The rise of Homeowner Associations in recent years has seen exponential growth. Before you rush out to install the fence of your dreams, here are some tips of the trade from a Residential fence expert on the possible pitfalls of building that beautiful new fence installation.
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners can make when installing a fence is not checking to see what the by-laws of their Homeowners Association (HOA) require.
You can't assume that what your neighbors have previously done with their fence and yard complies with your particular HOA regulations.
Even though a neighbor might have an admirable fence enclosure or gate doesn't mean doesn't mean that your HOA approved that particular fence installation.
We can recall a particular job where a customer scheduled an install for a chain link fence, and as it was in progress, the customer panicked as the HOA just informed her that absolutely no chain link was allowed in their community. Several adjacent yards that had previously used chain link enclosures prior to her request were ordered to remove them and seek other fence options. It turns out that residents were only approved to have vinyl and ornamental aluminum installed in that neighborhood.
In another instance, a customer submitted her information to the HOA weeks in advance. Due to the fact that she had not heard from the HOA, she assumed that the fence was approved. So, she went forward with the installation. The HOA later stated that they never received her request. The customer then was ordered to redo her fence structure according to her neighborhood's HOA standards, and have the style she selected approved by them.
Typically, a HOA can take anywhere from one week to six weeks to approve your fence project. Generally speaking, you have to to get the HOA's approval whenever you do anything to the exterior of your residence. This can even include painting and landscaping.
HOW TO AVOID COSTLY HOA FENCE INSTALL MISTAKES
Many HOA ordinances and rules prevent you from constructing chain link, split rail, or wire containment fences because they are not aesthetically appealing. If you install a fence without HOA approval, you can almost be sure you will have to tear it down or face serious fines, as well as aggravation and time consumption.
THE FOLLOWING ARE SUGGESTIONS TO ENSURE HOA APPROVAL ON YOUR FENCE PROJECT
1. Read the regulations provided by the HOA thoroughly. Make sure that you have the most updated version. Call the HOA president or another board member with all questions you have regarding the specific regulations. Document the date and time of call, the name of the person with whom you spoke with, as well as what was said during the conversation.
2. Make notes on what you want to communicate in your letter to the HOA. In your correspondence try to anticipate any questions the HOA board may have about your project. Always include possible solutions to any problem you think the board may have with your planned project.
3. Enclose blueprints, pictures and project drawings. Also, be sure to include the specific dimensions of your project and any other pertinent details in your letter. Include images or colors of the materials you will be using. Be clear and precise so your letter will be easily understood.
4. Make copies of your letter to keep for your records. Mail your request to the homeowners association. Be sure you have included the best ways for members to contact you, such as giving them both a home and work telephone number.
5. Follow up on your letter if you are not contacted within a week after mailing. Confirm your letter has been received and ask for a date by which the board will render a decision on the plans for your property.
6. Appeal for a variance if your request is denied and you still want to pursue your plans. An appeal hearing may then be scheduled during which you can present your case to the entire board. You can enlist the support of your neighbors to help bolster your argument.
Be sure to get the approval of the HOA first. It is not up to the fence contractor to find out the rules and regulations or to get approval of the HOA for your project. That being said, a longstanding and professional fence company will gladly help advise you in this process and should go out of their way to help you with your installation concerns.
They can also supply you with fence samples and pictures of existing installations to help you get the approval of the HOA before starting construction so you won't be on the fence with your Home Owners Association.
CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE AMERICAN HOME OWNERS ASSOCIATION FOR RESOURCES ON REGIONAL AND LOCAL REGULATIONS FOR YOUR UPCOMING FENCE PROJECT