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Pro Paint NW - Blog

Complying with Your HOA

Brent Lunde - Tuesday, July 25, 2017

You've decided it's time to give your home a facelift and get an all-new paint job. 

You've picked your colors, hired a painter, and pretty soon your house is looking better than ever. You're feeling great, like it's an all-new house.


And then a letter ends up in your mailbox. It's from your Homeowners Association (HOA). It seems you didn't run your choice by them, and they're not happy.


Sure, it's your house and maybe you think that you should be able to do whatever you want with it. But if you live in a neighborhood governed by an HOA, unfortunately that's likely not the case.


HOAs do a lot of positive things for a community, primarily setting regulations in place that keep property values high and putting forth rules to keep the neighborhood running harmoniously. But for a lot of HOAs, part of their portfolio also includes making sure the area keeps a certain aesthetic, and any significant change to the appearance of a home's exterior has to be run by them first.


For many HOAs, garish colors are a non-starter, so if you're a big Oregon State Beavers fan and had your heart set on a bright orange house, you're probably out of luck. Same goes for you and your incandescent green, Ducks fans. But even if you have something more conservative in mind, if your neighbor has the same color, your request could be kiboshed as well. They don't want too much variation, but they don't want all the houses to be the same either.


If you're feeling rebellious and thinking it's none of their business and you just go ahead with the work, well they'll hit you where it hurts: your pocketbook. Many HOAs can take out liens on the home, and that's going down a road you don't to follow.


They say you can't fight city hall, but it seems HOAs are just as powerful.


So first things first: if you want Pro Paint NW to paint your house, you need to start by contacting your HOA. Many have their rules available on the website, so start there, and then make sure you speak to,or email, someone directly to get the process started.


Some HOAs have a color palette they'll let you choose from. But that's where the neighbor rule comes into play: if someone else on your street has a house the same color, they could bounce it back to you and tell you to try again. And even if they approve your choice for the house, they might spike the color you had in mind for the trim. Make sure no detail is left uncovered, so get approval on everything. If the garage door is going to be a slightly different shade of brown than the main body of the house- make sure it's given the green light.


While you're going through the process, keep a stringent record of every approval you've received from your HOA. You may find this hard to believe, but sometimes within bureaucracies communication can be an issue. You might get the go-ahead from one person, only to have one of their colleagues see your house and not approve. Mitigate these circumstances by keeping a written record every step of the way.


In addition, this might be the biggest tip of all: have patience. This won't be a process that gets done in a matter of days. You might be looking at weeks.


But once everything is approved and ready to go with the HOA, be sure to give Pro Paint NW a call to get the ball rolling on giving your home a new coat.



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