The Brad Stoner Painting Blog

The Brad Stoner Painting Blog

The Brad Stoner Painting blog is your San Diego Painting information destination for everything to do with painting; house painting, commercial painting, interior, exterior, picking the right contractor, the latest painting trends and much, much more.

What Power Do HOAs Have Over My House Color?

Brad Stoner

HOAs: Heads or Tails? Heads: HOAs and Restrictive Covenants protect property values by enforcing consistent home maintenance and minimizing architectural deviance.  Tails: HOAs litter subdivisions with bureaucracy, imposing the will - and preferred paint color - of the majority upon the individual.

So your cedar shakes need stained; your vinyl lap siding needs painted. Do you need permission from your HOA before proceeding? 

Now, most HOAs are harmless. Most will clean your streets, trim your trees, build public volleyball courts and allow you to paint your home anything outside of Mustard-Pink. There are a few, however, with more prohibitive regulations, and so you should always assume the answer to be "yes." 

In fact, some HOAs will require you to hire an approved, HOA-contracted painting company. Others limit your color choices to six or seven mass-acceptable neutrals, and if you desire a different color, like a creamy yellow, you must wallow through the proper approval channel: submit paint swatches, list manufacturer guarantees, attend board meetings, etc. 
Special restrictions may apply. If a nearby house has a similar color palette, for instance, then - uunnnnnk! - try again. Some HOAs further specify exterior paint choices by body, trim, garage door, front door and special features color. Also, HOAs may regulate the application as well as the selection of paint. These special restrictions will be stated in the Master Deed and bylaws of the association. Both documents should be publicly accessible. 

Don't smirk. If you shirk the approval process and paint your home forest green without approval, and your neighbor hates forest green and complains, then the HOA can force you to comply. If you refuse, the HOA may place liens to encumber your property, and those liens may escalate: $100 the first month, $200 the second month, $300 the third and so forth. More than one homeowner has been fined into submission. 

Document everything. Some HOAs will demand evidence of original color approval if a neighbor complains later. If you can't cough up the proper document, then you will pay to repaint your home. 

Thankfully, most HOAs don't give two cents about what color you paint inside. And most are pretty reasonable if you want a different exterior color. So call us, Brad Stoner Painting. We've been working with HOAs and painting the San Diego area for more than 30 years.

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