Usually, the HOA board will direct you to a preapproved material and color.

Home addition, viewed from inside
A home’s addition should include the same architectural elements, such as window shapes, as the existing house — but before you even plan the work, get HOA approval. (DepositPhotos)

2. Building an Addition

If you’ve outgrown your house or condo, you may want to add a sunroom, bathroom or bedroom. But you need the HOA’s permission before you can even think of adding on.

Before hiring a contractor, electrician or plumber, read your HOA’s covenants or guidebook. Being informed now can save you money — and prevent serious problems — later.

Even if your HOA approves the change, always check local building codes for any site review or permits that may be required.


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