5 Tips for Keeping Your Exterior Painting Project HOA Compliant

Lawrence Bonk
Written by Lawrence Bonk
Updated November 11, 2021
Woman painting home exterior
Artursfoto - stock.adobe.com

Keep your homeowners association at bay by following these five exterior house painting tips

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The homeowners association (HOA) is a blessing to some and a curse to others. While your HOA maintains the parks, pools, and other neighborhood amenities, they also enforce compliance standards and issue penalty fees to violators. These standards can include everything from how your lawn looks to what kind of holiday decorations are allowed to lay on your yard. 

HOA rules also apply to painting the exterior of your home. Each HOA is unique, but failing to comply with the house painting regulations will almost always cause a real hassle. If you fail to comply with the HOA regulations, you’ll likely receive tersely worded letters and, over time, daily financial penalties. Here are some tips for painting the outside of your home while remaining HOA compliant.

1. Research Restrictions and Rules

Before you go looking for that perfect paint color, research whether your HOA has any restrictions regarding exterior paint shades. If your HOA has an office in the neighborhood, stop in to ask questions about the HOA rules and explain your intentions to paint the exterior of your home. You’ll likely receive  something called a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R). This document explains all of the ins and outs regarding acceptable paint colors for the neighborhood and, in some cases, any preferred brands and types of paint.

2. Get HOA Approval

HOAs vary in power, but it never hurts to ask for permission before painting the outside of your home. Some associations may require a signed approval document to proceed, while others may want a simple heads up. Before you talk to anyone affiliated with the HOA, make a list of your chosen paint brands, types, and colors. Minor paint jobs, such as touch ups to small exterior areas, should not require approval, but you should always double check. 

If you have your heart set on a color that’s not on the list of acceptable hues, go through the approval process anyway. Sure, you might face a denial, but you won’t know until you try.

3. Be Aware of Scheduling Parameters

Some HOAs have rules that define when you can perform renovations on your home, including house painting. These restrictions could apply to the time of day, parts of the year, or even days of the week. Veering outside of these scheduling parameters results in non-compliance, which can lead to hefty fees and awkward stares at the next HOA meeting. 

To find out the scheduling requirements, call the HOA office for more information or check the CC&R document. If there are no formal scheduling parameters, use common sense. In other words, schedule the work for regular business hours and try not to disturb your neighbors.

4. Look Around the Neighborhood

Suburban neighborhood with large homes
Konstantin L - stock.adobe.com

An easy way to gauge the acceptability of your house painting plans is to simply look around the neighborhood. How uniform are the other houses and their colors? Some HOAs require all homes to feature similar color schemes, while others encourage a certain level of individuality. 

Many HOAs discourage exact duplicate houses, but they also require that homeowners adhere to similar designs and patterns. You can suss this out by walking around the neighborhood and taking note of the similarities and differences in exterior paint colors.

5. Consult a Professional House Painter

A professional house painter should be aware of any HOA-imposed restrictions, especially if they've worked in your neighborhood before. Check with your HOA to see if they have a list of approved contractors, as some HOAs require the use of specific technicians. 

Finally, perform due diligence when it comes to researching potential house painters. Painting a home’s exterior costs $3,000 on average, but you should request price quotes from a few HOA-approved painters in your area to find the best deal. Before signing on the dotted line, make sure the house painter has the appropriate license, adequate insurance, and that they can meet any HOA compliance requirements. Also, check online reviews or local customer testimonials to ensure the quality of their work. Poor quality house painting will draw the ire of the HOA and could also result in fines.

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