How to Plan for Exterior Alterations in an HOA

Spring is in full swing in Dallas, and after the harsh freeze that rounded out our winter, it’s no surprise that many owners plan on making some exterior improvements while the weather is warm.

While exterior renovations are always a great way to start off the spring season, if you are an owner in an HOA, completing a project isn’t as easy as a split decision and getting started. With most renovations or exterior alterations, an application with plans must be submitted to your Association’s committee and approved *prior* to work starting.

Items That Require Approval

Although removing exterior walls and replacing a major feature like a fence may be an obvious need to retain uniformity, many homeowners are surprised at how many exterior renovations actually require an ACC request and board approval.

Common projects which require ACC approval include:

  • Painting your home (even in a uniform color)
  • Roof replacement
  • Removal and replacement of landscaping
  • New gutters
  • New trim
  • A new front door
  • Pergola installation
  • Patio build
  • Pool construction

The general rule of thumb is to submit a request to the committee for any exterior modification.  If an owner performs any of these renovations without committee approval, not only will their work need to be halted and redone at their own expense, but they could face significant fines for failing to submit an ACC request.

“Isn’t the Land My Land?”

This is a common answer that many owners in an HOA ask when they face submitting an ACC request.

While homeowners own the actual home or unit in which they reside, the HOA is tasked with maintaining the overall aesthetic of the community.  Buying a home in an HOA means that the homeowner agrees to comply with all regulations set forth by the HOA for the betterment of all homes and units within the community. 

What is an ACC Request?

An association’s Architectural Control Committee is responsible for reviewing all architectural project requests. Your neighborhood committee reviews the Association’s rules and ensures that every project that gets approved keeps the property uniform and within the association’s regulations.

Typically an ACC request covers the significant details of the project, including the following:

  • What exactly your project entails
  • The estimated timeline of the project
  • Who is conducting the work

Fortunately, with community amenities like online portals, submitting an ACC request is as simple as the click of a button. All owners have to do is sign into their account, fill out their request, and await the ACC’s swift response.

What Happens After a Request Submission?

Typically, the ACC has between 30 and 60 days to respond to a request (exact timelines vary from community to community). Once a decision has been made, you will be notified and receive a letter indicating the verdict for your records. If the request is denied, the owner can always fix any potential issues with the project and submit a new ACC request.

Keep Your Board Ready for Project Approvals with Goodwin & Company

If you are a member of your HOA board or local ACC, you may eventually need some third-party help with reviewing and managing incoming project submissions. At Goodwin & Company, our team has perfected the art of helping our clients make the right decisions when it comes to uniform exterior renovations within the community.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a partner with our association management team and how we’ve helped out communities like yours in the past.