Getting Approval for Home Renovations in an HOA Community

Getting Approval for Home Renovations in an HOA Community

August 7, 2023  |  HOA Community, Renovations, Tips and Tools
A man on a ladder up against a house, installing siding. The text reads "Getting Approval for Home Renovations in an HOA Community"

Every homeowner wants to renovate their property or house in some way. Whether the goal of the renovation is to make their home more attractive when it comes time to sell, or to make improvements for their own personal use, for homes that exist in HOAs, some renovations are against community rules. 


Members of associations need approval for almost all renovations by their HOA boards, and the application process for renovations can sometimes be complicated. 


Dust, noise, street space taken up by workers, all of these and more can be nuisances for your neighbors and fellow community members. 


To prevent unnecessary conflict and regulate renovations to ensure that they are in line with your HOA's rules is to follow the proper channels to get approval from your HOA governing body. 


HOA rules are part of a strategic outline. Learn how your community can make a strategic plan that works in this blog post


Want to get approval for your home renovation process in your HOA? This guide will tell you everything you need to know. 


The Steps of Getting HOA Approval 


Getting HOA approval for your next home renovation does not have to be a tiresome process. Just ensure you have a firm understanding of your HOA's rules and that you follow the proper channels for approval.  


Below are the four steps for getting approval for your next home renovation in an HOA. 


1. Review Your HOA's Rules 


The first step in getting approval for home renovations by your HOA is to review the community’s rules and regulations. Find out which types of renovations require approval, what kind of rules apply to those renovations, and what documentation you need to submit with your application. 


For example, if you are planning a kitchen renovation or adding load-bearing walls, your HOA rules may require that you submit a detailed plan prior to approval. 


Consider which areas of your property you want to renovate and how extensive the renovation process will be. Are you planning a simple project such as repainting walls or installing new light fixtures? Or are you considering a larger-scale renovation such as bathroom remodels, electrical wiring, or exterior renovations? 


Knowing what type of work you are proposing will help you to determine if additional permits or paperwork need to be obtained. 


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2. Submit an Architectural Review  


After you have determined the scope of your renovations, the next step is to submit an architectural review. Architectural reviews provide HOA boards with the information they need to make sure that proposed projects comply with community standards. Depending on your HOA's rules, this may include a detailed set of plans, drawings, or photographs of the renovation project. Your plans should also include any additional work that will be done on common property in addition to individual property. 


For instance, if your renovation plans involve a fenced backyard or a community garden, these changes should also be included in the architectural review. 


3. Pay the Application Fee 


Once you have submitted your architectural review, the next step in getting HOA approval for renovations is to pay the application fee. Depending on your community, you may be required to pay a small fee when submitting your application. This fee helps cover the cost of reviewing and processing the application. Paying the fees is usually simple; most HOAs offer online payment options, as well as traditional methods such as checks or money orders. Once you have paid all relevant fees, your application will be officially filed and ready for review by the board. 


4. Await HOA Board Approval or Denial 


Awaiting approval or denial from your board is the last step in the HOA application process. Once your application has been submitted, it will be reviewed by a board made up of community members. The board will evaluate your renovation plans to make sure they comply with community standards and are in line with the HOA's rules and regulations. Depending on your specific situation, you may be required to attend an HOA meeting where members can ask questions and discuss the project further. Once all information has been reviewed, the board will decide whether to approve or deny your application. 


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What are Some Reasons My HOA Might Deny My Renovation Requests? 


No one likes to hear a “no” from their HOA board, but in some cases, they may have to deny your renovation requests. Here are the top three reasons why your HOA may deny your request: 


  1. Your project doesn't comply with community standards - Before starting any renovations, you should make sure that your plans align with the HOA's rules and regulations. If the proposed project does not fit within the parameters set by the community, it is likely to be denied. 

  2. You didn't submit all necessary documentation - The board will need to review all relevant paperwork before approving a renovation project. If you failed to provide important documents such as architectural drawings or building permits, your application may be denied. 

  3. Your project could negatively impact the entire community - If your plans involve changes that could potentially disrupt or damage common property, they may not be approved. For instance, if you are proposing to build a large deck in an area of the community that is known to flood, your application may be denied for safety reasons. 


HOA Management that Works for Your Community with Management Plus 


Getting approval for home renovations in an HOA can be a long process that requires careful planning and consideration. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that all the necessary paperwork is properly submitted and that your renovation plans comply with the community's standards. 


 Creating a HOA renovation procedure that works for your community is no easy feat. It comes with many challenges that can leave your community members or board members confused or frustrated.  


The best HOA regulations are those that are fair, transparent, and understood by the community.  


Is board membership right for you? This guide walks you through the steps to becoming a board member!  


If your community needs help managing or enforcing your HOA rules or regulations, then you need Management Plus.  


Management Plus is your association management company here to help you take the burden off your HOA board members and to help you build a community that will thrive.  


To learn more about how the experienced association managers at Management Plus can help improve your community, reach out by clicking here


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