Normally, painting your house is a fairly easy task. You select the color you want, hire a professional house painter, and watch as they transform the exterior of your home. However, when you live in an area that has a Homeowners Association, or HOA, it’s often not quite that easy. That is because HOAs may have specific rules about paint colors. If you use anything other than one of the HOA approved paint colors, the association can fine you and make you repaint your home. Of course, you are responsible for the cost of repainting, so you end up paying for everything twice. Here are a few tips to follow when painting your home so that you do not incur any HOA paint violation.
What is an HOA?
The first step is to find out if you have an HOA. In most cases, you will be told there is an HOA in the neighborhood when you purchase the home. You also likely pay a monthly or yearly HOA fee. In some cases, this can be a fairly low annual cost. This fee may simply be used to maintain a few nicely lit signs at the entrance to the neighborhood. In other HOAs, though, the fee may be several hundred dollars a month. These HOAs often maintain neighborhood clubhouses and pools, host regular activities for residents, handle yard maintenance, and more.
HOA rules and regulations are not dependent on cost, but typically, those that do more for residents have tighter rules. Again, this isn’t always the case, and even HOAs that charge next to nothing can have strict guidelines. You should have received a copy of these rules when you moved into the neighborhood. If you didn’t, ask the HOA board for one.
Use Only HOA Approved Paint Colors
Your HOA may have a list of approved paint colors. If they do, you may already have an idea of what these colors are simply by looking at the other homes in the neighborhood. They will all have been painted using these colors. Often, they’re colors that are very similar or are designed to complement each other. The goal of restricting exterior paint colors is to create a visually pleasing and complimentary neighborhood.
In most cases, the guidelines will list several HOA paint colors for you to select from. In some very, very restrictive neighborhoods, there may be only one or two options. Normally, you’ll have several HOA approved paint colors for the main body of your home and a few for the trim, shutters, and other details. Some HOAs may specify what color your front door can be and may even go so far as to provide approved paint colors for planters and other items that can be painted. There are even HOAs that let you pick, so long as you run the color past them first. With all these differences, it is essential you find out what your rules are from the start.
Can Your HOA Make You Paint Your House?
Unfortunately, yes, the HOA can make you repaint your home if you do not use one of the approved HOA paint colors. While some residents can certainly challenge their HOA, the bottom line is that it is voluntary. You accepted the HOA when you moved into a home in that neighborhood. If you pay your HOA dues, which are typically required, again you are willingly participating in the HOA. To the courts, this shows that you have accepted the contract between you as the homeowner and the HOA. This means you have implicitly agreed to follow their guidelines, including any rules about exterior house paint colors.
HOA Paint Color Approval
If you paint your home any color that isn’t one of the HOA approved paint colors, the HOA board can require you to repaint your home. They may also fine you and can continue to fine you as outlined in the rules if you do not repaint within a reasonable amount of time.
HOA Paint Themes
Many homeowners do wonder if their HOA board will actually require them to follow paint color rules or repaint their homes. If the HOA rules do specify paint colors, the board can legally enforce those regulations. Whether they do or it is up to the individuals in charge of the HOA. You may find some neighborhoods with lax HOA officers who elect not to follow the rules, while other neighborhood HOA officers may have paint color samples and bring them to your home to make certain your exterior house paint matches.
Consistent HOA Look
The HOA may also request that you repaint your home if the exterior paint is peeling or no longer looks like it’s in good condition. One of the purposes of HOAs is to keep property values high, and that means they do try to ensure that all homes in the neighborhood are in good condition and have good curb appeal.
What the HOA Cannot Do
While the HOA can require you to paint your home, there are some things they cannot do. The HOA board cannot further restrict your paint colors beyond what is listed in the guidelines. For example, if the guidelines say you can use brown, grey, or white for the body of your home, they cannot force you to paint your home grey. There are also often rules written into the HOA guidelines about changing the approved colors. Even if the HOA fully votes to change those colors, you will likely have a grace period before any fines are levied against you.
Your HOA also likely doesn’t have the power to place restrictions on certain homeowners but not on others. For example, it’s not likely legal for them to require you to use certain exterior house paint colors but give homeowners on another street the freedom to use any color they want. You will want to read the HOA rules and regulations very carefully to ensure there isn’t any language that gives the board such broad power. Even if there is, you may be able to take court action in such a case. You will want to consult a lawyer if you feel like the HOA is treating homeowners unequally.
How Do You Purchase Approved HOA Colors?
Because HOA regulations can vary greatly, finding the exact HOA approved paint colors is not always simple. For example, if the guidelines simply state that your house can be white or grey, that leaves a good amount of leeway in selecting colors. A very dark grey may be acceptable, even if numerous HOA board members dislike it. However, many HOA rules do specify certain shades of colors. Some will even go as far as to provide the specific color codes. In this case, it’s actually very easy to purchase the paint since you can specify the exact color.
However, while you could paint your home yourself, the better option is to look into commercial painting services. Many of these experts understand HOA rules and will be able to help you avoid HOA paint violation fees. They can work directly with the paint mixers and retailers to make certain the exterior house paint used conforms to the rules. It is possible for a paint color to be mixed incorrectly. If you use this incorrect color on your home, it could result in the HOA forcing you to repaint. A professional is more likely to notice that the color isn’t right and bring it to your attention before the entire house is painted.
Other Reasons to Work with HOA Commercial Painting Services
In addition to ensuring the right exterior house paint color, there are other reasons why working with a painting service is a great idea. First, these experts understand how to quickly and correctly paint a home. They will keep paint from getting all over your windows, sidewalks, and other parts of your home and landscaping. In addition, they will be able to tell you when it’s too cold, too humid, or too hot to paint. They will be able to avoid making common mistakes homeowners often make, which can save you money.
HOA commercial painting experts know where to purchase the best quality paint and may also be able to get it at a discount. These companies paint many houses, and they often work closely with paint manufacturers, allowing them to take advantage of discounts and other benefits. These benefits are passed along to customers.
They also have all of the necessary equipment needed for painting, including ladders, scaffolding paint sprayers, and more. Even better, they know how to safely paint upper stories, pointed gables, and other parts of the home that may be fairly dangerous for the layperson to paint. Painting companies are fully insured, too, so if there are any injuries at your home, their policy will cover it. You won’t have to pay for any injuries or damage.
Let JLM Painting Handle Your HOA Painting Needs
If your HOA has requested that you repaint your home or if you want to repaint it and need to meet HOA guidelines, JLM Painting is here to help. Our team of skilled painters have worked closing with HOAs before and understand HOA commercial painting guidelines. We will assist you in selecting the correct colors, painting your home, and meeting any other guidelines for the exterior paint colors. We are dedicated to providing consistent quality service in an efficient, effective manner. When you choose JLM Painting, you’re choosing the best in Petaluma, California, and the surrounding area. We also provide commercial painting services to those who own businesses in the area.
Are you ready to repaint your home? Reach out to JLM Painting today for an estimate or to learn more about our services.