How To Get Your Colors Approved By Your HOA Quickly and Easily

Check written guidelines or ask association members before your project begins to ensure you're using HOA-approved colors.
You bought it, love it, and enjoy keeping your home looking great. So why does someone else get a say in the color of your paint, door, deck, or polymer roof? Millions of Americans live in a community governed by homeowners’ associations (HOA). If you are one of them, before making an change, you must have your exterior materials and colors approved by your HOA.

Then you might ask, “Why do they have a say in what we can do with our house?” It is a great question to ask before painting your home or installing a gorgeous new roof. After the fact, it may just be the beginning of a headache. Here are a few essential tips for ensuring you use HOA-approved colors for your home improvement project, and avoid the need for a headache remedy.

Review Community CC&Rs

Start by reviewing the copy of your community’s CC&Rs (covenants, conditions, and restrictions). Most homeowners receive these at the time the house closing. Don’t worry. You don’t need to read all the Rules and Regulations, just the ones referring to areas of exterior property restrictions, which guide you on what is and isn’t acceptable in your community.

Don’t stop there, however, because some things may have changed. Even if you have kept your binder up-to-date with revisions, you’ll want to check with your neighborhood’s property management company about the current protocol for getting your project approved. Call or stop by their office. Ask them to explain the entire process and how long it will take to get approval. Find out what forms are needed and where to find them.

Ask questions before you start your home improvement project to ensure you use HOA-approved colors.
Ask Questions

It is well worth your time to ask questions before you start your project. Find out if there are HOA colors you must use. Ask if there is any guidance, they can give you on the color approval process. The answers they provide may give you more insight into how to have your plans accepted than any written guidelines.

If your HOA has pre-approved colors, you might think all you must do is pick one and be done. Not so fast. Even if the paint is pre-approved, it might not be approved for your home if it is identical or close in appearance to a neighbor’s home. Look around and make sure the colors you choose don’t mirror another house nearby.

Select Your Colors and Gain HOA Approval

If you are on your own in choosing colors, look for colors that will express your personality or give your home a unique look. However, stay within the norm for your neighborhood. The ideal color scheme stands out while still fitting in. If you keep that idea in mind as you select your color scheme, you’ll be well on your way to having HOA-approved colors in your plans.

Getting approval for your colors and design can take anywhere from a week or two to a few months. Every HOA review procedure is different. You must allow for the time it takes for the review and approval process. Don’t expect to make a decision to update your paint one day and start the project the next when you’re in a neighborhood managed by an HOA.

As I alluded to earlier, asking for approval on a project after completing it can cause a headache. Gaining consent is much easier before beginning your project. Several times I have given my professional opinion to resolve a color dispute between a homeowner and the HOA.

Keep in mind that the primary goal of an HOA is to protect the property values of individual homeowners. By enforcing the rules, the HOA helps maintain the neighborhood’s aesthetics and property values of all the homes in the community.

In a perfect world, this is a good thing for everyone. However, you may find that your HOA’s architectural review board is only comfortable approving something similar to what is already in place.  If that is the case, and you have your heart set on stepping beyond their color comfort zone, you will have to build a convincing case.

Illustrate Your Ideas

Showing the committee rather than only telling them can convince them your plan is a solid solution for your home. DaVinci Roofscape’s visualizer tool will help you to see and show the new exterior colors or roofing on your home. Photos, samples, drawings, or other physical items can help them visualize the results. This can be much more convincing than anything you say.

Here are some related stories that may give you an idea for putting together your presentation to the committee:

You  will have your colors approved, in most cases, headache-free when you take the time to understand the process. Follow the steps, and your requests will return to you in no time marked APPROVED!

About the Author

Kate SmithKate Smith Headshot is an internationally recognized color expert, consultant, and designer.  She is a skilled colorist & a color consultant who, for more than a decade, has lent her expertise to DaVinci Roofscapes. Kate helps YOU select colors you will love for many years.